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Best platform to run a social group?
Old 06-28-2021, 10:52 PM   #1
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Best platform to run a social group?

Last week I decided to create a social group for 50+ women in my area. Apparently there is high pent-up demand for opportunities to socialize because the group has gone from zero to 179 members in one week! I started it on Nextdoor, but I donít think that is the right platform longer term.

Iím looking for a platform where members have to apply to join, an event calendar can be populated by a few administrators and viewed by all, event capacity can be limited to a certain number, and people can post pictures and videos from events. I think MeetUp probably does all of this, but Iíve never used it to set up a group.

Has anyone had experience running a MeetUp group? Do you like it as a platform? Any words of advice or recommendations other than MeetUp? Facebook is another option, but not everyone has a Facebook account and I imagine it shares some of the same limitations as Nextdoor.
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Old 06-29-2021, 05:52 AM   #2
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Has anyone had experience running a MeetUp group? Do you like it as a platform? Any words of advice or recommendations other than MeetUp? Facebook is another option, but not everyone has a Facebook account and I imagine it shares some of the same limitations as Nextdoor.

I think Facebook is your best option for the requirements you outline.

I don't believe folks not having a Facebook account is a valid point - I'd bet that more (potential) folks in your group don't have an account on MeetUp, Nextdoor, or others being considered.
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Old 06-29-2021, 05:57 AM   #3
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I haven't done a meetup, but pre-covid I did browse them from time to time. If I were looking for a group today, that's where I'd start.

I never go on Facebook anymore and would only begrudgingly join something there if I already had interest and knowledge of it. My only interest in FB is as a stock ticker. Insta is probably a bit too young for your target group, and I don't think has those capabilities. Nextdoor would be an endorsement to avoid the group.

Damn now I wish I lived near you! Groups here in 50+ seem rare and only for much older...
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Old 06-29-2021, 06:19 AM   #4
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I started a FB community group and it meets all of your management criteria. I have had some recruiting issues with a person I want to recruit having not joined FB. Many of those people access FB on their significant other computer. But that is a minority.

I like FB for my purpose. I never led a Meetup group and haven’t used it in years, so I can’t provide an experienced comparison.
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Old 06-29-2021, 06:44 AM   #5
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Last year I moved to a small city where I did not know one person. Through meetup.com I have met many people with similar interests. I have never used FB and have no desire to start.
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Old 06-29-2021, 06:56 AM   #6
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Iím looking for a platform where members have to apply to join, an event calendar can be populated by a few administrators and viewed by all, event capacity can be limited to a certain number, and people can post pictures and videos from events. I think MeetUp probably does all of this, but Iíve never used it to set up a group.

Has anyone had experience running a MeetUp group? Do you like it as a platform? Any words of advice or recommendations other than MeetUp? Facebook is another option, but not everyone has a Facebook account and I imagine it shares some of the same limitations as Nextdoor.
I belong to many MeetUp groups. It's the perfect platform for what you are trying to do. It has a calendar, messaging, can restrict attendance, can post photos, has an app version, can message others, etc. It comes with a minimal cost. I'd rate it a 10 out of 10.

I also belong to one facebook group that tries to arrange get-togethers now and then. It doesn't work nearly as well as MeetUp's software but is free. I'd rate it a 4 out of 10.

omni
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Old 06-29-2021, 11:28 AM   #7
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I'm interested in a group for people of any gender who just like to gab. Women-only groups are not for me, unless focused on a particular hobby, such as needlework. But all-gender groups don't seem to exist and would probably be perceived as mate-hunting.

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Damn now I wish I lived near you! Groups here in 50+ seem rare and only for much older...
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Old 06-29-2021, 11:38 AM   #8
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Speaking of needlework, I belong to two FB groups for my particular niche. One is extremely active, and some meetups have occurred (though not near me, alas).

As I'm sure you are aware, an online group doesn't run itself. The group owner/moderator works hard, keeping off-topic posts and spammers at bay, ensuring nobody insults anybody else (her ground rules are strict), and coming up with things to celebrate and keep members interested. Every now and then, she announces the latest statistics.

Although it's a fairly narrow interest niche, the worldwide membership has grown from a few hundred to nearly 10,000 today.
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Old 06-29-2021, 11:43 AM   #9
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Last but not least - I've had a lot of problems using Nextdoor. The user interface just isn't very friendly, IMHO.
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Old 06-29-2021, 12:10 PM   #10
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I'm interested in a group for people of any gender who just like to gab. Women-only groups are not for me, unless focused on a particular hobby, such as needlework. But all-gender groups don't seem to exist and would probably be perceived as mate-hunting.

All of the MeetUp groups to which I belong are open to anyone...male or female. And, depending on the group, sometimes it's more guys that show up for the hikes and sometimes it's all women. Hard to predict.

