Meetup just announced they'll start charging group members $2 per RSVP. Lol yeah that's not going to fly. Organizations who host free events for their communities, which includes a huge number of developer meetups, are not just going to start charging members money out of nowhere.
If you want the full story, Quincy Larson from FreeCodeCamp does a great job of telling it here: WeWork is Desperately Squeezing Cash Out of Meetup.com by Taxing 225,000 Communities.
But there is more to gain than lose here. Meetup organizers represent an awesome community in their own right. Organizers have been stepping up in a big way, announcing plans to build replacements or shedding light on viable alternatives. Here's a few I've come across so far.
FreeCodeCamp is going to build Chapter, which is a way to "let every organization host their own Meetup.com in a box." Chapter is open source and already has over 600 stars on GitHub despite being a day old. ⭐📈
Welcome to Chapter
After several years of being dissatisfied with existing group event tools (Meetup, Facebook events) we decided to build our own.
This will be a self-hosted Docker container that you can one-click deploy to the cloud, then configure through an admin panel. No coding required.
Your nonprofit can sub-domain it to your website like
You can use your own authentication tools. And all your user data will stay on your own server.
We use Open API 3.0 to define the API structure of the application. You can see the full documentation with:
npm run speccy
Navigate to http://localhost:8001 to see API docs
To better communicate and more easily build an API and UI, we've decided on a collection of terminology to discuss about the Chapter project in a clear way:
organizationis a singular instance/deployment of Chapter. Example: Women Who Code…
Chapter even has a data model already! 🤓
Chris AchardMeetup wants to charge people $2 to RSVP to free events - and that's not cool
So: I'm building a replacement
I'm going to build it in public to make sure it has everything the community needs
Here are the details 👇14:53 PM - 15 Oct 2019
Chris seems very open to input about how this should look, so if you've spent sleepless nights dreaming of what a great event-hosting experience should look like (I know I have!) then this is your chance to make those dreams a reality.
This GitHub repo by coderbyheart contains a solid table of open source meetup alternatives, including a field for maturity.
Open-Source Alternatives to Meetup
ℹ️Pull-requests are welcome!
|attendize||GitHub||mature||PHP||Attribution Assurance License|
|Open Event||GitHub: Frontend, Backend||mature||Python||Apache 2.0 & GPLv3|
|Open Tech Calendar||GitLab||mature||PHP||BSD 3-Clause|
¹: mature = the project is actively used by groups, new = this is a new project with no usable software, in development = usable software exists, but is not ready for general use
Some notables on the list:
- Mobilizon crowdfunded €58k and has released a beta written in Elixir
- on_ruby is fairly mature and powers usergroups like the Ruby User Group Berlin
- Agorakit is written in PHP and supports multiple groups, calendars, notifications, and shared files
For more options, including some that are SaaS, check out this great article by Nicolas Goutay.
You could always use Eventbrite. Their share priced dropped 39% yesterday but it could easily recover if they would just replace this impossible-to-use 90's-era rich text editor with something better 😛
Here on dev and on twitter I got some additional suggestions of alternatives to include. Here they are:
Don't make unpredictable and unreasonable pricing changes if a non-trivial portion of your users are developers, designers, and product builders. They might just get motivated enough to build you out of their stack. 😘
Andy Bellthat sound you hear is a thousand meetup alternatives being built08:12 AM - 15 Oct 2019