Monday, February 27, 2012
Monday, February 27, 2012 3:33:00 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
 Monday, February 20, 2012
Monday, February 20, 2012 12:19:00 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
 Monday, February 13, 2012
Monday, February 13, 2012 12:19:00 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
 Monday, February 06, 2012
Monday, February 06, 2012 12:17:00 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)
 Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Dr. Greg Low has been running a technical user group for years. In Building Technical User Communities, he shares what he has learned - what works; what doesn't work; and advice that may or may not fit your group.

As a longtime user group contributor and leader, I had already considered many of his recommendations, but I found most of them to be solid advice. In fact, at my group - The Great Lakes Area .NET Users Group in Southfield, MI - we were already doing many of the things that contained in this book.

For example, we found that members appreciate a consistent meeting place and time for our group. We have also used our group as an opportunity for new speakers to build their skills in a low-risk environment.

Like Dr. Low, I have found the best way to grow a group's attendance is by word of mouth - get to other user groups and technical events in the area and promote your group; and encourage your members to invite their friends and co-workers to the next meeting.

You don't need to take every bit of advice. For example, Dr. Low recommends 2 speakers per meeting, while my group has been successful with just one.

A month after the expiration of my term as user group president may not be the perfect time to read a book on how to lead a user group. But it's a good time to evaluate such a book.

If you are part of the leadership of a technical user group or you are considering forming your own group, an evening spent with this guide will give insight into what can make it successful.

BuildingTechnicalUserCommunities

Wednesday, February 01, 2012 1:36:44 PM (Eastern Standard Time, UTC-05:00)