Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Is DFA bolting from Meetup.com?

There are a lot of advantages of the DFA meetups to the Dem ones. DFA has been using meetups as its single most powerful grassroots recruiting and organizing tool. Except in a few spots, like here in Thurston County, the DNC has completely dropped meetups.

A webpage on democrats.org was left un-updated for months, replaced for a short time with a survey, and now it gone. In places like here, we've been marching on with our own meetups, but without any direction or suggestion from higher up.

It looks like now Democracyforamerica.com is about ready to leave meetup.com, just like conservative townhall.com did months ago.

In its most recent agenda, they talk about: "Discuss the transition to new organizing tools on DFA’s website." I'm assuming they're referring to a transition from meetup.com to a DFA hosted system. Similarly, on the DFA Meetup Hosts yahoo group, there is another reference:

The new tools will also make it easier for DFA to promote your events because it will be centralized through the DFA website. We are planning to send Meetup organizers a "beta version" of the new tools on July 25th. The beta period will last approximately one week. DFA then plans to publicly announce the new tools in the first week of August so you can introduce them to your group at the August Meetup.

If DFA separates itself from meetup.com, it could be the death of meetup being used as a political organizing tool. It shouldn't be the death of social networking tools, and since townhall.com and DFA are actually replacing meetup.com with their own tools, I assume they see some need for them.

My point isn't that the DNC should break ties with meetup.com. They've basically already done that. They need to step up and replace meetup.com with something else, or risk losing momentum to other groups that are doing a better job organizing from online to offline, like DFA and moveon.org.

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