It has been 5 years since the Blogging Meetup was started as it came about from a group of us that wanted to keep the conversation going after a Blogging Bootcamp that was put on by WordPress.com. Honestly, in thinking back I can not believe it has been 5 years but also, I know in the past 1.5 years the site has kind of remained the same and there hasn’t been the engagement as there was in the first couple of years.
Long story short it is time to say goodbye… As of March 1, 2021, it will just remain an archive of information with nothing new posted.
I should probably address some simple questions that you may or may not be asking at this point…
Mostly because I feel like it is time and I think in looking at the stats the Community believes it is time as well. I think most people who have joined over the years found that the WordPress Reader does a great job of keeping you up to date on current posts and makes it simple to quickly interact with one another. Not to mention there are Twitter and Facebook that allow people to easily ask questions and interact/follow others with similar interests.
That is not to say I don’t think a Community like this couldn’t work or isn’t valuable. I just think this specific community has run its course and it is time to close down.
Will this be temporary with a comeback at a later date?
No, this is not just temporary. The plan is permanent but I will never say never. If something would ever take the place with the same name it would have to take on a different form altogether in my opinion but at this point, I have no plans to have a comeback tour.
Won’t you miss this?
Of course, I will miss this, even though I haven’t used it much in the last year I believe the site provided a lot of great value over the years. Also, it is something that was created, time was spent dreaming up ideas and executing various actions to make it what it was. It was a passion project and I honestly enjoyed every minute I worked on it even when I was looming over my head to get another task or post published.
I could go on and on but in closing, I will miss the community we had as this was such a fun project over the past 5 years, and even though I am the one saying Goodbye I will still miss it. Thanks to EVERYONE who helped pioneer and champion, or those who joined, contributed, and followed along in the past. I wish each and every one of you more success in your blogging careers!
Year 2 has come and gone… As I am excited to see another year of people using the Blogging Meetup, I hold back a little bit as I know I have been very distanced from it in the last year as I was working to prioritize various extra projects in my life last year.
Look back at Year 2My thoughts haven’t changed though as I really enjoy this little side project and I intend to keep it around. In fact, as of today, we have 450 people registered on the site. That is up 67 from last year where we had 383 users on the site. Maybe when we hit 500 we should have an online party :)! Now only because I am a numbers guru I want to show you the stats of the last two years by month. As you can see it is trending down and in about August last year it started declining faster. In fact, February this year looks like it will only be about half of last year.
Peeling back the NumbersI didn’t need to dig into the site stats to produce the chart above as I already had an idea of what the results were going to be. If you have looked at the site a couple of times in the last months it is mostly the same handful of people posting over and over. Not that there is nothing wrong with that as I am glad people are using it as established and it seems like there is another handful of users that look at the site on a daily basis. However, I still find it troubling that there is less engagement on the site than I hoped there would have been. Though for that problem of engagement, I hold myself accountable for a good portion of the blame as I know that there need to be more “things” (e.g., prompts, events, topic discussions) or things to get people engaged in the site. In fact, over the past year, I slowly had forgotten to keep up with the Like, Follow, Share Monday prompts. I think that generated good engagement for readers and hopefully gave some bloggers a nice bump in stats are people were going to check out their site.
On the positive side of things, I was happy to finally finish the Members post page which is really just an RSS feed from all members sites. However, on the flip side, I am not sure if people have found it useful or worthwhile. Some of that is I am not able to get any stats from it so unsure if links are being clicked on or not.
Next StepsSo that brings me to today where I have been neglecting this site and trying to figure out what to do next. I would love to get feedback from anyone on what they think should be done with this site. Nothing is a bad idea as I still think a Blogging Community makes sense but maybe this implementation/version of it isn’t working anymore. Maybe the site needs to be more like a BuddyPress that can be more conversational, or forum-based like Discussion Board, or maybe even just a big Slack group.
In the short term, however, I am going to figure out a way to kick off the like follow share again but maybe I will try to incorporate it with the RSS feeds from members' sites in order to get people looking at something that is newly posted. Over the next several months I am going to really take a hard look at the Blogging Meetup and see where this site should be taken. I am going to hope for feedback from the community as I don’t want to just make this decision alone.
SummaryYear two was still a good year for the Blogging Meetup as people were still using the site as it was originally intended. However, during the beginning of year 3, it is time to figure out what the next chapter of this site is going to look like to make sure it is still meaningful to everyone going forward.
What do you think the next year of the Blogging Meetup should look like? Would you like to help it grow?
The “little” side project that some of you may or may not know about call Blogging Meetup just hit another major milestone today… It has been one year since I wrote the first post on that site as well as my own (Community - Blogging Meetup) that started it all out. I took a couple minutes to thank everyone on the site which you can find the repost below with a link to the original here (Blogging Meetup - Congratulation on 1 year).
I actually can’t believe it… Today marks the day that The Blogging Meetup is now one year old. I couldn’t be more excited about how it has grown and brought people together from all around the world.
