This should be titled “Why I didn’t renewed Papers We Love @ Porto subscription on” but you get the idea. Last August I didn’t pay for another half year subscription to have a placeholder for this scientific community; you might wonder why.

Yikes! Your Meetup Group will shut down in 48 hours!

Hi Pedro Tavares,

Nobody has stepped up yet to become the new Organizer of Papers We Love @ Porto. There are only 48 hours left before the group is shut down and removed from forever.

As the new Organizer you get to:

    Determine the future direction of the Meetup Group
    Change the name, description, group colors, etc...
    Schedule Meetups
    Decide who can join the group
    Make it whatever you and your members want!

Let’s dissect what I get to do as an Organizer besides, well, organize:

  • Determine the future direction of the group, which is the same as when I started - promote a slot where Porto’s tech companies and universities could chat about interesting computer science topics.
  • Change the name, description, and group colors - not going to happen.
  • Schedule Meetups - oh, yeah, the critical one.
  • Decide who can join the group - there are no gatekeepers around here, the group is open to everyone!
  • Make it whatever you and your members want - hmm, a place to share and talk about interesting computer science topics!

None of these bullets actually convinced me to stay around this platform for another six months mainly because they doesn’t cover the bad things that come with the full package - bad pricing and RSVPs.

Pricing and RSVPs

The coolest thing about this platform is that we’re able to create a brand new community, make it discoverable around the locals, schedule some events, and get the full list of attendees.

The truth is that we’re able to do all of this for free and without getting upset about the # of RSVPs vs the # of people that actually show up for the events - yeah, that’s the saddest thing of this platform, people who continuously RSVP and never show up (come on folks, what are you doing?).

I may sound a bit extreme but without sponsorships (I don’t want them, seriously.) and as a solo organizer I’m really not interested in paying a fee for a slot in a website that enables people to interact via false RSVPs.

It would be cool if they provide free plans for communities that don’t rely on any kind of sponsorship and don’t use the platform to expose the brand behind it but it seems that’s not an option, maybe because it would lead to a vast number of zombie meetups (the ones that are removed after the first 30 free days).

Some stats so far…

The meetup is going great, not as regular as I wanted though, but still great. So far I’ve hosted 10 successful events and 15 amazing talks. I had to step up as a speaker for two times in order to keep the momentum going - I don’t mind, really, but it’s not supposed to :) Community-wise, we’re 194 on twitter and 438 on meetup - great numbers for such a specific community.

Plans for the future

I’ll rely solo on @pwlporto twitter account to announce future events and cool papers that we should all read. It might be a daunting task to reach all the interested ones because not everyone has a twitter account but it’s free after all! Maybe adding a companion website together with a simple newsletter does the trick.