Please reconsider the new "find" feature
The new "find" feature substitutes Meetup methodology for organizer judgement. As repeatedly noted on the forums, Meetup would not want to substitute their logo with a random, member generated photo - please don't force this onto organizers, either.
We don't want to have to make our groups private, but many of us have been forced to take this route. Your method allows inappropriate photos which do not represent our groups to be the main ad.
A high number of group joins isn't the focus of a responsible organizer. ACTIVE members is the focus. If a member can't be bothered to read about the group, but joins based solely on "recent, dynamic content" which may or may not be an accurate reflection of the group, that member is unlikely to be active.
Finally, as I've pointed out before, your method allows for creepy group representations - I had to point out to you that one group had a cemetery as its "logo," (thanks to you - the org designated photo was a beautiful garden), and another group had a nude infant. Not cool.
Organizers pay for their site. I do understand that we sometimes complain about things that we shouldn't. However, having control over our "brand" should be a no-brainer.
Organizers should have the right to decide which pics represent their groups when people are searching. Give us choice!
Invasion of privacy and taking liberties about what we want our meetup to represent. PLEASE change this, I want to show the picture that represents my group, not random photos that are posted onsite ...RIDICULOUS.
I hate the new categories with the verbs. Verbs do NOT make sense in this split test.
Please make them logical and intuitive. Meaning, make the categories by SUBJECT, not some weird verb that doesn't make sense. Examples:
Speak: Is this about giving speeches? no, it's about foreign languages.
Be Yourself: Is this about wearing your pajamas on the couch and drinking milk out of the carton? No, it's LGBT and women.
Mingle: Is this about single groups and large mixer events? No, it's about social groups, even small groups where you can't mingle because there aren't a lot of people.
Play: Is this about sports and games like golf, bowling, soccer? Is this playgroups? Is this going to plays at a theatre? No it's fantasy role playing games.
Parent: Is this about yelling at your kids to stop pulling the dog's tail? No it's mommy and parent and playgroups.
The verbs are so awful I can't event tell you how inappropriate they are. keep it the original way. Thank you.
This honestly is the WORST idea Meetup has come up with so far. Organizers pay good money to host these groups and without our control or approval, they implement something that more likely will deter people from joining our meetup group than actually encouraging new members! For example, the photo for my young adults arts & crafts group in the "Find a Meetup" section was one of our girls holding a bottle of Vodka. This was from a scavenger hunt we did at a local arts event. Taken out of context, people who would be interested in joining an arts & crafts group will probably think we're a bunch of alcoholics and we're not spending too much time doing what the group was created to do.
Also, as others have stated, some members don't want their faces plastered over the internet, let alone to be the posterchild for a meetup group! This is an invasion of privacy! And it's not fair to burden organizers with having to come up with ways to combat this poor decision made by MHQ. It's not fair that organizers now have to delete photos that otherwise wouldn't have been a problem until they were used as the main group's photo. Or we shouldn't have to make the entire group private.
This could easily be fixed. Why can't you give the power rightfully back to the Organizers and let them decide on what photo(s) should be used to represent their group that they've paid good money for and poured so much time and energy into to build them up into the group that they are today.
It's a complete insult to Organizers to be forcing this upon them without giving them an option to change it.
Vikki at Happy Positive People commented
Okay now I am really annoyed about this random photo album raiding Find Feature .
A friend of mine, who is a very private person but is not in my Meetup group because it isn't private, asked me to take down some photos of him which turned up in my photo gallery put up by one of my members. I did as he requested.
Several hours later, I tested the Find Feature and guess whose face popped up representing my group - yes - his did. I refreshed the browser and yet another photo of same friend appeared. These were DELETED PHOTOS. Why are they still appearing? This just proves to me that Meetup caches and keeps these private photos which is not on. The second they are deleted, they should NOT be allowed to be used in any way. Grrrr!
For a happy, positive person I am feeling very unhappy and negative about this stupid Find Feature. I have instructed this friend to write a letter of complaint about this as he will no doubt be extremely annoyed and so he should be. He didn't give permission to have his face publicly displayed in this manner. It's one thing to be hidden away in an album but this is not on.
As for me being the group organiser, I shouldn't have to check every single photo my members post for fear of someone becoming a brand for my group when they don't want to be or haven't even given their permission.
Meetup is forcing our groups to become private with this stupid feature.
Agree completely, surely Meetup are legally obliged to get peoples permission to use their photos in any sense before they are put online at all. Funny, mine is up there, and no-one has aked my permission.
Jim V in Tampa commented
Agree! PLEASE change this immediately!
