One of the joys of working at Meetup is seeing the variety of things people meet up about all around the world. So, as we were doing final QA for the next release of our Android app, we tried a search for all Meetups within 100 miles of Tbilisi and were surprised to find the Toddler Olympics in Oakland County, Michigan, among the results.
A bug, of course, but why?
We did a bit of research and found that our database does in fact believe that the Meetup is in Georgia, so it wasn’t a bug in our search algorithm. Our next guess was that we had somehow flipped a sign, or confused latitude and longitude, but the real problem turned out to be more subtle.
It turns out that the Organizer of the Toddler Olympics didn’t want to post the full address of her house, so she’d written “TBA” — “To Be Announced.” However, the Georgian word for “lake” is “ტბა”, which can be transliterated into the Latin alphabet as “Tba”, and so our geocoder was confused.
There’s always something new to learn when dealing with user-generated data and a global userbase!
WP Meetup Plugin 2.0: A New Version With A New Point of View
The Meetup API enables outside developers to build tools that help Meetup organizers and members stay connected and form stronger communities. Below is a guest post from one of those builders, nuancedmedia.com
With over 7,000 downloads of the WP Meetup plugin, we at Nuanced Media decided that it was time to take a different approach. Up until version 2.0, the WP Meetup plugin had been fairly unchanged, giving users the ability to post their Meetup events on their WordPress site in the form of a single or multi-month calendar or on various widgets.
The Meetup community has grown since the initial launch of our plugin in 2011, now with 15.81 million members in 196 countries, and we feel that the WP Meetup plugin should grow as well. While most of the great features of the old versions still exist, we at Nuanced Media are focusing on establishing a greater relationship with the Meetup community and evolving the plugin to fit the needs of our users. There are over 42,000 Meetup members talking about WordPress daily according to Meetup’s statistics and we want to hear what all of you have to say.
We are striving to build a plugin that each and every one of you will want to use. In order to do this, we need to hear what features you are looking for and want to see in the future. We want you to have more control, more customization, and more power to make your WordPress website exactly what you want it to be. While having multiple groups displayed on one calendar and being able to replicate that calendar as a sidebar widget are both very neat features, we want to push the envelope even more.
Some additions have already been made. Here are just a few of the enhancements made since the 2.0 release this past December:
- Customizability of the Event List widget allows the user to choose how many upcoming events will be displayed in the list.
- The ability to choose where the events calendar links to. Now your calendar can take the viewer to a page on your WordPress site that displays your event information, or the viewer can be redirected to the event on Meetup.com.
- A debug information page was added for faster and more efficient technical support on our behalf.
Having already heard from many groups, varying from businesses to religious groups to social gatherings, we have been able to witness the great diversity that Meetup has and have enjoyed building these relationships thus far. We don’t want it stop. Visit us at Nuanced Media and let us know what you think of the WP Meetup plugin.
We look forward to getting to know the community that has helped our plugin grow to this point and expanding this community in the future.