After months of work, I am very happy to announce that the Meetup Archiver is now public and available on GitHub.
The Meetup Archiver is a sweet piece of software retrieving data from Meetup API and storing the results in a database. The software comes with a basic dashboard allowing users to specify which region to target and which keywords. Through the Meetup Archiver it is possible, for example, to retrieve and store all data about “Fashion” meetups in “New York”, or about “Big data” events in “Toronto”. Just specify the city and the keywords to target and the Archiver will do the rest.
The software was developed in February 2018 thanks to a SSHRC Institutional Grant Program and, since then, has been collecting data about startup, entrepreneurship and creative industries in Vancouver. The software was used as part of my research protocol. Using Tableau, I analyzed the weekly data about meetup events taking place in Vancouver and identified the most relevant ones to attend in person. The tool was fundamental in helping me orient my ethnographic exploration of the Vancouver startup scene.
When i began my research I was not surprised to discover that no one developed a software for retrieving data from Meetup API. While some platforms are over-researched (I am thinking of you, Twitter), some others are not very popular among communication and digital humanities scholars. That’s why I proposed the development of the Meetup Archiver. Meetup data, I believe, can be very useful for researches with a clear regional focus.
As I used the tool and improved my knowledge about Meetup, I started thinking about releasing the Archiver into the public domain. Being a non-technical person myself, I was not very familiar with the practices of Open and Free software. That’s why in December 2018 I applied to the Mozilla Open Leaders program. My goal was to learn how to release a software so that it can be useful to others and live even after my research is completed. In the following 4 months, the awesome people from the Mozilla Foundation helped me understand how to release the Meetup archiver into the public domain.
Today, 9 months after applying to the Open leader program, the source code of the Meetup archiver is available on GitHub under MIT License. If you are interesting in conducting research on Meetup, here are the two repositories you need:
By the way, I am not, in any way, connected to Meetup. It’s responsibility of the final user to make sure that the use of the tool, and of the collected data, respects Meetup API ToS.
As you can notice, the repositories need documentation. If you want to be part of it and extend this project, please do it. For any question or concern, you can always contact me via email.