Vikki at Happy Positive People commented
Totally agree with all comments here. In Melbourne Women's Personal Development Group an exercise we decided to do was to photograph a committed goal and share the progress by putting up progress photos on the event. Mine was a messy desk I wanted to tidy. Imagine my shock when I saw my messy desk in my office (now not messy by the way) as a representation for a PD group. The random option would be fine if organisers could CHOOSE the photos or images they wanted to represent their group. There could then be a random or fixed option. The random option could randomly choose from organiser ticked photos to display. A fixed option would be just one image - obviously the logo image or another from the gallery if preferred just to mix things up. If we had this as an option it would be great. As it stands it seems as soon as my group starts posting event photos, it's private we have to go. Not fair that Meetup is forcing us into this.
What this tells me, as a new organizer, is not to post any pictures.
Nic Myers commented
I truly do no understand the creative decisions made by Meetup staff, from the lack of a 'maybe RSVP' function (and the cold response from their staff when questioned about it) to pulling random photos from our collections (because yes, I wanted that one blurry picture of the chair to represent my group about gaming)...
Steven Christenson commented
And it also appears that the Meetup "blog" is being written by a member of meetup staff who "randomly" pulls photos she/he likes to put on the blog. Without contacting the member who created the photo and asking permission. Meetup's excuse for this is that meetup has the right and this is a quote: from http://www.meetup.com/terms 4.3:
"you grant Meetup a non-exclusive, worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable, royalty-free, sublicensable (through multiple tiers) right to exercise, commercialize and exploit the copyright, publicity, and database rights (but no other rights) you have in your Public Information, in any media now known or not currently known, with respect to your Public Information."
I'll bet not many people have realized that meet up reserves the right to EXPLOIT the copyrighted material that is placed on meetup!
It's disappointing to see they haven't thought about how important the image that group presents can be.
The photos are now being used on the meetup app as a "banner" for our group, whether public or private. PLEASE stop pulling images from my Meetup Group Album.
As I have said before I keep my buttons there for my front page, because that is just how it is programmed. And I don't really need my "About this Group" "Join this Group" buttons as a banner for my group on the app. You should really use my Actual Banner that I designed as my app banner. Or my logo. Or let me designate one.
I sincerely hope MUHQ will address this. Thanks.
The new system is poorly thought out and tramples on Organizers power over how their group looks, and how it is represented.
It is the Paying Organizer's right to use a photo to advertise/represent their group.
I have a brand new group. I was willing to make it public, whereas in the past I have only had a private group. However, when I noticed my group was being represented in the "Find a meetup group" page by a Movie Image of a movie we recently saw, I decided that this was NOT the optimal way to encourage people to visit my group.
The meetup master site is pulling images/photos from the Group Album. This is also where we have to store buttons used for our front page. That is what the setting is. So why would it make sense to use a button describing ONE page of my site, to advertise my entire group?
One of my buttons says "Book Club." My group is not a book club, but we have a book club as a sub group. The event description images also show things that are just ONE SMALL PART of what my group does. A movie poster, a cup of coffee, a book cover.
However I run a women's social group and I REQUIRE my group to be represented by the image I have chosen that represents women being social. Not a book. Not a movie. Not a coffee cup. Not a button. Guess what, I made my group private so the Find page will pull my group photo, not a random, inappropriate, mis-representative image.
You need to fix this and give Organizers the ability to select the photo that best represents their group for publicity.
I hope you will realize, that, even if you thought that it was a good idea initially, after field testing by Organizers, it is not working.
Well said and I couldn't agree more. This bugs the heck out of me that they randomly pick photos from my gallery when I want ONLY MY GROUP LOGO to show.
SPEAKING OF BRANDS, the new "Explore" is now automatically truncating/shortening longer group names:
2/3 of the group name(1/3 missing), no group description, wrong picture,..... What's up with that?
My motorcycle riding group is represented by a dinner casserole!!! Do you know what Meetup's response was...???
"Don't worry that your motorcycle riding group is being represented by a photo of a casserole because that would prove that your group is a genuine social group where riding is the added bonus."
I have a grouip for Baby Boomer Singles....we had ONE outdoor event where ONE member brought her cute little dog...it's face shows up regularly tho I almost never do dog events, can't even have a dog where I live.
We did a trip to Flamingo Gardens and some days we see those pictures of peacocks and sea birds and flamingos. All my many many many group pictures...with over 5 years and 500 events come down to a dog and a bird and sometimes a blurred table in a restaurant.
There's a mountain biking group here that is now represented by a photo of a member's bloody leg.
I saw an animal torture slaughterhouse picture respresenting a vegetarian/animal rights groups, people sitting around representing a hiking-walking group.... ;-)
Meetup "Explore" is now changing and trucating Meetup group names as well: http://www.meetup.com/boards/thread/26417822/10#81938032