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Hacker News Meetups (github.com)
130 points by throway88989898 19 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 101 comments

What does an HN meet up do differently than your average other technology meet up already does?

In my city, Calgary, we have Python, js, datascience, beginner coder and much more. Most of them you can attend for free, so you can pick and chose what talk you go to.

What sort of talks/events do HN meetips typically offer?

This question really deserves an elaborate answer. Not sure if it has one though.

The whole idea behind a meetup is to connect people with a similar interest or a similar group of interest so that they can talk, listen to and discuss things that they care about.

HN has such broad range of topics that it is seems hard to find a group of people sharing the same interest.

It would be really helpful if somebody that attends these meetups shares insights about them.

I'm really confused as well. HN is not really a community and there isn't even a set subject on this site. People who are interested in Tech news? That would be an absurdly broad and uninteresting classifier.

The folks on HN seem to be of a generally higher quality than elsewhere on the internet (e.g., Slashdot). Amazingly, spammers, trolls, and opportunists have seemed to largely ignore HN so far (knock on wood). I agree an HN meetup would be broad, but I would hope that it would bring that same higher level of quality.

Can you imagine a Slashdot meetup? Could potentially work at a combination circus-firing range-porn addiction support group, all taking place in your Mom's basement.

High-quality people (as defined by you) still might not have common areas of interests and hence the question still stands: "What will actually be talked/presented/discussed in the meetup?"

If the attendees at a conference are high quality, the conference itself will be high quality, there doesn't need to be a heavy overlap of specific interests.

If a HN meetup could someway or another uphold that level of quality, it could be a great conference even if the topics are as varied as deep learning - to web frameworks - startup culture - to UBI economics.

I'm not aware of an official policy - I think it's down to the local organisers. I sometimes went to the London one and they had fairly mainstream tech talks similar to other tech meetups.

It showed Stanford as one of the cities, but clicking the link displayed the message "The Meetup Group you're looking for doesn't exist."

It would be a shame if we had to rely on Meetup.com to organize these things. I've heard complaints from attendees and organizers about the platform/fees. Ideas for alternative ways to organize?

I hope it's not sacrilege to say in a dotcom startup-oriented community, but, as individuals and technologists, it's good practice to see how we can get by without dotcom tracking.

In this case, for example, perhaps a meetup can be coordinated by simply posting the meeting info to HN.

If there's a real need for an turnout estimate ahead of time, such as making a group table/room reservation at a venue that requires that, see how low-tech that can be. For example, an optional RSVP to email, and guess at the RSVP ratio.

As someone who has organized many meetups, there is always a real need for turnout estimates in my mind. Can you describe an example you have in mind where that’s not the case?

I would typically try to have some snacks and drinks, and wouldn’t want to be bringing either way too many or far too few. Also, I want everyone to be comfortable and have a positive experience, so if we have a concert hall for a meetup of 5 people, or a meeting room for a turnout of 100, plans need to change to give a quality experience for attendees.

For the meetup based at/near Stanford, we could meet various spots on campus and have nearby food/drink options, and plenty of space. Perhaps outside the Treehouse?

Not to get off topic but I was a Meetup organizer for a year. In theory it's worth the ~$8 - $10 per month they charge. But I have two major complaints (from when I used MU a couple years ago):

1) Their onboarding sucks __for organizers__. When someone is new to Meetup, Meetup forces them to pick three (or more) groups to join as part of the sign up process. The person may or may not have an legit interest in your group. Maybe they came for another group and your group is just fulfilling the onboarding process.

This matters because if as an organizer you went for their cheaper tier w/ a smaller group size you get to that cap fairly quickly. Which mean you either keep the group closed and "eat" the dead members, or you pay more so you don't have to close the group.

2) You can send a group email / message but they have no analytics. Not even something as basic as an open rate. You can export members but not their emails so something like MailChimp is not an option.

After a year I decided that Meetup was good for Meetup but not for me.

We found meetup.com to be bad value for our meetup too so we moved away


What about a 'Meet HN' to go along with 'Ask HN'?

openmeet.io is available.

We could spin up a Django or flask site and build a HN style meetup application.


