I posted this at Kicking Ass, the DNC blog:
At the Democratic Party meetup in Olympia WA, we've been passing the hat every month to cover our rooms costs, and this month we passed the hat some more to cover the $9 meetup.com fee.
For those who don't know, meetup.com used to be a free service, but they started this month charging group organizors $9 a month. This isn't a big fee, but for a usefull organizing tool like meetup.com, its too bad that $9 goes to a company and not the party we're actually trying to organize for.
I've been working with my county party to get some support from them for the group, but you know what would be great?
Either the DNC pick up the cost for organizing Democratic meetup groups OR they provide a tool similar to meetup.com, such as Dean's GetLocal tools. Either way, I don't see meetup.com charging organizors as the long term solution, it will just quicken organizor burn out and the death of some or our more marginal meetups.
The meetups, at least in Olympia, have been an important tool as a "gateway" forum for less connected Dems and liberals. By coming to this one meeting, folks can plug in as much as they want. The DNC should either support meetups financially and with staff or provide an alternative.