Why become a SIG vs User Group

Every so often I get asked what is it like to run a user group. The answer is a lot of hard work and there can be a lot of time commitments as well.

 

After running the Ottawa Windows Server User Group (www.OWSUG.ca) for a few years now I am a STRONG believer that you don’t need to have one user group for every discipline or topic. I believe that each discipline or topic should become a Special Interest Group (SIG) of one larger user group.

 

In Ottawa there are several user groups that I know about. (listed in no particular order) and a lot more that I don’t know about!

Ottawa Windows Server User Group

Ottawa Storage Networking User Group 

Ottawa .NET Community                                

Ottawa PC User Group 

Active Directory User Group

Ottawa Oracle User Group

Ottawa Drupal User Group

Ottawa Linux User Group

XML of Ottawa User Group

Ottawa Carleton Smalltalk Users Group

Ottawa XP Users’ Group

Macintosh User Group of Ottawa

Ottawa Sybase User Group

Ottawa MapServer User Group

Ottawa-Gatineau WebSphere User Group

Ottawa InDesign User Group

Ottawa Novell User Group

Bytown Mac User Group

Canadian Information Processing Society of Ottawa

Capital Computer Human Interaction

Ottawa Java User Group

Women in Technology (Ottawa)

Ottawa-Carleton Unix User Group

 

 

 

If most of these user groups were SIG of a larger user group or at least have associations with all the other user groups then could reach a wider audience.

 

So if you are thinking about starting a user group, consider becoming a SIG of another group.

 

Think about the benefits of becoming a SIG:

  • Have an existing Web presence
  • Have an existing Membership list
  • You can use the existing UG leadership to help you out
  • You can leverage any local partnerships that they have
  • They will most likely have access to a location for presentations
  • They will most likely have access to local MS or other vendor staff, who might be able to help out
  • They can help you understand how much pizza & pop to order

 

 

So the point of all of this is, look for an existing user group before starting your own.

 

Need help finding a user group try out this link!

Canada

http://www.microsoft.com/canada/technet/community/usergroups/

 

World

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/community/usergroup/default.mspx

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