This blog entry is cross-posted from my personal blog site.
Hopefully, by now you know that there’s a new and improved area on the DotNetNuke website for you to find and maintain your user group information. People that are new to DNN can find your group, and you can also maintain a useful presence there. This is an officially supported and active project that is managed by DNN Corp.
What is available to you on this page, and what is in it for you? Look at the image above? In a single, quick snapshot, visitors to the DNN website can see:
- How many members there are
- If you’re active
- When is the next meeting
- Where is the next meeting
- A map of the meeting location
- Contact the leader
- Where the UG is on other social networks
- The official UG website
That is a ton of information, and soon it will have more exposure than ever before.
When people are looking for a user group in their area, they rarely know to look for your website. Right now, only the most popular user groups enjoy such an awareness. So, it’s pretty natural for new members to look for your user group using the User Group Wizard on the DotNetNuke website. There, they can specify their country and region, and then choose the user group that is closest to them.
Why Should I Worry About This? I Have a Website.
It really doesn’t matter if you have a website, a meetup group, or anything else. When a new person in the DNN community decides to look for a user group, the mass majority will come to the DotNetNuke website to look for one in their area, or in areas that they will be traveling to. The user group wizard serves as a central repository of user group information, with features that will increase. (This trend of user group discovery could change. See below.)
Make no mistake! This IS how most of your new members will find your group. Once they choose the user group, they will immediately be faced with whatever information that you have entered for your user group.
Do you know what the meeting address is for your user group profile on the DNN site?
If you have all of the information filled in, then they will immediately see where your meetings are held, what social networks the user group participates in, who the leader is, how to contact the leader, and more. If your profile is complete, then this new person will immediately be able to tell at a glance that you’re serious about the group, and that it’s active.
If you don’t appear to be an active group, then this member will likely become instantly disenchanted from finding out more about your group.
Do you know if your user group twitter profile is specified for your user group in the user group wizard?
User Group Promotion
There are times where people such as myself will decide to promote a user group for any number of reasons. We might have just noticed that your user group has a decent number of registered members. There might be an event near your group that would help promote your user group and help to get it more exposure and new attendees. You might have a really cool speaker flying in. Maybe you’re about to host the next Hackathon. The list goes on…
I would love nothing more than to help you promote your user group. However, if you have an incomplete profile for your user group, then it won’t help us or your group when we point people your way. Right or wrong, your user group profile is a direct reflection of the quality and activity of your group. If someone new views your group profile for the first time, and it’s not filled in – they will likely assume that the group either isn’t active, or is not worth their time.
Does your user group have a Facebook profile or group page? How about a LinkedIn group? Does your user group profile reflect that?
First impressions are everything. As soon as someone views the landing page for your user group, they should automatically be able to see the map of the meeting location, the group address, and the various ways to contact the user group. Every single piece of this information is incredibly important. If you’re not already doing this, you are losing members and don’t even know it.
A new feature is coming to the DotNetNuke website too. Very soon, user groups will begin to get additional exposure on the main DNN site, including on the home page. Your group will begin to have more traffic than ever before, because it will undoubtedly be featured at some point. However, this will only benefit you and the group if your user group profile is completely filled out. The main part of this feature is your events though. So it’s imperative that you add your events to the DNN website for now on.
Joe Brinkman recently built a DNN mobile application called DNN Pulse that allows you to find user groups, among other things. Can you guess where the user group data comes from? That’s right… The User Group Wizard module! :)
This phone application will soon be widely available to everyone using both iPhones and Android devices. This is yet another way we are trying to help you promote and grow your user groups – but we need your help in maintaining your user group information. If your info isn’t complete, this phone app will probably not even find your group.
User Group Events
Very soon, your events will be the main way that your user group begins to get exposure to new people in the community. Visitors to the DotNetNuke site will see upcoming user group events right on the home page, so it’s incumbent upon you to ensure that your events get added there.
Remember… How fast and large your user group grows is up to you. The same goes to the quality of the meetings, which is directly related. If you do the bare minimum, it will be reflected in your group through attendance and participation by both attendees and presenters.
When this new feature appears on the DotNetNuke website, will YOUR user group grow, or will it stay the same?