The past year, a lot of Drupal Local User Groups were born. I'd like to use this thread to reflect on that, and to collect some ideas and factoids about the Drupal Local User Group that you're part of. Are there best practices that you can share with other local user groups? What works? What doesn't work? Any trends? What was noteworthy in the history of your group? Anything the Drupal project, or the Drupal Association could do to help you organize local Drupal events? Let's talk, share and prioritize.

Comments

nategasser@drupal.org’s picture

Our local group for the Philadelphia, PA area (http://groups.drupal.org/philadelphia-area) has been co-meeting with the local PHP Meetup (http://php.meetup.com/353/) because of the overlap, both in subject matter and in individuals interested in attending each. This makes it more convenient plus brings a wider audience and scope to the meeting. We've been introducing Drupal to long-time PHP users, as well as helping Drupal people see the benefits of deepening their PHP/MySQL knowledge.

So far our meetings have been social only, with no presentations or fixed topics. We have two educational events planned for the fall so we'll see what kind of turnout and response we get to that idea.

Interested in hearing from others as well!

Nate.

the greenman’s picture

Robert Castelo and I, along with some other dedicated Drupal fans, have been running the London User Group for a year or so now. Although the actual attendance at events goes up and down (because sometimes we organise things better), we have seen a steady increase in the number of people interested.

We have two meetings a month, the Drop-In session open to anyone, and another for "builders". If we send out invitations, our Drop-In nights can easily attract 50 people, with a significant amount of corporate interest. These nights tend to be high level, with a regular, "What is Drupal ?" slot. We get extremely varied attendance at these events, and it really helps if we advertise on upcoming.org.

Our Builder nights are much smaller, but far more focussed. We have seen our core community grow steadily here, and the more technical focus of these nights means that we can get down to real education, and share practical advice. We have no real programme for these nights, mainly trying to get people to know others from the community to build up support structures. We tend to have random workshops depending on what questions and problems people bring to the table.

We run a local site at http://drupal.org.uk, and one day we'll upgrade it beyond 4.6. From regular conversations, we have found a real desire for a practical local site that can showcase the work and members of the community. We hope to start some kind of community process to develop this in the coming months. (On that on mythical day when Drupal developers re-discover free time).

webchick’s picture

A few months ago, a few of us plugged in all the local user groups on groups.drupal.org available at the time, along with how many people were subscribed, and came up with this map:

http://generator.click2map.com/maps/webchick/drupal_groups

Ideally, we'd store these values in g.d.o itself, so we could dynamically generate this map, but I just wanted to throw something together quick-and-dirty. But it provides a nice sense of where we all are concentrated in the world. :)

mhofmockel@drupal.org’s picture

I founded the Ann Arbor Drupal Users group - http://groups.drupal.org/ann-arbor - Apr07. I am excited about what this group may offer me as I work at home and alone.

We have loosely united with the nearby Jackson group. The University of Michigan school of Information has begun teaching two one credit courses in Drupal - http://www.rackham.umich.edu/Programs/humanities.arts/infoCRS.html - 505 and 631. One of the instructors will lead our next meeting. Our relationship with the local university is shaping up to be quite important.

I am amazed what you can get donated if you just ask. Offering a advert link is often enough to get a bite.

1. I registered our group with Apress.com. They offer free books in exchange for reviews. We have received the Pro Drupal Development book - http://www.amazon.com/Pro-Drupal-Development-John-VanDyk/dp/1590597559 - and one group member took up the challenge of writing a review. When he finishes the review I can offer another book to another member (one book at a time).

2. I also asked the local hosting company A2hosting.com to support the group. They have generously given us one free account and a 25% discount for group members. I am testing their site and will write up my notes. This is good for our group and the host.

3. A local design firm Skidmore Studio - http://www.skidmorestudio.com - developed the Ann Arbor District Library website - http://www.aadl.org - which has won several awards. I contacted them and asked them to attend our next meeting. They seem interested in supporting our group and potentially leading a presentation in the future.

4. The hardest thing to date has been getting space. The University and particularly a few in the School of Information have been very generous with space. But with the location migrating with every meeting, I'm sure we have discouraged a few along the way. I am very interested in securing a more centrally located space with beer (University doesn't allow beer). I have a few leads but securing a regular meeting location and time will stabilize the group.

Our group size is growing slowly adding a few with each meeting. I suspect maybe 20 at the next meeting. When the students return in the fall, I expect a few more.

What our group needs:

1. Critical mass - I see this at about 40 members.
2. Content - so far I have not had a problem getting people to present but I feel I will run out soon. Everyone is crying for help with theming. Finding a local theming guru would really help.
3. No middle class - We have beginners and experts but no middle users. Content for beginners is not appropriate for experts and vise versa. A middle class could help bridge the knowledge base. Some prepackaged tutorials (flash?) that help train newbies quickly would be awesome. Maybe the Association could fund some Guru travel to local groups?
4. How about a local groups leader workshop funded by the association? A little training on Drupal and Leadership would give me some needed energy and skills/resources.

What doesn't work:

Asking for participation from the group via email is a waste of time. No one is willing to help. But when you have physical bodies at a meeting an uncomfortable silence motivates many. Don't push decisions off to be decided over email.

