Why We Value Meetups for Web Work

We have been fans and user of live Meetups for Web Work and Info Help sessions for  over 20 years. It started with library meetings of  1-2 hour sessions in Toronto, Brighton, Durham and Castleton as the Web took off in the  earl 2000’s. These sessions were designed to get people up to speed in a specific problem – Linux, Apple or Windows upgrades or utilities to manage files and fast emerging applications. I did a series of lectures on how to correct Dirty Dog images and videos for use on the Web using PaintShop Pro, Irfan, Photoshop, Premiere and other fast emerging desktop media creation and editing tools

But 3 events have shaped Meetups profoundly. First, WordPress arrived as the fastest growing blog and then general CMS-Content Management Systems starting in 2005  racing t0 a 17.4% market share in 2013. Five years later that share had reached 29.2% of the top 10 million websites worldwide in 2018. WordPress has an Open Source background with thousands of free themes and plugins for Website  customization. As well WordPress gained a reputation of straight forward installation, ease of use  with a  Visual Editor plus no- coding required for Post and Page building.

The second big Meetup breakthrough was the intro of Zoom in 2012-2013 which allowed people to gather together online  and not just discuss Web tactics and problems but also view live screens with associated code  for better insights. But Zoom offers two additional features of note. First, participants can send comments or queries to each other or to all attendees anytime during the meeting. This is a wonderful means of exploring topics during the course of a presentation/discussion. Many extended presenters have a “wing man” who monitors the comment window for important points and can bring the issues to the discussion leaders attention.

Second, Zoom provides an automatic video taping of the session which can be sent out to all attendees if they want a copy. These immediate presentation notes dispense with the need to furiously  copy references or tables and charts. Rather attendees  just request a copy of the meeting video  and the comments list to review at  leisure.

The Third Meetup  Breakthrough has been the flood of Zoom-inspired  competitors. These  tools offered more in-meeting help features, ongoing after-meeting team options plus a host of new AI powered list creation and coding templates. As a result, Meetups presentations has  become a podcast and influencer competitive domain.

Old Fashioned Team Meetings

Perhaps in reaction to the tsunami of presentation gizmos and unexpected time-takers, this developer has seen the return of lets get together for a common room meetup and problem solving session. The agenda is tight, relevant players are invited and the mission is “lets get this problem addressed”.

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