Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Keeping up with Meetup.com via RSS


So, after moving to new city (actually new country on new continent) I needed some way to find a new social group, or at least people with whom I shared a hobby.

Enter Meetup.com!

Signed up, entered my interests and within hours I had agreed to meet with fellow photographers to do a photo event!

After becoming member of a couple of handful of groups, it became apparent to me that I needed to find a better way to get organized with all the things that happened on Meetup, that I might be interested in. Most of my digital life has been streamlined using services like Pocket and IFTTT, so how could I make Meetup become part of that flow.

Basically I wanted to be informed of any activity related to any of the groups I was a member of. New members, new comments, new photos... Well, say hello to Meetups API and RSS feeds!

Let me show you how I created an RSS feed of all my Meetup activity and then how I used IFTTT to push it to Pocket.

  1. Take a note of this:
    https://api.meetup.com/activity.rss/?member_id=[ID]&key=[API_Key]
  2. Log in to Meetup and click on your profile (top right corner) and take note of your member ID in the URL (yes, the ID in the example is made up!)

  3. Now click on the 3 'more info dots' and then click API

  4. Then click API Key and take note of the API Key

  5. Replace the [ID] and the [API_Key] placeholders in the URL from step 1 with the values that you found in step 2 and 4, and you will end up with something like this:
    https://api.meetup.com/activity.rss/?member_id=12345678&key=9a8b7c6d5e4f3a2b1c
This is your very own personal RSS based Activity Feed from Meetup. How about that!

Now, I've created a recipe in IFTTT that takes anything new from that RSS feed and created an item in Pocket, but you can also just add the feed to your favorite RSS reader (Feedly?).

Now you will never miss a thing from Meetup.

Have fun!