In fact, I wish I could personally thank each and every one of you (383 registered users as of today) for whatever amount of contribution you have made to the continued success of this site. Even if you aren’t posting or chatting it up in the Community Chat you might just be a passive reader of the blogs listed on the site and then make sites/connections through their site. It is because of all of you that WE are still here today, as I said from the beginning and I will quote it here:
“This is super important and probably should have been said at the beginning but I don’t want to be considered the owner of this because that is not my intention. What I really want is this to be a community-driven site by the members.”That statement is still as true to me today as it was a year ago when I wrote it and for good reason. I knew that for some of us “life” just gets in the way and I am one of those people. I was super active in this community early on and for a good chunk of time until about December 2016 when “life” got busy. I could tell you lots of reasons why I thought that happened but heck, it happens to all of us right? That is why I believed the only way this site would survive is if we have a community feel and that community could be active on its own. Even though I have not been as actively posting or prompting in the past couple of months I still browse the comments and click to read new posts from people I am not actively following.
Well, enough about me and back to the community! One year, I am still really stoked about that accomplishment and I hope each and every one of you are as well. I know there is things we could do better or have great visions of for this community but it will come. The one thing I have learned over the last year is that it doesn’t all need to happen right away and maybe it will someday or maybe it won’t. Now with that said, if there is something you are hoping could change or you personally would even like to change about The Blogging Meetup let me know. Post it in the comments below, include me in a post of your own on this site, direct message me on Twitter or you can just email me at email@example.com.
I can’t wait to see what plays out in this next year but trust me I am looking forward to posting something similar when we are 2 years old :). Again, I would love to hear what you have to say or think as I am committed to having this place around for as long as people want it. I paid for another year of the domain name and will continue to do so until the lights shut off.
One final note of appreciation goes out to Amanda, as she took an early interest in this project and has helped to do a lot of the admin work for its continued success. It looks like we did do something right as it is still kicking along!
Originally published on at The Blogging Meetup
A “little” side project that some of you know about, Blogging Meetup (formerly Bloggers Meetup), got some great news when it was featured on Wordpress’s own Daily Post article talking about ‘Stay Supported with a Blogging Group’. That was very exciting news for me and my co-founder Amanda of the project. For what started out based on some comments in a Blogging 101 course back on February 19, 2016, is starting to really grow, grow, grow.
It is always a great feeling to know that something you have created is actually working, bringing people together, and having people find the end result useful. In the same time, I hope every member of the Blogging Meetup is just as excited as we are as it couldn’t have been done by ourselves. It is every one that participates, encourages, supports each other, and talks to others about the Community. Honestly, it would not/could not exist without all of the members doing those things or keeping conversations going. Even if you aren’t someone that participates in an active discussion on the site, I am guessing/hoping every now and then you have used the Index to find a new blog or clicked on someone’s Blog liked on the chat page. Participation doesn’t need to be always commenting on the site as discovering other blogs is a big part of the whole experience. That is where the Community effect comes into play and that is why I feel like we are doing something right.
So I want to give a big CONGRATULATIONS and virtual HIGH FIVE to everyone that has been, is currently, or in the future is planning on being involved in the Blogging Meetup Community. This is still only the beginning as we continue to grow and try to figure out what works, what doesn’t, and the bigger question of what’s next.
One final note, I think there is a huge opportunity in the near future for the community to help support people taking the On-Demand Blogging U Courses. We have bloggers of all different types/skills in our community and as I wrote this morning on the Blogging Meetup, a big factor I joined those courses was for the Community.
I have been in a couple Blogging 101 courses over the last couple of years and I have enjoyed them as they push me to continue writing and more importantly, I always stumble upon a couple great sites that I frequent well after the course is done. One of the things I always enjoyed about the course is the sense of Community. You had people of all different blogging/WordPress expertise working together and helping each other out along the way. I was in a course a little over a year ago and was thinking wouldn’t it be great to continue the conversation after the course was done?
Now I know you could still visit people’s sites and make comments and suggestions. However, by only doing that you never get a chance to ask questions? You could end your post with a question but what if your question was about WordPress specifically, or a Theme, or just anything else that is random but doesn’t really fit as a blog post on your site for people to respond to? Also, that is assuming you have a magnitude of followers that actually see that post on a given week/day.
As I was in February 2016 Blogging 101 course, it was on my mind again about how could we do this. I have seen it done before but most of the time they wall it off with a Private Site and then it makes it hard for people to even find it or know what it is about unless you stumbled upon it by someone else’s post. Also, there were blogs I started to follow that continued my thinking about this little project. One specifically by Amanda titled “It Matters”, which it really resonated with me and I suggest you read it as well now. Ok, now that you are back.
Insert, the Bloggers Meetup, where what finally pushed me into starting this was based on a simple post I read in the Blogging 101 course where a couple of people were asking what will happen next after the course is over. I saw it as a time to recruit these people who had the same interest as myself in creating an Open Community where Bloggers could come and go and just chat with other bloggers. You can read more about my initial thoughts on the Bloggers Meetup as I don’t want to republish the whole thing here (also this is getting long right?). However, I would encourage any of you to register on the site and then I hope to see you chatting with the Community. Also, since it is just starting up feel free to throughout your ideas of how to grow or what you would like to see it become.
Finally, I want to thank everyone so far for registering and showing interest in this Community project. Not to mention some of the first people who reached out to me like @Amanda and @AmeenasMusings, who have really helped get things off the ground there. I can’t wait to see what is next for all of us!