Andy McKay

Jun 12, 2024

Vancouver Python User Group Changes

Summary: Meetup is increasing prices so the costs for the Python User Group will be over $700 CAD a year. We are closing our Meetup account and moving to GitHub before July 7th 2024.

What do we need?

We need somewhere to organise activities and talks, announce events and communicate with the community. These are pretty simple and straightforward requirements. We’ve actually been doing a bunch of these things using GitHub anyway.

Why not Meetup?

Meetup has been costing it’s organisers about $37 CAD a month for ages and has just increased it’s price to over $60 CAD a month. The minimal functionality Meetup provides is not worth it. This was not optional price raise, there was no grandfathering in of old Meetups.

When talking to the former organizer Bryan Chow about this, he resisted moving off Meetup and saving himself money because of how hard it is get off of Meetup. Since we can’t get an export of emails out of Meetup, we know that any shift to a new platform will cost us users, probably most of it.

A price rise of that amount for features that suck or should be free is unacceptable. Plus, I’m retiring and don’t want to spend my money on Meetup. It also means it’s really hard to either get anyone else to run it - no-one wants to take on this money.

Also, here’s the first question Meetup asks when I decide to cancel:

No - fuck you Meetup. That’s not what this community is about. So just to be clear I will never charge people to come to a simple Python meetup.

Why GitHub?

It’s free and it will be for a long time yet. It does all the things we need. Everyone has an account there.

We will lose people, we will lose visibility and I think pretty much anyone else can take over the old group on Meetup. It’s like Meetup is holding us hostage.

What next?

Go to vancouver/vanpy and click on the Watch button:

Then select All activity:

If you get a lot of GitHub notifications, this might be a chance to try prioritizing your notifications

On Mastodon follow the @vanpy account.

That’s it.

The Python Software Foundation

The PSF has a grant program to get Meetup costs paid for. I applied for that in November 2023 (yep 8 months ago) and still haven’t been added into the PSF program. At the last discord Q&A I think I heard that the person who as able to do this was on holiday (or something like that). I’m sorry for other user groups in this situation.

I’m not sure what’s happened there with the PSF grants program but I’m not gonna keep waiting for whatever is happening to sort itself out. Perhaps there’s better places for the PSF grants than funding Meetup.

Note: I have charged for conferences, but those are big and require money to put on.