If you have attended more than one user group meeting having any focus, you already found what value a user group can offer to someone. That is part of the goal of the user group concept. There are many other goals for user groups. Some are:
One of our goals in the Orlando DotNetNuke Users Group is also to spread the user group love... For example, I recognize that there are no other active DotNetNuke user groups in the entire state of Florida. We find out at every code camp and other community events that this is not because people don't want them, or due to the lack of interest. People all over want a DotNetNuke user group in their area.
One of the ways that I have tried to help my fellow Floridians cope with this has been to stream our meetings. Even though we do that, we have a handful of members who drive 1-2 hours and more to get to our meetings. That is how much people want to learn more about DotNetNuke!
Back to spreading the user group love... Why aren't there any active user groups in the other metropolitan areas of Florida? After spending over a year speaking to people about this, I have a single answer...
There hasn't been a person in those areas with enough initiative and time to start and maintain user group meetings.
Why is that? It could be for many reasons:
I hope to address those points now.
People are afraid, as they do not know what it takes to do this
First of all, there is nothing to be afraid of. Once you take the plunge to start a user group,there are plenty of resources to help you be successful. There are other user group leaders, INETA members, and sponsors. People even come out of the woodwork in the form of user group members to help you. You will not be alone.
People do not feel that they are qualified enough
There is no such thing as a qualification for someone to be a good or great user group leader. It doesn't matter how much you know about the user group focus either. I know user group leaders who do not even use the technology that the user group talks about, but the user group is still highly successful and thrives. All you need to know is how to talk to people.
People think that they are alone in their area
This is just silly... There are plenty of people in your area that love DotNetNuke just as much or more than you do. You just haven't met them yet. How often have you struck up a conversation with someone at the gas station to bring up DotNetNuke? :) Exactly. We have no idea how many people we see daily that use it for themselves or their company. Until there is a common meeting place for all to find, you will not know who and how many people there are to bring in to the meetings.
People believe that it takes too much time to manage
In the beginning this, could very well be true, depending on how much you are doing to promote and prepare for the meetings. Once the meetings begin, you will soon find that there are plenty of people willing to help you manage the user group. All you have to do is ask. :) It usually takes from 1 to 3 hours a week to keep up with the user group.
Here is the bombshell question... I am looking for people that are passionate about the DotNetNuke platform, and who want to spread their passion to others in the state of Florida. You do not need to be a DNN expert or anything. You just need to have the desire to help yourself and other DNN'ers in your area.
Why am I asking to find you? It is my hope and desire to help your area learn more about DotNetNuke through you. I am offering the following the the DotNetNuke user groups in Florida:
If you are interested in becoming a DotNetNuke user group leader in your area, please contact me. I would love to hear from you.
In addition, you will also need to go to the DotNetNuke website, and register as a user group leader. If someone else already did this, contact them. Either you can help them start the user group, or maybe they will hand over the reins to you.
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