I've heard bad things about the IO TLD. What about openmeet.org? I'm just starting in Webdev but I'd like to be involved!



Or even more terrifyingly, this: http://domainincite.com/23957-un-ruling-may-put-io-domains-a...

Fortuitously, .dev happens to be hitting General Availability tomorrow. And both meetup.dev and openmeet.dev are still available!

Disclaimer: .dev is my baby.

I've actually run into what seems like a dozen startups who are, in various ways, attempting to build a better Meetup.com. The technology doesn't seem to be the hard part -- it's the business model and mindshare.

Go for it as well if you like, but rest assured that there are already several talented people already trying to figure this out.

It’s a social network. As an attendee, by having a meetup.com account, I’m told about other similar meetups. And it works reasonably well.

If some federated option were to work, there would have to be ways for various meetups to broadcast their existence, and have these recommendations be available.

for me it doesn't work that well... There are a lot of dead meetups, with no meetings littering the search. I also have a hard time following groups I am interested in. I think meetup sends a lot of emails at start, so meetup mails land in my spam folder now. Also if a lot of people click "Im interested" I think there should be a forum enabled, so you can find someone else to organize the meetup. Now it says "become an organiser" but it's hard to do it alone IMO.

Can you list some interesting alternatives? I searched before and found few people on HN trying to improve meetup experience, but most are dead now

I remember seeing a federated meetup.com alternative in the brief time I used Mastodon. I can't find it anymore though.

Yes, I think that was it. It needs work, I can't even figure out how to search for my city.

They must have fixed that. There's now a search box in the upper left corner.

Sorry, it's my fault. I had Javascript disabled. I didn't realize it because the dropdown still worked, it just didn't have the search box.

If you do, can you look at the existing ActivityPub implementations for some pointers??

Right. And the SF "group" is just a collection of links to vaguely related events in the past.

So how do these work? I want to propose one for my city (Toronto) but I am not sure if I can handle the logistics. Or do people just pick a common place to meet and that's it?

Reg “raganwald” Braithwaite here.

If you want to organize an HN meetup in Toronto, I can make space available at the PagerDuty offices, whether it’s for six, or a hundred and six.

Most people call me “reg,” and my work email domain is pagerduty.com.

p.s. If you get things rolling, let me know early and I’ll tweet about it. Not sure how many Torontonians follow me, but it wouldn’t hurt to get the word out...

You guys make a good product, thank you!

You'd need a landing page where you can post details and get feedback.

There are few discussions in the thread about open platforms, but I also started a community on https://spectrum.chat/canada. I'm Toronto-Waterloo based. Let me know if you have any ideas.

In my experience, if the groups is small enough but has sociable members, they will just agree on a time and half the expected number of people will show up. Even 5 people is a success IMO.

Me three! Often in Hamilton for days/weeks at a time but frequently in Toronto and certainly no stranger to (U)Waterloo.

Hey HN lurker here! I've been thinking of starting a Toronto HN meetup for some time too. Structuring it as a one person job seems a little too much though.

More happy to chat and see if we could coordinate something.

I would be disappointed to discover that the collective intelligence that I find in HN is not well represented when I speak with any member of the HN community, so better to continue with my bliss ignorance.

I would be disappointed to discover that the collective intelligence that I find in HN is not well represented when I speak with any member of the HN community, so better to continue with my bliss ignorance.

I've already seen that the collective intelligence in HN is not necessarily well represented by any particular commenter. (I may resemble this remark at times.) In any case, you already have no basis for your ignorance/bliss.

> Most of the groups use meetup.com

Can anyone suggests free alternatives? I want to set one up for Waterloo, Canada but don't want to pay for a plan when I'm not sure if an audience exists.

For better or worse, meetup.com has really dominated this space, but I seem to recall that craigslist used to have a section for community events and announcements where you could post something about your group. I'm not sure how many people use it though, and it had a lot of junk in it (though, to be fair, so does meetup.com).

Another way to go is the old fashioned route of posting physical paper fliers on telephone poles, or bulletin boards in cafes, universities, and libraries. It's local, absolutely free, and usually there's so much junk there that something serious and actually interesting would stand out.

