One site redesign and a few thousands angry comments later, Meetup CEO Scott Heiferman has finally issued a public response.
The big news for angry organizers who wanted their old site back is that Meetup is listening to users and will be making changes to the redesign.
“Over the weekend, our team has been assessing the feedback and stats and will soon start rolling out improvements based on the feedback,” wrote Heiferman.
He also took time to reply to a few specific rumors about the redesign, although he stopped short of issuing a full apology.
We are not getting paid by Google for use of their maps.
We are listening. The fact that less than 2% of Organizers have posted here, does not make us value the feedback any less.
The new functionality gives Organizers the option to allow people to contribute more actively. There are legitimate concerns about of spam and other risks of openness, and they will continually be addressed, but we started Meetup with a belief that “people are generally good”, and it has served us well so far. Organizers can turn off the ability for members to schedule Meetups.
Facebook, with its 600 million users, can afford to piss people off. Meetup, on the other hand, lives and dies by the folks who are engaged enough to put together a group, curate a page and arrange outside events.
As co-founder Matt Meeker told The Observer this morning, the company found that increasing the dues organizers had to pay actually improved engagement. “It meant that the people running the Meetups has some real skin in the game, and we found they were more active and committed,” said Meeker.
But a lot of Meetup organizers felt the redesign undermined their hard work. An organizer wrote The Observer to say that he was never warned a change was coming to the site. He had already planned out a year of meetings for his group and the redesign stripped out photos and text he spent hours building into his page’s schedule.
“They’ve been defensive, arrogant and not very helpful in a practical sense,” this organizer wrote. “An apology would have gone a long way to ease tensions.”
bpopper [at] observer.com | @benpopper
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