Pay up, then Meetup

The ever-popular Meetup.com website will begin charging its groups a monthly fee beginning May 1, 2005, and while the price is still fairly cheap, it's more than free.

The site announced changes recently, obviously in an effort to earn some dough from users. Then again, it's probably going to be a tough sell considering the users never anticipated paying anything from the start.

I'm a member of one group on Meetup.com. It's a good idea, and a way to find people of similar interests in your area. But there are other free sites like it, or at least somewhat similar, including MEETin.org, Friendster, etc.

I suspect a few people will pay initially, but I can't imagine it lasting too much longer after that. Then again, people pay for weirder things on email, so anything is possible.