Integrating with Meetup



  • Hoi,

    I’m one of the two main organizers of the CoderDojo in Zurich and this week I (re)discovered the Zen platform.

    Currently, we are using Meetup for attracting new Ninjas and we’re rather happy with it.
    But: our page here in the Zen says that we have no upcoming events.

    Which is not true: we have been running weekly events for the last couple of years!

    Meetup is not perfect for us, and last week I created a tool to help us better manage the inscriptions that come in through Meetup.
    I wondered if the Zen event manager would better fit, but from the discussions in here, I see that it’s not that mature yet.

    Now, my question:

    Would it be possible to add a tool that lists the Meetup events for our group in https://zen.coderdojo.com/dojos/ch/zuerich/liip-limmatstrasse-1-8-3-zuerich/zurich ?

    I’ve played a bit with the Meetup API last week and I think I could help implementing the feature…


  • CoderDojo Foundation

    That’s interesting.

    • we’re interested on what you need to make it “mature” ! It’s definitely not a “full fleshed ticketing system” because ticketing is only a part of a dojo life, but any information on the gaps to fill is valuable to us.
    • we’re a bit cautious when it comes to integrations : time spent is not necessarly valuable for us because we have very few way to measure the impact (pre-development) of an integration. If it’s taking us 1 week (in communication, if you’re developing it ;)) and impact 2 dojos… that’s costly. We’d prefer to fill the gaps (considering you’re already non-satisfied with Meetup) instead :)
    • your integration with meetup would very likely be like our integration with Eventbrite. It is back-end based, and the reason for it is to keep an universal discovery experience for the user. I believe we’d be happy to integrate it, but considering it’ll be, ultimately, maintained by us, i’d recommend following a similar microservice to the eventbrite integration : https://github.com/CoderDojo/cp-eventbrite-service
      We’ve made some mistakes (technical ones ;) ) in the design (database-wise) so keep in touch with us if you want to go further !


  • hi

    thanks for your reply!

    if you have a look at the posts in this forums you see that mentors have a hard time registering, people cannot cancel their booking and the waiting list is not really one.

    at least this is what i understood.

    all those features do work with meetup.
    the main advantage of meetup being that it attracts many new people to our dojo.
    i fear that being only on zen will not help us as much promoting our dojo.

    the main problem we have with meetup, is that we cannot keep ninja and mentor apart (and correctly count them; well we could…). but this is only an issue when the dojos are very busy (like right now). that’s why i’ve programmed a small javascript application that uses the meetup API (through a “bridge”). so, right now we’re fine.

    this having being said, the integration i’m thinking of is pretty simple:

    simply allowing a link to any platform would also do (“For events, have a look at https://www.meetup.com/Coder-Dojo-Zurich/”)

    the current state where a “no events” and an email address are shown, is not really helpful for us.

    voilà, if you can improve the way our events are shown in zen, it would be wonderful! and i can help a bit doing it (by providing a prototype and / or the API calls you will be needing).
    and i will look again at the zen in the future and check if it can replace meetup for us!

    ciao
    a.l.e

    p.s.: i still cannot test how the platform works, since i’ve not been promoted to “manager” of our dojo (i think i’ve asked for it in the past… but did not get any reply).

    p.p.s.: please consider that we are a very small dojo, only few volunteers that are already busy in their life… but we have weekly dojos with a dozen of ninjas in avarage (currently 20+ kids).


  • CoderDojo Foundation

    @ale-rimoldi said in Integrating with Meetup:

    hi
    if you have a look at the posts in this forums you see that mentors have a hard time registering,

    Could you elaborate? We’ve tried to make the dojo page clearer when it comes to volunteering

    people cannot cancel their booking

    We’re working on it. The pull requests are opened but still requires some work, probably this WE.
    (ref for the curious out there : https://github.com/CoderDojo/cp-events-service/pull/161, https://github.com/CoderDojo/cp-zen-platform/pull/1185, https://github.com/CoderDojo/cp-zen-frontend/pull/63 )

    and the waiting list is not really one.

    Fair.

    the main advantage of meetup being that it attracts many new people to our dojo.
    i fear that being only on zen will not help us as much promoting our dojo.

    Interesting point. Do you have numbers/stories to tell regarding that? I think that could be interesting cc @Rosa-Langhammer

    the main problem we have with meetup, is that we cannot keep ninja and mentor apart (and correctly count them; well we could…). but this is only an issue when the dojos are very busy (like right now). that’s why i’ve programmed a small javascript application that uses the meetup API (through a “bridge”). so, right now we’re fine.

