Leader of Birmingham.pm [pm.org] and a CPAN author [cpan.org]. Co-organised YAPC::Europe in 2006 and the 2009 QA Hackathon, responsible for the YAPC Conference Surveys [yapc-surveys.org] and the QA Hackathon [qa-hackathon.org] websites. Also the current caretaker for the CPAN Testers websites and data stores.
If you really want to find out more, buy me a Guinness
It essentially amounts to charging all the groups for existing. I'm a little unclear as to how they are going to enforce this, as what happens if everyone suddenly decides not to become an organiser? Aside from that am I now going to get a bill through the post? Mind that would be difficult as I haven't told them it
They also state "If your group's very small, we know it might cost a little more per person while we help you grow.". There has been 1 member of the Birmingham Perl Meetup group since they revamped the setup last year, and they haven't exactly done anything to help me increase those numbers since then, so I'm curious as to how they think they're going to change that now. Are there going to arrange a flash crowd or flash mob to descend on groups? Certainly the lame business cards and flyers, both of which you print yourself, don't justify a $19/month charge. They can justify the web services used, but they can all be found elsewhere cheaper. Many organisers seem now to setting up Yahoo group accounts, which are free.
I guess we're lucky with Perl Mongers, as there is already a well defined user group structure, as there is with Linux user groups. As such Meetup was sometimes used to just direct people to the real user group. There are 39,778 organisers today (and 194,038 groups), I wonder how many organsiers and groups are going to take up their offer, and perhaps more to the point, I wonder whether Meetup will be around in 12 months time, when they discover that perhaps more organisers than they expect can't justify forking out $228 per year, just to be allowed to have a user group? It all seems a bit short-sighted to me.