Starting a User Group, Part II

Starting a User Group, Part II

I started a user group for new media types back in February, and am happy to say that it’s going pretty well. It turns out that there is a desire for some kind of face-to-face, creative discussion group.

The group has gelled together well so far…surprisingly well.

I think success has come from several factors.

  1. I think some success comes from setting the tone strongly enough: not a business group, yes a dialog group, yes on sharing creative experiences and yes on periodic, face-to-face contact. These four things alone acted as a good pre-selection filter; we got creative people who want to get together.

  2. Secondly, I’m a big believer in competent followup. It’s one thing to get a list of people and arrange for a meeting; it’s entirely another thing to make sure that people feel involved and get the sense that stuff is happening. If they miss a meeting, they need to hear about what happened through a daily communication channel: this is one lesson I learned from being a manager / lead. The mailing list I set up helps accomplish this, yet doesn’t infringe too much.

  3. Establishing a MediaWiki for the group helps make it seem a little more real, and gives me a referral URL for when I talk to people. It’s a Wiki because I want people to be able to add and change things without me being the bottleneck. Not seeing a lot of change yet, but it’s good to know it’s in place.


p>Historically I am a somewhat introverted person, so I was expecting this to be a lot harder than it actually has been so far. Work experience and management has paid some dividends.

More later.