Open Source version "Meetup.com"

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David Bicking

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Dec 7, 2012, 4:19:37 PM12/7/12
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I have a small group and I want to set up a minimal web-site that will allow me to schedule and display group events, sort of like Meetup does, but I don't need the global exposure of meetup, and certainly don't wish to pay them an annual fee for the privilege.

What I need: 

A way to schedule and show events.  (date, time, location, description.)


A way for members to suggest events. (Possibly they could directly schedule it, and I could just delete it if I don't approve...)

A way for members to indicate if they are going to attend the event. (RSVP in meetup parlance)


A way to post/email messages to the group as a whole.


I would need to be able to add in members who just want to get the emails, but have no desire to go to the web site to "join" This is actually a big deal, a number of past attempts to use google or yahoo groups have failed simply because we couldn't get everyone to sign on to google or yahoo. They just wanted the email and didn't care what we had to do to get it to them. Annoying but they are willing to volunteer to help in our core mission, so can we blackball them because they don't want to figure out how to sign up to a we site.

Any idea what I can use?   What I have seen are either forum software with an inadequate calendar, or a basic calendar without the emailing capabilities.

Meetup would meet my need, but it isn't worth $144 a year to me. And I would have to convince some of the group to sign up to meetup and the group.

Any ideas?

Thanks,
David Bicking

Robert Brewer

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Dec 7, 2012, 4:37:43 PM12/7/12
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Some wiki software has calendaring plugins, and you can set them up to send out email change notifications. Twiki is one. Calendar entries are added in text form. I don't know if there's something to make that part friendlier.

Along those lines, trac is intended for task and bug tracking, but perhaps would be ok for events. You could use its reporting engine to list events in chronological order. I think it could email a giant list whenever things change.

Neither of these would have direct RSVP functionality. People could potentially edit a page or the task entry to say they are coming.

-Rob
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David A. Harding

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Dec 8, 2012, 10:51:26 AM12/8/12
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In message <1354915177.560...@web31807.mail.mud.yahoo.com>, David Bicking wrote:
> I want to set up a minimal web-site that will allow me to schedule and
> display group events, sort of like Meetup does

Does any of the infrastructure need to be on the Web? If not, I'd
consider a 100% email solution.

> What I need:�
>
> [1.] A way to schedule and show events.� (date, time, location, description.)

Keep events in whatever calendar you like best. Send out an email and
update your website once a week with a list of upcoming events.

> [2.] A way for members to suggest events. (Possibly they could
> directly schedule it, and I could just delete it if I don't
> approve...)

Accept event suggestions by email. Tell advanced users they can send you
an ical (.ICS) file as an attachment.

> [3.] A way for members to indicate if they are going to attend the
> event. (RSVP in meetup parlance)

Accept RSVPs by email. (Perhaps using a separate email address.)

> [4.] A way to post/email messages to the group as a whole.

Send email from your own mailing list software, such as GNU Mailman.

> [5.] I would need to be able to add in members who just want to get
> the emails, but have no desire to go to the web site to "join"

Manually subscribe non-techies to your mailing list. GNU Mailman
permits this.

This system works well for small groups--it's what CHLUG used for its
entire meeting lifetime. Jerry kept the schedule, he accepted topic
proposals by email, (we didn't require RSVPs), we all used the mailing
list, and Jerry could tweak the GNU Mailman settings as needed.

Good luck and happy holidays,

-Dave
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David A. Harding Website: http://dtrt.org/

David Bicking

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Dec 8, 2012, 12:15:24 PM12/8/12
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Thanks, Sounds like this is the "best" solution right now. Of course one of said advanced users would have to tell me how to tell the others how to attach an .ICS file, and I still haven't found a calendar that I like yet. Oh well.  our walking group is still not big enough that we have to scale up our presence.

Google's calendar seemed the best, but unfortunately my employer decided to block access to it. (They don't block yahoo's calendar, but Yahoo's calendar doesn't have the features I want.)

Twiki sounded intriguing but the calendar was even lamer than Yahoo.

Thanks for your help everyone. But it looks like I will shelve another idea till a later date.

David

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