We’re declaring it: 2015 is the year of design at Meetup. This year, we’re rearchitecting Meetup for a lightweight, personal, mobile experience, and design is at the heart of that effort. It’s an exciting time to be a designer at Meetup HQ.
Yesterday marked a big win in the battle for the internet—President Obama issued a statement publicly supporting net neutrality. Not only did the President come out in support of net neutrality, he came out in support of the strongest possible version, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. The President urged the FCC to reclassify consumer broadband services as telecommunications services under Title II of the Communications Act. This reclassification would arm the FCC with the strongest possible tools to protect an open and free internet, allowing them to prevent the blocking and throttling of internet traffic, as well as fast lanes and paid prioritization.
Over the past several months hundreds of technology companies and investors have been advocating for strong protections for a open and free internet, and we’ve been proud to count ourselves among them. We met with the FCC, submitted comments in support of net neutrality, and participated in the Internet Slowdown to make our voices heard. The Meetup community rallied with us, contacting their lawmakers and submitting comments of their own. Now the White House has joined our ranks.
This is a big step towards defending net neutrality, and we’re grateful for the President’s leadership on this critical issue. But the fight’s not over yet. As an independent agency, the FCC will ultimately have the final word, issuing a ruling of their own. Having the President’s support is huge, but we need the FCC to listen. Now more than ever it’s important to take a stand, and speak out for what we believe. Share and celebrate the President’s statement, join the conversation on social media, and stand up for what we know is right. Help us keep the internet open and free—we’re getting close.
There are over 19 million Meetup members worldwide, and as of today, New York City is home to a million of them. New York is the first city to cross the million member threshold, and we couldn’t be more excited about it.
Meetup was born in NYC, and New York is our home. Over the past twelve years, we’ve watched New Yorkers come together to build a stronger, smarter, healthier city. Today we’re more connected than ever, and now we can’t imagine it any other way.
To honor the occasion, we asked NYC Organizers what inspired them to find the others. Check out the video above to hear what they had to say.
Cheers to you, New York.
Join the conversation on Twitter using #MeetupNYC1M.
Meetup is pursuing a big goal: a Meetup Everywhere, about Most Everything. “Everything” is, admittedly, a broad pursuit, so we’d like to take a moment to share what exactly “Most Everything” means to our Meetup community.
The variety of Meetups on the platform surprises and delights us day in and day out. Meetup members, it seems, are passionate about everything under the sun. At Meetup HQ, we approach those passions agnostically. Whatever you’re into socially, politically, religiously, whatever you want to Meetup about—chances are we’re cool with it. The few exceptions to the rule, and the precedents we expect all Meetups to adhere to, are outlined in our Community Guidelines. Our Community Guidelines are a set of principles that outline the kind of Meetups allowed on the platform. They help us make sure that every group is aligned with Meetup’s mission to build local community, and ensure that the Meetup community stays as friendly, welcoming, and respectful as we want it to be. The guidelines are pretty straightforward, but here are the headlines below.
Two weeks ago our General Counsel, David Pashman, headed down to Washington, DC to meet with members of the Federal Communications Commissions and weigh in on the current debate around the issue of net neutrality – the idea that all traffic on the internet should be treated equally. Pashman was accompanied by representatives from other NYC-based tech companies, Kickstarter and Tumblr, as well as the Executive Director of the NY Tech Meetup. Once he returned to Meetup HQ, Pashman sat down with this blog-happy-policy-novice to bring me up to speed. Here’s what I learned:
The present net neutrality debate stems from the FCC’s anticipated May 15th release of a new policy around the issue. Although the rules have yet to be officially released, the leaked proposal has piqued widespread concern in the tech community. The proposed rules would allow larger companies to pay a premium for faster internet service, leaving companies who can’t afford to pay in the “slow lane,” crippling their page-load times, and leaving frustrated consumers clicking ‘refresh.’
This policy puts startups at a decided disadvantage. Unable to pony up, startups will be impeded by slower internet speeds than their more established competitors. “We believe a free and open internet is imperative to foster tech entrepreneurship here in NY and in cities across the country,” Pashman said. “Net neutrality levels the playing field. In practice, the current proposal would stifle the development of exciting new technology.”
Meetup started as a startup. If rules like these had stood in our way in our early days, we may never have grown to be 15 million members strong. We believe that a company’s size, age, and financial clout should be irrelevant when it comes to the distribution of information. That’s why Meetup, alongside 150 other companies, stands for net neutrality.
If you’re passionate about this issue and want to make your voice heard, tell the FCC to stop the slow lane.
Pictured in photo left to right: Ali Kazemi (Associate General Counsel, Tumblr), Liba Rubenstein (Director of Outreach, Tumblr), Jessica Lawrence (Executive Director at NY Tech Meetup), Michal Rosenn (Deputy General Counsel at Kickstarter), David Pashman (General Counsel, Meetup), Julie Wood (Communications, Kickstarter).
We’re thrilled to welcome Di-Ann Eisnor to Meetup’s Board of Directors. Di-Ann is currently VP Platform & Partnerships for crowd-sourced navigation and real-time traffic start-up, Waze. Di-Ann has a longstanding history with Meetup. She was friends with Meetup CEO Scott Heiferman in 2001, when the idea for Meetup was born. Di-Ann has been attending and organizing Meetups herself since 2004, and thinks Meetup is more important now than ever. “Meetup touches a very basic human need and desire, that’s global, that’s human. People are busier, more distant from one another now, even in the quietest corners of the world. The bringing together of humans around interests is important,” she tells us. “It’s never been a more important time for people to get together with people of like minds.”
Di-Ann believes in the mission of Meetup, and shares our excitement about Meetup’s future. “I think Meetup is poised to have the fastest growth it’s ever had,” she says. “Meetup has not even scratched the surface in terms of it’s potential growth, particularly in a mobile world, in a world where community is standard and expected and people are open to it.”
Prior to Waze, Di-Ann was Co-Founder and CEO of Platial, a widely adopted mobile and online social mapping service funded by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Ram Shriram and others. Di-Ann holds a BS in Studio Art and Business Administration from New York University.
Erin Dertouzos, Meetup’s head of talent and culture, talked with Fast Company Labs about how important meeting up and having fun within the company is for us.
Our CFO, Brendan McGovern wrote about our do it ourselves culture over on Medium.
January is always a big month for Meetup, and 2014 was no exception.
People started 13,060 new Meetup Groups, and Meetup Groups saw 50,000 new members joinevery day, on average! This is fantastic growth that hopefully benefits everyone in the Meetup ecosystem.
After 11 years of building Meetup, I saw a quote that embodies my passion for what we’re doing. It also happens to be the title of MLK’s final book, so on this day, I want to share it.
“Where do we go from here: chaos or community?”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.
The words are meaningful because they represent a stark choice, one as relevant today as it was in 1967. It’s a provocative question with (I hope) an obvious answer. Let’s choose community, and let’s go build it together.
Co-founder, CEO of Meetup