    Event’brite’s Zen integration only display events so far, there are no integrations of users as, the same way you can’t tell them apart from meetup, we can’t either.

    this having being said, the integration i’m thinking of is pretty simple:

    @Daniel-Brierton had a similar idea to avoid -nth integrations. However, it has a couple of downsides :

    • you can’t know if there is an event, it simply says that you are using another ticketing system
    • it doesn’t provide an integrated user experience for all users
    • it does move the community out of Zen (which is a discutable point, really, even for myself as a member of the Foundation)
      The positive side
    • simply allowing a link to any platform would also do (“For events, have a look at https://www.meetup.com/Coder-Dojo-Zurich/”)

      • -ish, but true, there is still restriction to be made to avoid linking to any random website

    the current state where a “no events” and an email address are shown, is not really helpful for us.

    Fair

    p.s.: i still cannot test how the platform works, since i’ve not been promoted to “manager” of our dojo (i think i’ve asked for it in the past… but did not get any reply).

    Who did you ask to? By Manager, you mean Dojo Champion or is it a CDF member you need the help from ?

    p.p.s.: please consider that we are a very small dojo, only few volunteers that are already busy in their life… but we have weekly dojos with a dozen of ninjas in avarage (currently 20+ kids).

    That’s fair too, we don’t prioritize on the size of dojos :p


  • CoderDojo Foundation

    Just commenting to watch this thread more closely and to add one or two additional comments to Guillaume’s awesome answer.

    An interim solution is that you could link to your meetup site through the ‘notes’ or ‘website’ section, which would give more information to people coming to the zen site to look for your Dojo.

    I would also advise looking at a deeper integration similar to our eventbrite one for meetup so that the user experience is similar to that of Dojos using Zen or who have connected using eventbrite. It also provides more information to the user about the events upcoming.



  • I will comment only two of your points.

    For implementation details, I “know” that it should be easy to do a simple integration (and you don’t need OAuth for the Meetup API. The API key is for sure enough. You can probably also get the needed information in anonymous way), but I think it’s only worth to discuss the details, if there are chances that they are also implemented.

    Moving the community out of Zen.

    Currently, our community is out of Zen and by letting us set a link, you would improve the experience of the people who are in Zen / find Zen first, by providing the information where they can find our events (and removing that wrong “no events planned” message).

    I would say that if there is no plan for a change, we should remove our Dojo from Zen so that people who google “coderdojo zurich” (or are on Zen) don’t risk to get the misleading information that we don’t have any event, but are forced to search further and find us on the Meetup event or on our github.io page.

    I think that you agree that between listing a dead dojo and no dojo at all, there is not much of a difference…

    For sure, I understand that you don’t want to “promote” the use of foreign systems, and that you are reluctant for adding new features before the rest works well.
    So, I would not mind if you choose not to implement the listing of Meetup events or links. It’s your choice and you will have to support it.

    Meetup vs Zen for promotion

    If I google for “coderdojo zurich”, I get our Meetup event as the first result. Which is correct.
    Then our github.io page, followed by the Twitter acount.
    But those might be “personalized” links and / or people might search for other terms.

    Most people joining our dojos, are expats who are already on Meetup and their kids have almost never been to other dojos around the world.
    I would say that they are discovering us through Meetup.

    We would like to reach more “locals”, but i don’t think that Zen would help there. (the only way seems to be the schools… but it’s lot of work to promote there).

    It has to be said that the Tech event here in Zurich are mostly organized through Meetup. There is a huge offer of community based events that goes through it.
    So Meetup can be good for us, but does not have to be the solution at other places.

    (btw, partnering with a bigger local company for a “starting” event has brought us way more new kids than Meetup… so, there are also ways around Meetup : - )


  • CoderDojo Foundation

    @ale-rimoldi Not sure integrating with Meetup would be a good idea given that they specify in their Community Guidelines that:
    Meetup members and organizers must be at least 18 years of age. Therefore, Meetup groups should be targeted at, and only offer opportunities for, those who are over 18.



  • our offer is for the parents!

    they register their kids, they have to bring them to the venue, and are in charge for them for the whole time the kids are with us.

    i think this is written in the basic rules of coderdojo…
    (and indeed in our case the vast majority of the people registering through meetup are parents.)

    and, again, i’m only asking for being able to get a list of the events from external services like meetup.

    or at least being able to give a link to our list of events on the external service.

    at a minimum, an optional message “please check for the local chapter website / social pages for the next events”, instead of the current one that says “no event planned”.

    i don’t want nor need any fancy integration with meetup.
    i just want the misleading message to be removed without us being forced to add our events in zen and managing the registration through zen.


  • CoderDojo Foundation

    @ale-rimoldi yea I totally get what you mean. It was more on the point that it mightn’t make sense integrating with it when it has that policy, while children over 13 can book into Dojos via the platform, the same way as they can have a Facebook account for example. It was more that integrating with something which doesn’t offer protections for under 18s mightn’t be a good idea.
    But yea the point about the optional message seems fair. And I think most Dojos that share their events do that via the notes section anyway. I’m not a developer so I’ve no idea what kind of workaround that would involve to have an optional bar on a Dojos profile page.

    Any other Dojos have any thoughts on this?


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