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Is Meetup.com dying?

MeetupOver at the DailyKos, our pal Emmett O'Connell started a discussion about the recent change at Meetup.com - wherein each Meetup group will now be charged $9 a month.

Kos himself interjected this comment...

MeetUp is going out of business. This is their last-gasp desperation attempt to stave off bankruptcy. I'd focus on finding an alternative solution.

So, now what? Can some major institution find a way to at least provide a Meetup-like tool for Democrats and progressives? Can the DNC? Can DailyKos? Could Convio?

It's actually not a technically difficult task - we're doing it manually over at ProgressiveHappyHour.com - a monthly gathering of political hacks in Portland. To automate it, all you need to do is maintain a subscriber list, have someone who picks a location, and send the reminder emails.