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Thread: Question - Are face-to-face User Group meetings still relevant?

  1. #1
    Moderator Steve Wood's Avatar
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    Default Question - Are face-to-face User Group meetings still relevant?

    I have been toying with having an Alpha Users Group meeting in my local area (San Fran Bay Area). You may have seen my previous post for the "Meetup" group.

    Curious, do you think face-to-face Users Group meetings still relevant? And if so, what makes them useful? It cannot be just technical content, because we can get that from thousands of video and forum posts, release notes and occasionally the official Help Docs. My purpose with the Meetup is to get the local Alpha users together, but also to attract developers who use other tools, and want to find out more about Alpha. Somewhere in that model I see additional business both for my company and other Alpha developers who participate along with me. But it is a bunch of work to get it going.

    What do you think? Are face-to-face User Groups still useful? And if so, and assuming it was driving distance, what would get you to attend?

    Steve
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    "Certified" Alphaholic DaveM's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question - Are face-to-face User Group meetings still relevant?

    Steve,
    As far a business decision: NO, they are not useful
    As far as a social decision: Some like to put a voice, face and body English together with the written words they get from posts, emails and more.

    There is Skype and a few others that will do most of that as well and a whole lot less expensive than a ticket from Florida to the various places where a get together may be held.

    I am in groups on Skype where we have had several in an open chat at the same time. In a same development with several other people on the same project and thousands of miles apart, it works very well. Mostly messages and informed questions can really be a blessing there.

    what would get you to attend?
    Only if there were serious awards for the miles and if it was at the right place, like, but not only, Disney World where the family would want to go. I already been to the bay area and beyond on business mostly.

    So much for my opinion!
    Last edited by DaveM; 05-19-2014 at 05:25 PM.
    Dave Mason
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    Moderator Steve Wood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question - Are face-to-face User Group meetings still relevant?

    Sounds like golf in the morning and a full afternoon of training and frequent cocktail breaks.
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    Default Re: Question - Are face-to-face User Group meetings still relevant?

    There is definite value in the real-time two-way communication that a physical meetup enables.

    However I live 7000+ miles away, and rarely travel to the USA.

    I'd be interested in using Google Hangouts as the medium for a user group.
    https://support.google.com/hangouts/.../3111943?hl=en

    10 to 15 people can video conference simultaneously
    and 100 can listen/watch and use the text messaging
    https://productforums.google.com/for...ts/yM1kI5-B1Jo

    Only problem is... no golf or cocktails

  5. #5
    "Certified" Alphaholic Ted Giles's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question - Are face-to-face User Group meetings still relevant?

    Skype now offer free group video sessions, and in the group Dave has mentioned, we talk and video as required.
    You do need to be showered and dressed for the video bit though
    In addition, Team Viewer is useful for getting technical assistance.
    Ted Giles
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    Default Re: Question - Are face-to-face User Group meetings still relevant?

    Hi Steve,
    I think there is value to face to face meetings and met-ups.

    I do 90% of my client work remotely but I go out of may way to travel and meet clients face to face, also contractors that work for me.
    In the age of Facebook and 'Social' Media we are becoming less and less social, it is sad
    We are humans and real face to face interactions can't be replaced by technology.
    What you are proposing is a great idea in my opinion If I lived in the Bay area I would be up for it.
    I would live to create a New Zealand Alpha users group at some point.

    Bruce

  7. #7
    Moderator Steve Wood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question - Are face-to-face User Group meetings still relevant?

    Bruce, I have six IADN members who are in New Zealand. Do you want me to contact them to potentially form a NZ Users Group?
    Steve Wood
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    "Certified" Alphaholic glenschild's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question - Are face-to-face User Group meetings still relevant?

    Absolutely agree they can and are relevant. As with any meeting the key is the agenda.
    Glen Schild



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    "Certified" Alphaholic Ted Giles's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question - Are face-to-face User Group meetings still relevant?

    Couldn't agree more Glen.
    An agenda, as well as expected reading matter, a proposed outcome and the correct participants pays hugely.
    My time in government led me to refuse to attend meetings without an agenda and to ask what we were supposed to de discussing and deciding.
    However. A "jolly" is also important for us social animals, so perhaps the two can coexist.
    Ted Giles
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Question - Are face-to-face User Group meetings still relevant?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Wood View Post
    Bruce, I have six IADN members who are in New Zealand. Do you want me to contact them to potentially form a NZ Users Group?
    Hi Steve,

    That would be great, Please PM me and let's discuss.

    Bruce

  11. #11
    Moderator Steve Wood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question - Are face-to-face User Group meetings still relevant?

    I have started to communicate with the few members of my Alpha Meetup (under the umbrella of IADN, so really IADN-BayArea) and it will be interesting because I am used to working with individuals who have good knowledge of Alpha, but these guys are all green. The Bay Area where I live is such a prolific meetup area, dozens of tech meeting every week. I joined one named "Demo App and Drinks". They seem to have the right idea, meet & mingle, have a few, and then watch a demo.
    Steve Wood
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    Default Re: Question - Are face-to-face User Group meetings still relevant?

    Steve - I live a little south, Carmel, 'green' but interested, and would drive north. Please keep me informed.

    Rich

  13. #13
    "Certified" Alphaholic DaveM's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question - Are face-to-face User Group meetings still relevant?

    Sounds like golf in the morning and a full afternoon of training and frequent cocktail breaks.
    something like that. Only, for me, it would be off the race track at night.

    Seriously, I would love to meet others that have things to offer and I humbly would offer what I have to give.
    Back to work though. I have several small and large projects under way and need to make some headway today. Should have all ready by the time you get the get together in CA.
    May try to make that, I have a business meeting coming up in San Francisco and if the dates showed up at the right time???

    I do still have a couple old girl friends in SF and may get sidetracked.
    Dave Mason
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  14. #14
    Moderator Steve Wood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question - Are face-to-face User Group meetings still relevant?

    PM me when you know your meeting date. Can't promise to make my meetup the same date but will try. You should join the Meetup (http://www.meetup.com/iadn_sfbayarea/) so I can keep track there. I will be inviting all of the CA and NV based Developers on my list to join. I don't really like the whole Meetup thing and would rather have my own homegrown system to manage "user Groups" but the fact is Meetup.com and LinkedIn.com are the best way to attract non-Alpha members to get together. P.s., anything I hold will (as best as possible) support the full range of Alpha offerings, Desktop, Web and Mobile. But truth is the later two are the draw.

    I have a couple ex GF's in SF as well, but I don't think they want to see me!
    Steve Wood
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    Default Re: Question - Are face-to-face User Group meetings still relevant?

    Hi Bruce..

    I'd be up for that - I'm in Taupo..

    Steve

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