Meetup acquires Dispatch

The co-curation tool, Dispatch, which in recent months was being repositioned as a replacement for project email (“Dispatches are intelligent group email addresses for your projects. No more noise. No more hassle.”), has been acquired by Meetup, the local group social network.

I reviewed Dispatch (see Dispatch is a social layer for file-based collaboration), and avidly used it for a while (see Dispatch.io is now at the center of my work flow). I have also used Mightybell, and Honey for co-curation.

It is a co-curation tool, meaning that the central use case is capturing information — either as a URL, text, or a file (attachment, Google Drive, or Dropbox) — and placing it into a “dispatch”, meaning a folder or project. These dispatches can be shared with others, or maintained for private use. Each post has it’s own threaded discussion, and messages — a special sort of post — can be sent to all members of a project. Users can opt to follow projects, and therefore see new posts and messages in their message queues.

Screenshot 2013-10-09 11.15.45

Co-curation tools fill part of the spectrum of work management, but leave out coordination — like appointments and tasks — and are not principally oriented around chat-style communication, but are generally more for asynchronous sharing of archived information.

Why the hookup with Meetup?

Another co-curation tool that I have used is Mightybell (see Mightybell builds community through co-curation) and the product is designed explicitly to support  local groups to meet and share information (see Mightybell rolls out Communities). Mightybell is working with national organizations like Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In organization, and the system is designed to support both local and national level organizations. In particular it implements Meetup-like scheduling of events.

While it  is not necessarily the case that The Meetup folks are directly feeling Mightybell nibbling at the edges of the 100,000+ groups worldwide, they is no reason for Meetup not to roll out a broader range of features to support co-curation for groups.

I look forward to seeing what they come up with. (Oh, and I wonder how they are packaging the exported items, since the Dispatch service is shutting down on Movember 15.)

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Stowe Boyd

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