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April 2005, Week 2 Marketing Archives

Friday, April 15, 2005

MeetUp Says PayUp

The never ending saga of sites that were once free and eventually begin to charge a fee is always humorous to me. I received an email from MeetUp saying there was an important announcement, so I waited til I had time to read it [3 days later] and started laughing uncontrollably.

Here is the email I received
Hi Meetup Member,

We have some important news to share with you about new
features and a required monthly Group Fee paid by your
Organizers on behalf of your Meetup Groups.

To learn more, visit...


So then I reluctantly visited the MeetUp Announcement Link
Being fairly cynical and practical, I had an idea of what this "announcement" was all about but I read it anyway. Then I felt even more confident in my ability to spot phase II of Meetup's business model in full swing. Not that I can blame them or anything, I mean hey, nothing is free in life and they've gotta pay the bills somehow.

Here's the MeetUp Free to Fee Message
We have some news to share that we don't think you're going to like. There's no point in dancing around it so here it is. Starting May 1st, every Meetup Group will have to pay a monthly fee. Read on for the details...

How much? If your group starts paying in April, the charge is $9/month for the rest of the year. (If you wait until May 1st it goes up to $19/month). The substantial discount (more than 50%) is a "thank you" for being one of the first Meetup Groups.


Who pays? The group's Organizer will pay the fee on behalf of the group. While the money initially comes out of the Organizer's pocket, we're confident that when asked, the group members will reimburse the Organizer each and every month.

If you're an Organizer, and you're hesitant to pay, why not talk it over with your group? You'll be surprised how quickly people will be willing to pay their fair share.

Nine dollars?! To some, $9 every month may sound like a lot for an Organizer to pay, but remember, it's a group fee, not per person. If the Organizer splits the cost among the members who show up each month, it's probably $1 - $2 per person. (If your group's very small, we know it might cost a little more per person while we help you grow.)

Again, we know this may not be welcome news. Do know that we've spent countless hours exploring every possible option to avoid this. And we understand if you decide to leave. But when you consider sharing the cost among your members… when you compare us to other online offerings… when you think about how much you've enjoyed your Meetups so far… we think you'll realize that your Meetup Group is worth the price...


For more on the MeetUp business model migration to fee based, check out Olivier's post. He's been at it a while and has some good thoughts on the whole deal.

MeetUp Says PayUp By Jason Dowdell at 10:08 AM
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Orlando Blogger Friends Are The Food Duo

FoodDuo - Couple Orlando guys who like to eatOne of my buddies works at a web development firm in Orlando and a couple of his coworkers put together an interesting little blog, FoodDuo. Their aim is to slowly but surely review all restaurants in Orlando, well maybe not all of them, but they're going to do as many as possible. I kind of felt compelled to represent bloggers right here in my good ol hometown of Central Florida. It doesn't matter who you are or where you're located, if you have something interesting to say then the visitors will come.

I asked them why they chose to roll their own blogging software instead of using one of the more established brands. Here's what they had to say.

The FoodDuo chose to not use one of many available hosted blogs (moveable type, blogger, etc.) mainly because we are software developers for our day job. As such, we are inclined to tweak the system to add new features as quickly as possible. If we think of something new that we think our visitors would enjoy we are able to test the changes locally and then move them to the live website fairly easily.

A blog like FoodDuo would be very difficult to replicate on some of the hosted blogs because we have two primary posters that are blogging on the same topic. We took an open source ColdFusion blog created by Ray Camden and were able to quickly bolt in the ability for two posters to blog on one topic as well as allowing the posters and the commenters to rate the restaurant featured in the blog post. Without access to the source code in an easy to use rapid development language like ColdFusion, we would have been relegated to using only the typical blog format.


Good stuff, I'll be checking their blog before I have any meetings in Orlando. Hmmm, maybe I should ask them to be a guest contributor. I know where all the McDonalds are ;)

Update February 22, 2007: Well it appears the food duo have met their dastardly doom and the site is no longer around. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.

