Event Myopia & Online Dystopia

I was on Meetup today and noticed an alarming trend.  I have come to respect Meetup quite a bit.  It has been a democratizing event software solution.  The trend I am noticing is users have learned to game the system. The fact that Meetup does not control how many events you run or whether you are seriously running an event at all is great.  You can create any event in volume about any subject.  Problem is, imagine a world where people enter events in volume in order to just create events in volume as a way to attract more business.  Their goal is to create more members.   I use Eventbrite, but Meetup specifically has that stickiness with members being attached to your events indefinitely.

Event Spam

Notice this user of meetup. Click Here. They have decided to create literally hundreds of events at many locations, actually some at the same time.  They actually have 25x more pending events than event attendees at one event.  I was trying to find out why there are over 6,000 events posted in Boca Raton, FL on Meetup.  This is why.  Now image that times 2,000 cities across the US.  You would end up with so much crap that Meetup would be pretty much flooded with event spam.

Online Dystopia

If you look up the word dystopia, you will find that it means “an imagined place or state in which everything is unpleasant or bad”.  I put the words Online Dystopia to describe when these technologies get overloaded with spammers or anybody who is trying to game the system in a weird way.  It goes back to that original Nigerian letter before the Internet that would arrive in the mail asking for you to send $20k immediately in order to get the million dollar fortune you have inherited.

Step Lightly

When I was at Verio/NTT a tech manager told me he had received an email which he thought was real and had filled out the Bank of America form that it required with his bank account info.  Problem was it was a fake and he was scammed.  As we look towards protecting ourselves we have to be more conscious of what is real and what is fake and what is just being created to get our attention.