This is about the ending of the sponsorship of the mysql.meetup.com user groups by Sun/MySQL and their suggested move to Facebook.
If people want to move to Facebook, that’s fine. For those who want to stay but don’t have the local funding, I have an offer for you. Contact Open Query, and we’ll sponsor your group for the coming months. This is not open-ended, I think a more permanent solution is important (moving, sponsorship, whatever) but I want to make the effort for the community to prevent any groups from disappearing now just because of this.
I was the one who originally set up the agreement with meetup.com when they first started charging for meetups (and it turned out to be a very good business model for them!). When that change was announced, quite a few meetup organisers were going to quit. The sponsorship made it easy to stay, although we did lose a few groups still.
I expect the same will happen this time, moving across groups and users to another service will cause some groups to just fold, and others to lose quite a few members. People lead busy lives, and organising or even just showing up at a usergroup involves a little bit of effort. Extra hassle can just be the trigger which ends that involvement.
The mailing list is quite popular on my own group in Brisbane (does Facebook have mailing lists?) and there are plenty of people who are not on Facebook nor care to be. Another aspect is that many related groups (PHP, etc) also are on meetup.com and people will be members of multiple groups. Having people keep track of their groups through multiple sites is awkward, so chances are they’ll drop out of some. An unnecessary waste
It’s just that people dislike having something taken away that was previously theirs, or having to pay for something that was previously free. It’s simple social psychology… people will fight any such instance quite vigorously (or protest by going elsewhere) even if it’s a very small issue. I do appreciate that sentiment, but it can hurt the community.