Jon Aquino's Mental Garden

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Friday, May 20, 2005

Meetr: Desigining a Free Alternative to

Now that has decided to start charging for its services, the world needs a free alternative to (a website that makes it easy to find people in your city meeting around a common interest e.g. The Victoria Great Dane Meetup Group, The Victoria Punk Meetup Group, The Victoria Indie Publishing Meetup Group, The Victoria Anarchy Meetup Group, etc.).

This is also an opportunity for me to learn Ruby on Rails! (a popular web-application framework)

I'm going to make a free alternative to, and I'm calling it Meetr (name inspired by Flickr). I've sketched out a database model below -- if anyone has any suggestions, I would be grateful.



  • Tagging would be good to build in. Maybe for version 2. Implementing tags is evidently not as easy as it seems -- there have been a couple of recent articles on how to do it.

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 5/20/2005 11:02 PM  

  • Need a good designer to make the thing look good and be easy to use (ping Jeff!)

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 5/20/2005 11:04 PM  

  • Maybe piggyback on a couple of existing services: (for events) and Flickr (for member pics)

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 5/20/2005 11:05 PM  

  • Use to provide RSS feeds, perhaps?

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 5/20/2005 11:12 PM  

  • A wiki for the group page? A blog template? Some way to give groups control over how their home looks.

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 5/20/2005 11:15 PM  

  • Didn't you recommend switching to Andy Baio's about a month ago? Why make something new?

    By Anonymous Vito Miliano, at 5/21/2005 12:17 AM  

  • Hi Vito - I wish our group could simply use, but it doesn't have some important features that had:

    * send reminder emails (important)
    * group discussion board
    * member list (important - see who else is in the group)

    I will tell about these missing features. Maybe they will save me the trouble of building this new system!

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 5/21/2005 7:48 AM  

  • Embedded Google Maps for the venue.

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 5/21/2005 7:58 AM  

  • Interesting (if fairly ambitious) project, Jonathan. Get on registering that domain name at least (hmm, is the .com already taken?). And I'd be into helping with the design.

    By Anonymous Jeff Werner, at 5/21/2005 2:26 PM  

  • Thanks Jeff! Why not, hey?

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 5/21/2005 2:34 PM  

  • Did you ever get your Meetr project finished? I notice it's been about 6 months since your blog said anything about it.

    By Blogger DeltaYankee, at 11/15/2005 10:56 AM  

  • Hi deltayankee - yeah, I cancelled it because of other commitments. But I now work for a company called Ning, which makes it easier to build social apps like Meetup (for free), so hopefully someone will step up!

    By Blogger Jonathan, at 11/17/2005 12:32 AM  

  • I too am searching for alternatives to meetup. Besides the pricing being ridiculous for small groups, they are also averse to forming small groups in the first place, preferring to blend all smaller groups into larger generalized categories. Meetup was great, but not any longer. I will check out, per your suggestion, but I hope someone gets around to creating a better meetup (sorry, I don't have skills in the programming arena or I would try). ;)

    By Anonymous Andy Goldman, at 7/10/2006 5:04 PM  

  • Check out It is a new free alternative to

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/15/2007 7:55 PM  

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