Orlando Blogger Friends Are The Food Duo By Jason Dowdell at 09:47 AM
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Open Invite To SF Giants Home Game Wed April 20th


Can't beat wifi at a baseball gameI'm going to be in San Jose next week speaking at the Kelsey Group conference and figured that since I was already there I might as well take the short trip to San Francisco and attend a Giants game. Ever since Ev posted a pic of the blogger boys at Giants Stadium from his laptop I was green with geek envy. Right then and there I vowed to one day do the same thing. Well next week will be my first opportunity.

I'd also like to extend this open invite to anyone out there interested in going to the game. If there is enough interest from the San Jose area we can just carpool [hopefully I won't have to drive, hehe]. Who knows who will show up? I've got a few invites out there and you never know, maybe on of your favorite bloggers will be podcasting with me from the game.

Wondering about how you can access the wifi at Giants Stadium? Well wonder no more.

Where in the ballpark can I access the Giants WiFi Network?


SBC Park offers WiFi coverage throughout the entire facility, from the gates at Willie Mays Plaza to the waters of McCovey Cove.



What is the connection speed for wireless devices?


Between the access point and each WiFi-enabled device, most users typically experience speeds between 2 to 5 megabits per second (mbps). From the access point to the Internet, it will be a broadband experience.



Does the WiFi system know what type of device I'm using?


To optimize performance, some websites serve customers different versions of their site depending upon the hardware used (PDA, laptop). Other sites do not have special versions for PDA users but allow scrolling of the screen to view content.



Does the WiFi network capture any of my personal information?


No personal information is collected without the customer's knowledge. Purchase of services over the Internet will require credit card information and address, which is generally processed over standard web interfaces protected by SSL (Secure Socket Layer) and encryption of data to ensure security of data transmission.



Is the Giants WiFi Network protected by a firewall?


The Giants WiFi Network implements a firewall as an integral part of the Giants WiFi Network Welcome Page. Once the connecting process on this page is complete, no information is restricted, monitored, or blocked.



Why might I need to change my SSID for FreedomLink, and how can I do so?


An SSID (Service Set Identifier) is a unique code that tells a computer which wireless network to connect to. The Giants Wifi Network is configured to broadcast an SSID that allows a wireless adapter/card to detect and use the Giants WiFi Network.
If you are having difficulty connecting to the Giants WiFi Network, you may need to specify your SSID as "Freedomlink" (without the quotes, case-sensitive). Depending on the brand of the WiFi card, the SSID may also be known as the Network Name or ESSID.


So come on out to the ballpark! Podcasting, blogging and baseball, Oh My!

Open Invite To SF Giants Home Game Wed April 20th By Jason Dowdell at 09:19 AM
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Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Partly Patchy With A Chance Of Hair

I'm sure most of you have noticed my posting has been a bit light as of late. Well, there's good reason for that. No, I'm not working on a book or putting together another business plan that will rock your socks, I've simply been extremely busy with work. Additionally, I have a presentation that's past due for the CFUnited Conference, I'm speaking in the Valley next week at the Kelsey Group Conference, I have a 2 year old, a 4 month old, a wife that needs to see her husband every once in a while, and I travel 2 days each week. So, needless to say, I've got a full plate at the moment.

I'll try to get a couple quality posts up this week I've been working on but we'll have to play it by ear. Next week I'll be giving a blow by blow of the Kelsey Group's conference so you'll definitely want to tune in then. Hopefully I'll get the podcasting thing worked out as well and be able to get you some interviews with a lot of good folks on the left coast.

Anyway, thanks for your patience. I appreciate the fact that you guys are still visiting my blog even when I don't post something new every day. That means a lot to me.

Oh I almost forgot to mention, Shannon was interviewed by South Florida Parenting magazine on Sunday. She was so nervous. They interviewed her about her blog, more to follow on that later.

Partly Patchy With A Chance Of Hair By Jason Dowdell at 03:46 PM
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« April 2005 Week 1 April 2005 Week 3 »

  • Week 1 (3 entries) April 1-9
  • Week 2 (4 entries) April 10-16
  • Week 3 (9 entries) April 17-23
  • Week 4 (7 entries) April 24-30

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