@nhaines @cm-t @tcarrondo (pinged because this is relevant to you)
For some years we’ve been paying for a ‘Meetup Pro’ which could be used by Ubuntu LoCo Teams. The goal was to assist with LoCo teams who wish to create recurring events on the MeetUp platform by taking on the cost of the subscription.
If each team subscribed to Meetup Pro, that would typically be $9.99 -> $39.99 per month (depending on membership) per team. We’re paying >$3000/year for a Pro account.
Currently only Ubuntu California LoCo, Communauté Ubuntu francophone and Comunidade Ubuntu Portugal are using the service. With 5 other LoCo’s having used it at least 18 months ago, or more.
The vision when we set this up back in November 2015 was that numerous LoCo teams would create events all around the world to promote and advocate Ubuntu, meet up with friends, have hack-fests and so on. If that had happened, it would have been a cost-effective, way to provide a platform on which Ubuntu enthusiasts could reach a wider audience nearby.
I suspect some people didn’t know the Ubuntu Meetup Pro existed, or don’t use Meetup, or just don’t need it. Either way, I don’t anticipate the numbers of Ubuntu Meetup Pro users to jump to the point where it’s cost-effective anymore. So I propose Canonical stops paying for this service, as it’s not cost-effective.
I appreciate for those that use it, this is an inconvenience. I would recommend looking for an alternative source of income to fund the individual pro account if needed. Perhaps they could use the Community Donations fund. Although we clearly don’t want to get into a situation where 20 LoCo teams suddenly all need pro accounts and are costing more than the one central account we had up until now :).
Alternatively, maybe it’s worth looking at alternatives such as Get Together by the marvellous Michael Hall. Does anyone have any other suggestions for those migrating from Meetup?
I don’t want to be that guy, but I’m going to be that guy. Great idea suggesting Get Together, but perhaps
htop eventbrite would be suitable?
I’ll throw another option into the mix. Because GetTogether was designed to be federated, and uses a relatively simple REST/JSON API, I could add an export feed to loco.ubuntu.com so that events there would be listed on https://gettogether.community. But this would only sync events, it wouldn’t sync the teams or let you use any of the team & organization management features of GetTogether.
Eventbrite has the similar network effect that meetup has. Tons of people in known locations with specific interests. So if you create an event their built in marketing can cross-promote your event to people who are likely to be interested.
I wondered why this isn’t used by LoCo teams.
So I went looking for my local LoCo team, the answer was clear: The last activity was seven years ago!
Have I looked in the wrong place? Or is this a sign that active LoCo teams are the exception?
You’re right, the Ubuntu UK LoCo is somewhat sleepy.
Some teams didn’t like the idea of using a closed-source service when there was already an open source option (loco.ubuntu.com)
There are already a couple of Ubuntu LoCo Teams using GetTogether, and I’ve created an Ubuntu org (similar to a Meetup “pro” account) so we can evaluate those features: https://gettogether.community/org/ubuntu/
Waves from Ubuntu California
As one of the groups that actively uses the Meetup account, a few things:
We only knew about the global Meetup organization run by Canonical because I worked with the LoCo Council on a trial basis for our team. I searched through the loco-contacts archive real quickly and didn’t notice a big announcement about it, so I’m not sure many teams know about it.
Use of Meetup was VERY controversial for us at first due to the proprietary nature. We capitulated because the network effect of Meetup has been incredibly beneficial and the LTP would often break (SSO issues that prevented people from using it, non-modern UI, random bugs like the landing page that has ancient aggregated blog posts on it and makes our team look inactive). In the end, we mostly use Meetup now because the network effect means we get new people finding us all the time. We’d likely end up having a discussion about finding a way to continue paying for it.
Final point/question is about LTP. What is the status? It’s already confusing, and disruptive, to people that we have both Meetup and LTP. I’m skeptical of moving to GT as yet another thing that will confuse users and will be abandoned in a few years in favor of the latest, greatest new framework project (I love you @mhall119, just jaded and these changes are painful).
I don’t think anybody is working on or maintaining the LTP codebase anymore, it’s pretty much been running on cruise control for at the last few years since Adnane moved on. It looks like it had a few commits from Walter and Pablo in 2016, but that’s the last time it was touched.
GetTogether is at least open source and you can run instances of it independent of my instance on, if that helps alleviate concerns about it being abandoned. You could potentially replace the LTP code with GT code on loco.ubuntu.com, it would give some additional features but you’d lose the Launchpad integration (Ubuntu SSO should be easy enough to add though).
While I love, use, and promote Get Together, and I wouldn’t cry for dropping the meetup subscription, but maybe the LoCo’s aren’t aware of the meetup offering.
As Popey said we in Portugal are using it, but we haven’t yet assessed the value it’s bringing, or at least I’m personally not aware of it.
It would be very cool to see integrations between Get Together.community and the LoCo Directory.
Can we just change the pro subscription for 3 basic accounts?
We are using meetup for less than a year and we have new faces on meetings almost every month…
GetTogether + LoCo?
I think it’s a perfect ideia!
@mhall119 The LTP is open source too. The long term consideration is that “it’s pretty much been running on cruise control for at the last few years since Adnane moved on” turns into the same statement with “…since Michael moved on.” Not saying you will but I’m certain it’s something that will come up when we discuss this with the team.
That said, I think retiring LTP in favor of GT should be seriously considered to avoid confusion. Unfortunately I can’t be the one to lead evaluation efforts here, as there likely are features in LTP that teams would miss, and content that we may wish to preserve.
Another completely valid point But it also proves that there is some safety net in using an open source solution over a closed one (if LTP was closed, it would have gone away years ago). There isn’t really a good solution to this problem, either Ubuntu pays for something (Meetup), uses a 3rd party open source project (GetTogether) or builds and maintains their own (LTP), none of which can be guaranteed to still be around long-term.
At this point upgrading LTP to use a recent version of Python and Django will be a major task, so absent an active and motivated maintainer it will either stay how it is (cruise control), or need to be replaced. In my (admittedly quite biased) opinion, there would be less work in making GT work for the needs of Ubuntu LoCo Teams than in upgrading LTP’s codebase.
Meetings are the biggest LTP feature that isn’t in GT. I don’t know how much that was ever used, and it looks like only the Arizona team has been using it recently.
In fact, it doesn’t seem many teams have been using LTP at all recently, and I don’t know if this is because of a general lack of LoCo team activity, or if they’ve just moved away from using LTP to track it.
While this isn’t something that would get built into GT as a feature, I could do a one-off import of historic event data from LTP into GT (or help Canonical sysadmins do it if Ubuntu chooses to self-host an instance).
I will add one thing, LTP was strictly made for the Ubuntu community, while GetTogether can be used by other open source projects as well. I’m promoting it to others, such as GNOME, and hopefully that will result in a broader community of developers and maintainers, which would make “Michael moved on” a less concerning event.