shanecountrydoneright

Organizer Spotlight: Country Done Right Meetup

Edie Driskill created her Meetup the afternoon before a big dance conference hundreds of miles from her home in Columbus Ohio. The next day, while she was dancing away, her phone wouldn’t stop buzzing. Every few minutes, Meetup sent her an email about another new member of her group, Country Done Right. By the time she got home, there were more than a dozen dancers waiting to dance with her.

The Country Done Right crew loves to dance. Edie likes to say that, “No matter what, they’re always dancing.” Whether she’s teaching a class, leading a field trip to a concert, or even hosting a potluck party, there’s always dancing going on.

Country Done Right is an awesome community, but it’s also a business — Edie makes thousands of dollars a year running her Meetup.

Edie believes that, “Community building is an art form and Meetup has all the basic building blocks to dabble in that art.”  Maintaining the community is her number one priority, so she sweats the small details. For example, when they head out of town, she makes sure to balance each carpool with new members and regulars to help integrate new members into the group.

Whenever they go out in public, the group acts as a walking billboard for Country Done Right by wearing their group T-shirts. They turn heads everywhere they go because the best dancers at the show are all wearing the same shirt.

Her number one tip for success? Get people to come back. She’s found that if someone comes to two events, they’re likely to become a regular. At every event, she hands out coupons to first timers that make their next event free.

A quick word about Heartbleed

As many of you know by now, a major bug, now known as “Heartbleed” was discovered in the popular open source library OpenSSL this week, affecting hundreds of thousands of companies across the internet. We pride ourselves on being open and honest with our community, so we want to make sure to keep you all in the loop about where exactly Meetup stands vs. Heartbleed.

Meetup was probably not impacted, but you should change your password to be safe.

It’s unlikely that any information on Meetup was compromised. That said, add Meetup to your list of passwords to change because it only takes a minute, and unfortunately we can’t say confidently that we’re 10000% in the clear.

If you’re curious to know more:

Meetup runs a version of the OpenSSL software that was not vulnerable to “Heartbleed.” That being said, one of our vendors, Cloudflare, was impacted by the Heartbleed bug, and while it’s unlikely that Meetup was vulnerable as a result, it’s hard to know for sure.

Cloudflare introduced a patch before the bug was common knowledge, so everything is now secure.

Bottom line: it’s a best practice, internet-wide, to change your passwords on a regular basis. Given the excitement of this week, now is a good time to change yours on Meetup. It’ll take you less time than reading this blog post – we promise! Just head to your Account page, and click “edit”.

Hitting Refresh

If you’ve been reading our blog for a while, you’ll notice that we’ve got a new look and a new destination.  Now when you visit blog.meetup.com, you’ll find stories from the Meetup community- the Organizers and Members who have built 150,000 Meetup Groups together, and the team at Meetup HQ that gets to focus on a simple dream everyday.

If you were following our blog on Tumblr, you’ll notice more photos and quick hits in your feed. And if you weren’t following us on Tumblr, or Twitter, or Facebook, what are you waiting for?

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Updated Navigation and Notifications

Wondering why your top navigation bar looks a little different? We consolidated your links into two new drop-down menus, offering you a more centralized navigation experience and a cleaner look.

How We’d RATHER Spend Three Hundred Bucks

Phew, what a week. Meetup is back on our feet, and we feel like celebrating. So we’re doing what we love to do most: diving into the stories of local Meetup Groups.

Hundreds of Meetup Organizers and Members reached out to tell us about the difficulties they encountered during our recent service outage. Meetup’s Community Team is on the case, providing support and coaching. But we also decided to get creative and ask ourselves, what could we do with $300?

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We’re standing up against a DDoS attack

No doubt, this has been a tough weekend for Meetup. Since Thursday, we faced a massive attack on our servers — a DDoS attack, which is a barrage of traffic intended to make service unavailable. We’ve had many hours of downtime over several days, a first for us in 12 years of growing the world’s largest network of local community groups.

While the site was down, the Meetup community was not. There were over 60,000 Meetups during the outage period- people meeting up about what’s important in their lives- and saw an incredible outpouring of support.

 

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A Frenchie Proposal

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On a snowy weekend morning, members of A Frenchie in Brooklyn descended on Fort Greene Park armed with heart-shaped balloons, cardboard signs with letters on them, and 15 french bulldogs. In a few minutes time, they would be helping a man propose to his dog-loving girlfriend.

Rob contacted Tiffany Nakamura, the organizer of the Meetup Group, a few weeks earlier and asked for help popping the question. Always happy to assist, Tiffany organized her fellow frenchie-loving members and gave Rob a helping hand.

People Magazine has the full scoop with photos, but since we loved the story so much, we decided to put together a timeline of our own commemorating the moment.

Huge thanks to Anne Hugus and Juan Cespedes for capturing the moment.