I think the number of people who won't use meetup exceeds the people who won't use facebook at this point. I despise facebook but it's a necessary evil. Meetup is just a terribly clunky site I hope I never need to log into ever again. I go to some meetups that happen to be on meetup, but find the times elsewhere, or they're a weekly meetup so I already know the time. They may have dominated the space, but if you use meetup, some will just ignore the meetup group.

Interestingly, meetups are about the only thing I use Facebook now for. It’s probably the best “bbs” type site from a polish standpoint. Just ignore everything except the group pages.

* Self hosted using wordpress or (maybe) drupal. Both have event managing plugins.

* As funny as it might be, a subreddit. reddit meetups use subreddits for tracking just fine, I suppose a HN meetup could as well. The overlap between platforms is probably pretty high. In fact my recommendation would be to see if there's an existing reddit meetup group, and if any of them would be interested in a HN/tech meetup.

* Discord server with pinned messages for pending meetups.

Hmm. I am not sure if I want to meet HN people. Not that I don’t love the community. But I like the relative anonymity of this page. There is a reason why we don’t have profile pages with pictures here.

You can still be relatively anonymous at meetups. You don't have to tell anyone your HN username, nor do you have to tell anyone your real name.

People at a meetup would see your face and hear your voice, but so what?

So... don't go?

Or, instead of posting an opinion on a topic you have no interest in you could have just moved on to the next submission. Really, what was the point?

Couldn't you have done the same?

Went to check my city (Atlanta) to see if going there would be convenient. Get greeted by a demand to log in to LinkedIn. Oh well.

Yeah I get people want "exclusivity" but at a certain point it feels comical. How many people are on hackernews on a weekly basis who are specifically "lurking" to try to get into an "exclusive" hacker event.

I think some people just don't realize that LinkedIn adoption isn't universal.

There's already a pretty good hacker community meeting list, with lots of folks attending around the world.


Would be great to meet up with some people in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Let me know if you want to get a coffee or beer.

I recently started an Indie Hackers meetup [1] in Chiang Mai, and we had our first meetup a few days ago. Feel free to come along next month if you're interested in startups and bootstrapping.

[1] https://www.facebook.com/groups/indiehackerschiangmai

Anyone in the Kansas City, MO area interested in doing a meetup?

Looks interesting. I'll check it out.

I'm in! Email in profile

Got it! Thanks!

Open invitation for a beer here in Bend, Oregon if anyone stops by.

Although right now... would not be the best time to stop by as we're buried in something like a meter of snow.

What makes for a good meetup? I've been contemplating starting one in my town, but it'd seem that having a plan for the meetup would help.

I don't see Amsterdam. If anyone is interested in co-organizing a meeting with me there (or attending it), my email is in my profile.

There must be others in Belfast (Northern Ireland) lurking around here? Should we get a meetup sorted?

We could just have a pint at the local, yeah? =]

Lurker from Antrim, may be more kicking around?

I used to attend the Paris meetups. A bit of networking but mostly for the lectures. The presenter from Mindgeek was particularly memorable.

Recently relocated to the US and building a new network. Anyone interested in meeting up in the Miami/FLL/WPB area?

WPB yes!

Be happy to meet with anyone in Auckland, New Zealand

The Atlanta one is a LinkedIn URL?! Party foul!

What do people do at these meetups?

Nothing for Downtown Minneapolis where I'm at. I might have figure a way to change that.

I often go to the meetup in Kansai (http://hnkansai.org/), which rotates between being hosted in Kobe, Osaka and Kyoto.

The event space is anywhere that allowed us to use their space, usually some tech company office. We've had some gorgeous night views from a high-rise, cool atmosphere at the top floor of a hip bar, and admittedly the occasional small windowless room as well.

It's about 2 hours, starting 19:30 with introductions and two or three talks. After the talks people just chat with each other. Why are they "HN meetups"? People here have pretty similar interests, so if you give a talk or chat with someone about a topic that would interest HN, then it will probably go well at the meetup too.

Afterwards we often head to some izakaya.

We both posted within a minute about Minneapolis. Weird.

