[intl-discus] International user groups
dbrookshier at collab.net
Wed Feb 15 13:39:28 EST 2006
I have been running user groups for the past 11 years and
participated in others from an early age - if you count the Scouts
and Explorers. The most important thing is to just hold a regular
meeting with an agenda topic. Monthly works the best.
I'd also tend to just run it yourself. Most user groups do not need a
charter or elections, just a purpose and someone willing to organize
and M.C. the meetings.
Success is just a matter of having a large percentage of topics that
meet the needs of most of the audience. That means making it a
priority to work on basics and open source. If you have vendors, make
sure that it is less than a third of the presentation (or that most
of the audience already uses it). You also want a stable of topics
and speakers. Canceling a meeting because the speaker can't attend is
really debilitating and impacts the rhythm of attendance.
Building attendance is a matter of networking. Talk to local
universities, organizations, and even other related email lists.
It's just hard work and persistence.
On Feb 15, 2006, at 9:55 AM, Tyler Mitchell wrote:
> Just re-sending this message directly to this list. I would love
> to hear more
> about how people are already organising regional user groups.
> The only one I'm involved is a sort of virtual user group for Western
> US/Canada, mostly focused on MapServer - we don't meet, we just use
> a mailing
> list when people have ideas/questions.
> ---------- Forwarded Message ----------
> Subject: [OSGeo-Discuss] International user groups
> Date: February 10, 2006 09:29
> From: Tyler Mitchell <tjm at timberline.ca>
> To: discuss at lists.osgeo.org
> One thing I would really like to see in the mid/long-term is the
> foundation supporting the development of regional, national and
> international user groups.
> Some countries and cities already have successful ones. We have a
> successful international conference. Other groups just need some more
> moral support, guidance/encouragement or maybe some infrastructure to
> help get things going. My dream is to have at least one OSGeo user
> group representative from every country and then provide casual venues
> for them to meet together in a regional context. I'm thinking about
> this at the moment because of the international
> membership/representation issues being brought up. Having a
> small number of members in the foundation means we can't expect to
> extremely broad international representation among the membership.
> if we strive to, it will be hard for members to vote for new
> international members who they've never met or dealt with before.
> If groups can be developed over the next year or so, then those groups
> would be an ideal place for the broader foundation community to get to
> know more projects and people internationally. It would come quite
> While I think it is a good idea to have broad international
> representation, it is going to be hard to get so early in the
> game. We
> had representatives from at least 5 countries in Chicago - I believe
> that's a very good start. Two board members are from Europe, that is
> very good as well.
> An organised, globally dispersed, set of user groups will help
> everyone settle in. OSGeo is a global party - it's going to take some
> time to mingle and meet everyone because the party just got started.
> Just some food for thought, hopefully we can come back to this idea
> after our initial structure is up and running.
> discuss mailing list
> discuss at lists.osgeo.org
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