There's Boomers meetup group that is super active, and mixed gender...everything from a weekly Wed morning breakfast meetup, to attending local concerts and events, to traveling abroad, to going to the movies, to dining out, to having a July 4th cookout at a local park, to visiting museums, to hikes, etc. Some people attend many events, and some only attend a few.

A lot depends on the 'organizers/leaders' as they set the tone for the activities and the welcoming-ness.

omni
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Old 06-29-2021, 12:21 PM   #11
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Another vote for Meetup
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Old 06-29-2021, 12:38 PM   #12
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I haven't done a meetup, but pre-covid I did browse them from time to time. If I were looking for a group today, that's where I'd start.

I never go on Facebook anymore and would only begrudgingly join something there if I already had interest and knowledge of it. My only interest in FB is as a stock ticker. Insta is probably a bit too young for your target group, and I don't think has those capabilities. Nextdoor would be an endorsement to avoid the group.

Damn now I wish I lived near you! Groups here in 50+ seem rare and only for much older...


Iím blown away by how quickly itís growing. Weíve had several 40-somethings join, the majority seem to be 50ís and 60ís. Iím really surprised, particularly because the area I live is a retirement mecca.
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Old 06-29-2021, 12:39 PM   #13
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I belong to many MeetUp groups. It's the perfect platform for what you are trying to do. It has a calendar, messaging, can restrict attendance, can post photos, has an app version, can message others, etc. It comes with a minimal cost. I'd rate it a 10 out of 10.

I also belong to one facebook group that tries to arrange get-togethers now and then. It doesn't work nearly as well as MeetUp's software but is free. I'd rate it a 4 out of 10.

omni


Thanks. Helpful to have input from people using both.
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Old 06-29-2021, 12:40 PM   #14
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I'm interested in a group for people of any gender who just like to gab. Women-only groups are not for me, unless focused on a particular hobby, such as needlework. But all-gender groups don't seem to exist and would probably be perceived as mate-hunting.


Exactly. Thatís why I made it all women, single or married, straight or gay. Iíve made it clear that the purpose is friendship, not mate hunting.
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Old 06-29-2021, 12:40 PM   #15
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Speaking of needlework, I belong to two FB groups for my particular niche. One is extremely active, and some meetups have occurred (though not near me, alas).

As I'm sure you are aware, an online group doesn't run itself. The group owner/moderator works hard, keeping off-topic posts and spammers at bay, ensuring nobody insults anybody else (her ground rules are strict), and coming up with things to celebrate and keep members interested. Every now and then, she announces the latest statistics.

Although it's a fairly narrow interest niche, the worldwide membership has grown from a few hundred to nearly 10,000 today.


Wow!
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Old 06-29-2021, 12:42 PM   #16
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All of the MeetUp groups to which I belong are open to anyone...male or female. And, depending on the group, sometimes it's more guys that show up for the hikes and sometimes it's all women. Hard to predict.

There's Boomers meetup group that is super active, and mixed gender...everything from a weekly Wed morning breakfast meetup, to attending local concerts and events, to traveling abroad, to going to the movies, to dining out, to having a July 4th cookout at a local park, to visiting museums, to hikes, etc. Some people attend many events, and some only attend a few.

A lot depends on the 'organizers/leaders' as they set the tone for the activities and the welcoming-ness.

omni


The Boomers meetup sounds like a fun group. I wanted to keep this one focused on women desiring more female friends, but may have some events where people can bring their partners too.
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Old 06-29-2021, 03:53 PM   #17
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True of the groups I belong to, as well. Common sense I guess.

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A lot depends on the 'organizers/leaders' as they set the tone for the activities and the welcoming-ness.

omni
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Old 06-29-2021, 05:59 PM   #18
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The Boomers meetup sounds like a fun group. I wanted to keep this one focused on women desiring more female friends, but may have some events where people can bring their partners too.

Simply due to "advancing" age , the overall Boomer group skews more female in general....and most are also divorced or widowed.

We don't have married couples attending (though I don't think they're prohibited).

We've had a few people in the group start dating one another, but that's not been very common.

And I've made several female friends there. We'll get-together and do something on our own: dinner, movie, weekend trip, hike, attend a lecture or concert, etc.


omni
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Old 06-30-2021, 12:07 AM   #19
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Simply due to "advancing" age , the overall Boomer group skews more female in general....and most are also divorced or widowed.

We don't have married couples attending (though I don't think they're prohibited).

We've had a few people in the group start dating one another, but that's not been very common.

And I've made several female friends there. We'll get-together and do something on our own: dinner, movie, weekend trip, hike, attend a lecture or concert, etc.


omni


Cool. That is exactly what I hope will come out of my new group. New female friendships for everyone who joined.
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