User groups in general are great. They do for the average person what few other venues and mediums can… They connect people in meaningful ways. Sure, you can log onto your favorite social network and find people with similar interests, but you have to build a relationship first. That takes time. At a user group, everyone is there for the same reason. They all want to learn more about the overall topic. Once you share a slice of pizza or a drink with your fellow user group members, you have quite possibly built a meaningful relationship for life.
You may or may not know, but I assist in managing the user group program for DotNetNuke. Over the past month or two, there have been a greater number of requests for helping people find user groups, but also people wanting to run a user group in their area. This is very exciting! There are numerous reasons that we could point to as possible reasons for this increase in activity. Regardless to the reason, I just wanted to highlight some of the new user groups that are forming.
The SE Queensland DotNetNuke User Group is being run by Ian Sampson (@glantonian), Director of Glanton Solutions. He is a long time DNN user and supports some very impressive DNN websites for some of the higher profile customers any of us can hope for. They have landed a heck of a first speaker too… Bruce Chapman (@brucerchapman) of iFinity Software. If that doesn’t ring a bell, iFinity’s flagship product is URL Master.
Their first meeting is on March 22, and their topic is “What’s New in DotNetNuke 6.2?” This is certainly a must-see topic and presenter!
The west coast of the US in general doesn’t have as much user group activity as I would like. I am not sure of the exact reasons why, but Greg Griffin hopes to be the catalyst to change that. He and the previous leader spoke and chose to handoff the responsibility. I don’t have quite as much information about the plans for this group, but if Greg’s emails are any indicator, Portland should have some great meetings very soon, beginning March 13.
Tampa Bay, Florida
Tampa Bay had a user group in the past that began to catch some momentum. It had several great meetings and included Joe Brinkman and myself as speakers. However, it ended up having to cease having meetings.
Bernadette McCarthy has eagerly asked to take over this user group, and I am extremely glad that she has. She brings a very high level of excitement to the group, and they haven’t even met yet! This user group has great potential, considering that it is so close to the ODUG, and Tampa is a hot bed of Microsoft-related user groups. I hope to see them grow quite quickly.
Their first meeting is a meet & greet on April 2.
The Central Ohio DotNetNuke User Group has an extremely motivated individual taking the reins. He is quite simply the most excited person that I’ve spoken to about user groups in the recent past, and he cannot wait to meet all of the people in his area. Dustin Eastman is the new leader of this user group and has scheduled their kick-off meeting on March 15.
Do YOU Want to Run a DNN User Group?
With all of this renewed interest in user groups, I have to ask… Are you interested in running a user group? If you are, please let me know. I’d love to talk to you about the user group in your area.
Discuss Running Your Own User Group
This blog entry is cross-posted from my personal blog site.