The event last night was small, but fun. I definitely have some thoughts about Meetup vs Mobilizon now.
First, one mistake I made is to have no transition window. I announced to the group that I would move it to Mobilizon on the last day before my Meetup organizer subscription ended. We should have had at least some overlap where meetings were posted in both places, so the existing membership could migrate. There were a number of factors affecting attendance, I’m sure, but that certainly had an impact.
One of the attendees is paying for organizer status on Meetup for other groups, and he’s going to adopt the Haskell group so we can have a better transition.
I’m still quite new to Mobilizon, so I’m sure there’s more to figure out, but I do like it. However, it’s still buggy and feature-poor in some ways. E.g., (and there is a small chance that this was an accident on my part, but I don’t think so) I scheduled the event weeks ago, but after the US DST change the event time was listed an hour later than I planned. I only noticed like 30 minutes before the event, which led to confusion & delays. When I edited the event to fix that, the event lost its header image. These are annoyances, but there is also code on GitLab for Mobilizon so I can report and/or fix these things. My instance also isn’t on the latest version of Mobilizon, and I suspect at least one of those issues has already been fixed.
It has some features that I don’t recall whether Meetup.com does
- standard fields for accessibility of the event (wheelchair, sign language, subtitles, non-smoking, etc.) as well as some integrations with online ticketing, event schedules, pricing, etc.)
- it allows “anonymous” participants, who can register for an event without having a Mobilizon account (although we did run into an issue where it’s difficult or at least unclear for anonymous attendees to cancel their registration)
- it’s federated, so you can follow the group on Mastodon, events are posts and comments on events are replies to that post
The biggest thing, though, is just the size of the existing Meetup userbase – do what you can to smooth that transition for everyone, and announce in places like this (preferably before day-of) to try to get the new membership up before you cut off Meetup.