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Re: Can SCALE 6x resurrect LAPUG

From: "Selena Deckelmann" <selenamarie(at)gmail(dot)com>
To: "Richard Broersma Jr" <rabroersma(at)yahoo(dot)com>
Cc: "Advocacy For PostgreSQL" <pgsql-advocacy(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: Re: Can SCALE 6x resurrect LAPUG
Date: 2007-12-13 21:30:56
Message-ID: 2b5e566d0712131330k60b9f3fj2b7bf95dd4ad088d@mail.gmail.com (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: lapugpgsql-advocacy
On Dec 13, 2007 12:32 PM, Richard Broersma Jr <rabroersma(at)yahoo(dot)com> wrote:

> --- On Thu, 12/13/07, Selena Deckelmann <selenamarie(at)gmail(dot)com> wrote:
>
> > It's not premature to pick a date and place!  Do you
> > have contact information for any of the other interested people?
>
> I believe so,  I can check with the guys that I meet at the last SCALE.
>  How would I go about arranging for a place to meet at?


I think that for starters, a place that is easy to find and that you won't
have a problem getting access to is the first requirement.  Looking around,
there are a few events and locations they were held at listed here:
http://barcamp.org/BarCampLosAngeles

Do you know anyone who has a meeting room that would fit 20-30 people?
That's all you'd need.

One thing I've seen groups do is meet at a restaurant or pub that has a more
quiet space, so that everyone can just order their own food. Don't be afraid
to try out a couple different things.

In Portland, we have a pretty established user group culture. We meet
sometime between 6:30-7pm, and have a 2 hour meeting, and then walk over to
a nearby pub for drinks and snacks. Nearly every user group follows this
model, and it works really well in Portland.

My impression of SFPUG is that they move their meetings around to different
locations, have good food (and sometimes drinks!).  They are better at
getting their meetings sponsored than I am :)

> The key for us was contacting the University, communicating
> > through other open source and database user groups, and
> > being consistent!
>
> Did you contact the university to arrange facilities to meet in, or did
> you post fliers to generate student interest in the user group?


I met a person who attended a database reading group at Portland State, and
he recruited attendees for me in person!

Fliers can be helpful - and I think you'll get the most out of handing that,
or a business card with information on it out at SCALE.  I can send you the
template we used for the PDXPUG business cards. I just had them printed on
card stock and cut at a local Kinkos.  They only cost about $25.

There are a bunch of universities in the LA area, but looking at UCLA - we
have a nice list here of student groups here:
http://www.engineer.ucla.edu/academics/organization.html

I'm sure that LALUGS would be a good resource for announcing a meeting:
http://lalugs.org/

I feel that a user group to be successful, the meetings would need to be
> meaningful for the attendees.  How one goes about adding meaning to a user
> group, I am not too sure.  But I would imagine that showing up for free
> pizza and a laptop with PostgreSQL installed probably wouldn't be enough
> hold long term interest.


The key is being consistent - having the meetings on the same day and time
every month.

As far as providing meaning - the group has to do that for itself. You are a
catalyst - ask yourself what topics you'd be interested in hearing about and
seek out people who know something about that topic. Right now, I think
everyone is interested in 8.3 features. Perennial favorites are talks about
PL/PgSQL or any of the other procedural languages, EXPLAIN, and we had a TON
of people show up for a relational algebra talk. We had no idea that
relational algebra was going to be so exciting for everyone.

In our Perl meetings we sometimes do Lightning Talks - where each person
gets 5 minutes to talk (with a timer to stop them from going over time!).
This might be a great way to get people over stage fright, or to just find
out a little bit about the people who come to the meeting.

And keep in mind that speakers don't need to be experienced. User Groups are
great places to build speaking skills and get direct feedback from people.


> > And if you're interested in creating a "user groups
> > operating manual", I'd love to collaborate with you as
> > LAPUG gets off the ground :)
>
> Producing a operating manual would be something that I could do that would
> be a contribution to the community.  At the very least I would learn what is
> involved for a operating Postgresql users group.


Cool!  We'll keep in touch, and we can start putting something together
after you have a meeting or two :)

-selena

-- 
Selena Deckelmann
PDXPUG - Portland PostgreSQL Users Group
http://pugs.postgresql.org/pdx
http://www.chesnok.com/daily

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