Meaty vs Meetup

Well, this is depressing. Meaty.org, the real-life event organizer for online communities that I started developing last August, is now completely pointless. Today, Meetup.com launched. Designed by some of the most talented people in the industry, it’s exactly what I envisioned, with a couple extra neat features I didn’t think of.

They finished the entire thing in three months of dedicated work with a full staff, while I worked alone in my free time for the last eight months. I was totally outgunned. Note to self: Next time you have an idea like this, quit your day job and devote yourself to it full-time.

But, on the lighter side, it’s an outstanding site. The interface is perfectly designed, though I wouldn’t expect anything less from 37 Signals and Eric Costello. Kudos to the Meetup crew on a successful launch, you bastards.

7 thoughts on “Meaty vs Meetup

  1. I should also add that this idea has the potential to fundamentally change the way we think about online communities. Instead of communicating in physical isolation, we can now supplement our lives online with face-to-face involvement.

    Meeting in person isn’t necessary to build a meaningful community, by any means, but it does foster stronger relationships among the participants.

  2. Hrmm…one unknown site gets replaced by another…I guess a tree falling in the woods DOES make a sound…

  3. Of course they’re unknown. Mine was still in development, and Meetup launched earlier today. But I expect Meetup gets huge faster than you’d think.

  4. The thing is that Meetup doesn’t seem to have a viable business model. I mean, c’mon, do they really expect cafes will pay them to be listed as potential Meetup venues?

    I say go for Meaty.org, because if the Meetup guys are in it for the money, they’re not going to get it, and will eventually shut the thing down. (Also, competition is a good thing.)

    Of course, this is a risky speculation. Heiferman and Costello are two very smart guys, and I wish all the best to them, but I just can’t see the business model.

    PS: “All tis stuff is copyright 2002, Andrew Baio” – does that include my beautiful, full-of-intelligence comments too? Just wondering.

  5. I think they just might be able to pull it off. They don’t strike me as your average 1990s-era dot-com. (By the way, I changed the copyright notice on the comments pages.)

  6. Look at all those people! Why would anyone need that many people? Absurd. I say keep working on Meaty and wait for their business to complete its course.

  7. I don’t think it’s such an outstanding site. I don’t like the way the whole venue voting thing is done, for example.

    Go meaty!

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