Yes, it does look a little messy, but I believe that it is worth it. It is actually
harder to list meetings deleted instead of just having them not show up on the web.
However, there is nothing more frustrating than going to a meeting that no longer exists.
If you were a newcomer, what would you think if you went to a meeting that no longer
existed but that you found on a meeting list or had heard about from someone else? Would
all newcomers try another meeting?
Here are some other general reasons:
There are constantly old meeting lists floating around. Showing deleted meetings gives a
"heads up" to all and helps to raise awareness of volatility and not relying on
People who make announcements at meetings can easily point out that a meeting in their
area has been deleted.
Someone, for example, may see a list and say, hey Josie, don't you go to that meeting on
thursdays in town X?
It helps to catch mistakes. It shows the person who asked to have the meeting deleted
that it was indeed deleted.
It helps to catch mistakes. What if the meeting got deleted by an organization by
mistake? What if someone gave the wrong information to the organization? What if an
Intergroup made a mistake and called it deleted? Maybe a member of a meeting will see it
I think it's important for folks to see (if they used to go to a meeting) that it no
longer exists. Not showing the meeting won't convey that message. People might
think, "gee, maybe I could have helped to keep it going, it was a good meeting".
Or they might say "hey, that meeting should still be going on!" After
all, what if someone says a meeting is deleted, but it really wasn't. Maybe they had all
chosen to take a month off, or one night? Strikeout highlights important
It makes a statement. Meetings are great, but to keep them going people need to help out
just a little bit.
One thing to realize is that if your organization is just starting on the web, then
initially there may be many more meetings shown as deleted as really old meetings finally
become accounted for. The web opens the lists to many more people, so initially, you may
see more meetings deleted. This would normally taper off with time.
By seeing a deleted meeting, it offers an incentive to start one again.
If you are looking at a place to start a meeting, check out places that used to have a
meeting. The place it was held at already was open to having a meeting and might quickly
welcome a new one.
Remember, that the length of time that a meeting is shown as deleted can be varied, both
the default value by the organization as well as the person using the meeting list. Look
at the yellow section. If someone wants to print out a list without showing deleted
meetings, they only need to set that variable to 0.
Here is a simple example. Pretend there are several pages of meetings for a particular
area, (which may be hard for some folks, but what you think about expands :)
Which list will better prevent people from going to a meeting that no longer exists? (Especially important for a newcomer)
--- OR ---
meeting b meeting 13
What are all those pictures shown before a meeting?
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but in uses below, the picture mentally
grabs your attention. A picture almost forces your eyes to the meeting that has the
Why show this??
Changed or New Information.
Notify that this meeting has recently changed or is new.
The most important goal may well be to get people to a meeting. Blasting out that a
meeting's information has changed can help:
A person who may be relying on an old printed list.
An meeting representative who could announce changes at the beginning of a meeting.
An Intergroup or Service Center realize a change they did not (or did) expect. What if a
meeting contact changed a meetings information?
A meeting contact realize a change they did not (or did) expect. What if a someone
changed information that was correct to begin with?
If a date is provided instead of a picture, how many people would really take the time
to read them?
New meetings often need your support by attending to help it grow.
There is probably some statistic somewhere, but a new meeting's most hardest time to
survive may be in it's first year or so. It's important for people to know and
promote a new meeting, and to think about how they can help it succeed, simply by
Notify meeting that it needs to re-register.
Keeping accurate meeting information so that people can
attend the meeting is of utmost importance. Nobody wants to drive to a meeting that no
longer exists or has had a time and/or location change.
Meeting officers change, "I thought he/she was going to let them know of the
Sometimes meetings may go away and there are no meeting representatives to let the
Showing the symbol lets all who attend the meeting and view a list through the web or
produced from the web know that action needs to be taken.
Usually no action, but may in rare cases indicate that meeting information may need to
Organizations that connect with their meetings on a regular
basis (say yearly for example), will typically not have outdated meeting information. In
some cases, long time meetings may not have needed any changes for quite some time.
Showing this picture in this case can be used to both indicate a long standing meeting to
others, and provide a signal to meetings that may have not contacted an organization for a
I think the art, and it is art, is to find the best way to make it simple for the
novice just find a meeting, but have the options that I know will help get people to
To some people, less is more, and in some cases, that is correct. The goal is to
provide the best services in the easiest manner. If you extended the "less is
more" principle to the one end, you would simply list all meetings in the world on
one huge page. For people who do not have special needs, a simpler approach might work
better for them. But here are some special cases where "more is more":
Specific search options provide power to those who need it. What if you required
wheelchair accessible meetings? If you could only go to a meeting if there was
child care, you might be willing to travel a bit further to get to one that has it. The
same goes if you are gay or lesbian, and don't relate to other meetings. What if
you are willing to go to great means to get to a 12 Step meeting? What if you are a
Different ways to zero in on meetings that meet your need may just get people to
meetings that might not otherwise. In some areas there may not be many meetings. Offering
specific days of the week lets people search a broader range of cities for example.
Allowing users to put in multiple cities helps as well. For those lists that have
counties, the same logic applies. Some day, it is hoped and strongly believed that an
affordable solution will exist whereby someone can enter the city they live in and it will
list meetings within so many miles from that city. Until that happens, other options are
aids to help the best that they can to give the flexibility some may want.
The "Power" button tries to offer more flexibility for those who want it,
hiding it from the person first using the list service.
Sort options are other ways to help people get the information they want quicker. Have
you ever tried to hand pick through a large meeting list printout to find a particular
type of meeting in your area on a particular day? These options are there for those who
find one way easier to use than another.
Forcing people to select from a country or state (for example) offers hidden powers!
Have you ever misspelled something? (I shre have:). What if someone types in a
misspelled location, and then thinks no meetings exist?
Providing a list of valid countries, states and so forth visually shows people options
they may not have thought of in the first place, or may not have wanted to exercise in the
first place. For example, if they are looking for meetings in their city, but don't see
their city listed, then they will see other cities listed and may say "well, maybe I
would be willing to drive to that city". Get the picture?
First, check to see if your organization does list their meetings. You
can check 12stepmeetings.org to see if it already
exists, and check the search engines. Be leery of any information from websites that
are not run by the organization, but list meetings! That information may be old or
incorrect! Find out from your meeting the official address of the organization and
contact them. If they say they don't support a meeting list on the web, keep
An important point that can not be overemphasized is that:
12 Step Organizations work from the bottom up (just read your Organizations
Traditions). If your 12 Step Organization does not list meeting on the web it is up
to you to contact your meeting and area reps and request that they be
listed. Meetings and Organizations may need to vote on it before it can happen. You
must request for a vote. If you need help, please contact !