In what I believe to be an excellent use of the WordPress Foundation, Jane Wells has shared news that the foundation plans on footing the bill for Meetup.com Organizer dues that need to be paid by the founder of the meetup group. Considering the amount of these dues range from $12-19/month it’s not exactly cheap.
We’re setting up an official WordPress account on Meetup.com right now, and over the next couple of weeks will be working with existing meetup group organizers, people who want to start a new meetup group, and the helpful folks at Meetup.com to put this program in place. WordPress meetup groups that choose to have their group become part of the WordPress account will no longer pay organizer dues for that group, as the WordPress Foundation will be footing the bill.
This is exciting for several reasons. First, it means local organizers who are giving something back to the project by way of their time won’t also have shell out $12-19/month for the privilege. That alone is a big step. Second, it will open the door to more events and leaders within a community, since leadership and event planning won’t need to be tied to “owning” the meetup group. Third, more active meetup groups means more WordCamps, yay!
This is great news considering how many people use Meetup.com to control all aspects of their local WordPress meetups. Reading through the post, it looks like there are no strings attached but I wonder if by joining the official WordPress Meetup Group if at some point in the future, there will be some sort of Meetup guidelines published that those users will need to follow. If there are any guidelines that will need to be followed, I would hope that they are no where near as stringent as the WordCamp guidelines.
If you’re already a Meetup.com WordPress group organizer or looking to get started, be sure to take the survey so it gives the foundation a good starting point.