March 11th, 2011
If Portland is truly going to foster the startup scene, user groups are a critical component
Nearly four years ago when I started this little blog, one of the huge motivating factors for doing so was Portland’s vibrant user group community. In a town of geekery, openness, collaboration, and collegial interactions, the user groups—be they language focused or discipline focused—are perfectly suited for the way we tinker, the way we work, and the way we create.
Ironically enough, user groups are also underserved. They seem to be doing well enough on their own. They’re grassroots by nature. They just keep going and going without much help. But if we are truly going to foster the Portland startup scene, we must find ways to strengthen the user group community.
Well, for one, giving them more visibility. Much in the same way I have tried to give Portland startups more visibility, I’d like to highlight what’s happening in user groups around town. Because honestly? There’s some really cool stuff happening in those environments. And it deserves better coverage than it currently gets.
But that’s me. Marketing fluff I can do. What about more tangible support?
Well, that’s something that the Highly-Official PDX11 User Group Health Team—composed of Reid Beels, Audrey Eschright, Christie Koehler, and Bart Massey—are trying to do. And they’re starting out with a survey of user group leaders.
That’s right. It’s like a user group about user groups. How meta.
We are working on an assessment of user groups and would like all leaders to fill out a survey so we can understand what groups currently need and have a way to contact you for future helpful activities.
Here is the survey (it’s only 5 questions, and one of those is your name):
To further the goals of user group communication, we’re planning a shindig for user group leaders in the near future. More details to come!
So if you’ve run a user group, you’re thinking of starting a user group, or you currently run a user group or three, please take a few moments to respond to the survey.
I’m looking forward to seeing our already impressive user group community continue to improve.