Does anyone know what happened to HNLondon? Or know of other similar sort of events in London or the wider UK?

We stopped running it. It required a fair amount of work to put on and we no longer had the time for it.

Maybe you could update the meetup page, asking if anybody wants to volunteer to restart them? I moved here only recently and wouldn't be able to do that for now, but maybe somebody else could.

As it stands now, I suppose that most people would just sign up and wait.

Folks are welcome to start a fresh HN London meetup much like we did when we started. If you are new to organising events starting with something small and manageable would be much easier than trying to pick up an event with 400 attendees.

Went to a couple of their events. Stopped.

The talks were not interesting enough, and the events themselves felt like glimpses some Twilight Zone universe where an on-stage chair-thrower screams "Recruiters! Recruiters!"

Lots of people want to recruit at these events, and those people who are looking do want to hear about it. But nobody else does.

The Toronto Rails Pub Night has a very good solution to this problem. Their policy is that you can stand on a chair and make a short pitch at any time, but you have to buy EVERYBODY a round.

Those that aren’t interested in the pitch are usually happy to have their glass refilled, and the modest cost makes for a modest speed bump.

Buying a round also seems less cynical than paying a meetup organizer to pitch the attendees.

Now I'm thinking about this kind of scheme out in the real world. Some random points:

It's not like it's not there. Sometimes ad letters contain things. I've been given a kitchen knife for listening to a knife demonstration in a hardware store. Online we do get a lot of content and services even though it often doesn't feel like it is a good trade with all the tracking and security risks.

At the same time (maybe not online) it is a dark (grey?) pattern to guilt people into buying something. Or you might get junk you do not want in exchange for being annoyed. And often you don't get anything but annoyed, as with billboards or leaflets.

So would it actually be more ethical to consistently give people payment for paying attention to ads? (I know there are some projects, yes.) Especially considering that now the ones profiting (minus costs) are not the ones who have to live with it. How ethical is a for-profit ad business where people are exposed to it whatever they do? (This is a question of freedom in my book too.) Then again, if I got a beer for every pitch I can't avoid I'd be black-out drunk at all times..


Sorry you had a bad time. However, your description of the event does not sound like something I have ever organised.

It wasn't that I had particularly bad time. After attending two consecutive events I simply felt it wasn't a good use of time for me.

On both of those occasions the tone of the evening was pretty much "we have these recruiters over here, and those recruiters over there, go say hi and please give your email address".

The entire London meetup scene (at least the one I try to frequent) feels like it's densely populated by recruitment agency staff, to the point where techies and hackers are driven away ... unless the meetup is consistently exceptionally good.

FWIW, Thats totally the opposite of how I felt about HN London when I regularly attended a few years back. Beers, pizzas, talks and a mingle. And I’m sure most people feel the same way I do as that hall was always packed

Would love to come to a London hn meet up...

I think it got killed by politics.

Anyone interested in organizing a meetup in Denver? Email me! ryan [@] decentraland.org

Looking for a meetup in the 757. If anyone is around this area lets do it!

Anyone around Pasadena, CA interested in a meetup? Santa Monica is...far.

We have Santa Monica listed as the location, but we'll try to bounce around the city. I live on the eastside as well.

Has anyone had any significant success finding valuable networks?

What kind of value are you looking to achieve?

My strategy started by being kind on Twitter in my target community. Those interactions led me to target conferences to attend, and from there I aimed to build content with people (side projects on GitHub or podcasts) which have added up to something of value. I now feel good about my extended network without being internet famous to really any degree, which works for me. What's your goal?

London is currently dead. Volunteers to restart it?

Anyone interested in setting this up for Minneapolis?

Anyone in Orange County wants to meet up sometime?

CA, or NC? If the latter, I'm in...

The former.

Anyone interested for Austin?

ping me: julien __at__ serpapi.com

just want to get a sense: any hacker newsers living in Beijing? if enough of us, I'll organize a Beijing meetup.

I'll be there june-sept and game for some huoguo

The first link in the github repo was Beijing

Warsaw, Poland anyone?

I'd definitely go if there was one. ;)

Yes, I'm there every so often!

anyone in taipei?

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