Shiny a Light on Meetup

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Posted on May 1, 2017

Inspiration

Meetup.com has become the website to bring1024px-Yogahands individuals with similar interests and goals together. Personally, I attend many yoga and tech meetups and love getting to meet new people. People connecting offline, interacting, and discussing ideas inspired me to explore the data about Meetup. I wanted to know how meetups differed based on city and what were the most popular meetup groups.

 

The Data

Let's dive into the data, which was collected using the python Scrapy.

  • City: Selected 11 different cities across the United States of America.
  • Category: There are 24 different categories ranging from film and art to tech and business.
  • Group Members: The number of members in each meetup group.
  • Group Reviews: The amount of reviews the group received.
  • Past Meetings: The number of past meetings held.
  • Upcoming Meetings: The posted number meetings coming up.
  • Upcoming Meeting Price: The price of the meetup group (if any)
  • Upcoming Meeting RSVPs:  The number of people RSVP'ed to the upcoming meeting
  • Length of Group Description: The amount of words used to describe the details of the meetup group

Who's Popular? 

It's easy to find out with using my Shiny appScreen Shot 2017-04-30 at 9.39.19 PM based on any data feature mentioned above, the city, and category. As shown on the right, the most popular group in for NYC tech meetup is the NYC Tech Meetup. This is a very fun application which allows the user to interactively explore trends across cities and categories. A personal point of interest, for the majority of cites the most popular meetup groups in health-wellness are yoga based groups.  It's extremely fun to select a category and learn what the most and least popular groups for each city.

 

Some Cities Are Similar and Some Are Not

The largest city in the US, New York City, remains unique among the rest. The number of members, a shown below on a log scale, have very different distributions than any other city.
HistogramNYC_Chicago
We got the P-Value to prove it. Therefore, you are T-testAndPvalmore likely to have a larger number of group members in NYC than any other city. Makes sense. The app allows the user to compare different cities and the distributions of the various features in the data. Interesting note: Boston and Chicago are very similar in the number of group members.

Check it out and you will find other similarities and differences.

 

The Correlations Make Sense 

ScatterPlotsThere is clear positive correlation between the number of group members and the amount of  group reviews. The correlation for tech is very high compared to other categories.  The app provides high functionality about what variables you want to observe. For example, there is no correlation between the group reviews and upcoming meetings. One would need a time machine to review an upcoming meeting.

Interested in an outlier? Then simply touch the point of interest and the group name, it's members and the city will display.

 

Insights and Progress Forward

I wanted to create an app that would show trends of meetup groups held across the country. This R Shiny app provides the user interactive tools to explore their interests and gather information about their city. There were several other features scraped from the website. I plan to include even more interactive plots to display theses parameters. Go check out the app and get a feel for Meetups that interest you. 

About Author

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Grant Webb

Dedicated professional with nine years of experience in high-energy nuclear physics and large-scale data analysis at Brookhaven National Laboratory. As a member of an extensive collaboration of over 500+ scientists from 33 institutions in 15 countries, I directed...
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Pelon May 15, 2017
Looks great. Hope to see more studies done towards this and other social interacts in general. There is not enough real connections anymore
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spinjinn May 14, 2017
Clearly written and nicely done! I tried out your app because i was interested in whether smaller cities were actually more friendly than larger cities, once you accounted for the difference in population. I'd love to see this applied to other types of social meetup sites.
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