You can't please everyone. And that might be a problem if thats you and your the leader. Leading a group well, means giving the group what they need. If that is different then what you need then leading can be a drain. Find co-leaders to help carry the load and momentum.

robertDouglass’s picture

I'm looking forward to being in Michigan and attending a meetup at my alma mater. Don't know when this will be... hopefully this year still =)

- Robert Douglass

-----
Lullabot | my Drupal book

my Drupal book | Twitter | Director, Product Operations Commerce Guys

Walt Esquivel’s picture

Hi.

Any updates with this?

2. I also asked the local hosting company A2hosting.com to support the group. They have generously given us one free account and a 25% discount for group members. I am testing their site and will write up my notes. This is good for our group and the host.

I realize your group received a free account and a 25% discount for group members, but I'm hoping for completely honest and unbiased notes. :) If you prefer to email me your notes, please feel free to do so via my contact form.

Thanks in advance.

Walt Esquivel, MBA; MA; President, Wellness Corps; Captain, USMC (Veteran)
$50 Hosting Discount Helps Projects Needing Financing

faunapolis’s picture

I like this idea:

4. How about a local groups leader workshop funded by the association? A little training on Drupal and Leadership would give me some needed energy and skills/resources.

I would enjoy training those who know less than I do on a larger than a one on one scale, and would of course benefit very much learning in person from those who know more than I do.

Some for profit and other non for profit entities related to drupal are doing an excellent job at this, but there is still a great deal of need in the training/tutorials side. Of course, the drupal forum is an excellent community as well.

http://www.faunapolis.org/

faunapolis’s picture

The Florida Drupal Group is doing point #4 right now, although I don't think we are doing this in connection to the Drupal Association. We are meeting the third Saturday of every month near Orlando, FL and having a class on every different subject. How can we integrate our efforts with the association's efforts?

4. How about a local groups leader workshop funded by the association? A little training on Drupal and Leadership would give me some needed energy and skills/resources.

I am truly proud of the leadership of the members that are hosting and leading these meetings. Check what we doing here:
http://groups.drupal.org/florida/

The class schedule is here:
http://groups.drupal.org/node/10674

Regards

http://www.faunapolis.org/

Dries’s picture

I still remember the first Drupal user group meeting in Belgium: we had 4 or 5 attendees. At the last Drupal user group meeting, we had 30+ attendees and a small waiting list. There has been a steady growth in Belgium, and we're also getting to a point where it takes a bit more time and effort to organize those events. We could benefit from extra promotion, as it might help to get us better and bigger venues for free. The lack of visibility somewhat limits our growth.

Sometimes Drupal events are promoted to the front page of drupal.org but so far, none of these have been of interest for me. They are somewhat noisy. It would be great if only the "reasonably local" events would show up (i.e. personalization and more targeted promotion). If would be great if Drupal.org could display something like: "Hey, we noticed that you are from Belgium. Did you know that there is a free Belgian Drupal user group next Friday?".

It would be great to have a central calendar that lists all Drupal events, and to be able to manage signups and reminders through such a tool as well. If this tool was linked with the Drupal.org profiles, it might be handy to keep in touch with people that you met at the Drupal user group meeting. I often forget people's name or nickname, and then I end up having to spend 15 minutes to track them down. Occasionally (but not too often), I'd like to keep track of what Drupal.org users I met in person and when. It's not 100% clear how this could be solved, but adding some more networking-ness to drupal.org might help. The Drupal.org user profiles could use some love.

The user group meetings seem to have two effects: (i) its creates more Drupal experts and (ii) it connects Drupal people, and individual Drupal consultants in particular. Individual Drupal consultants seems to start teaming up after these meetings. A lot of people attend these meetings not to learn more about Drupal, but to find partners in crime.

We've been trying to rotate the location of these meetings a bit. We've had meetings in all major cities in Belgium (remember, Belgium is small), and that seems to attract more and different people every time. It's also convenient if you can just "drop in" after work, without having to drive an hour.

We also started working with local Drupal shops -- in exchange for their office space (and some beers), they get some promotion which may or may not give them some leads. I think most companies are also keen to present or to talk about how they tackled a particular customer project. There is marketing value in hosting a Drupal user group meeting.

It would be nice to get access to leaflets and to the occasional Drupal schwag (i.e. Drupal pins or Drupal books).

User Group Meetings with presentations about the CCK and Views are guaranteed to be well attended. ;)

Gábor Hojtsy’s picture

The event calendar at groups.drupal.org is pretty cool: http://groups.drupal.org/event (and it is also available in many export formats like RSS and iCal). This is far from being a complete solution for what you ask, but is a pretty good start to the "hey you live there, and there is a group even close to you tomorrow".

greggles’s picture

First, if anyone doesn't know it there is a drupal user group meta group which I created to facilitate conversations like this. There are some tips there (like how to get free copies of the Pro Drupal Development Book).

In my experience, it is quite difficult to find times to meet. For some this is a full time job and they want to meet during the day. For others it is a hobby so nights or weekends are best. We just experimented a lot and ended up going to a specific night of the month (third thursday every month).

Like the London Group we also are starting to split out into the "intro" focused meetings and separate "builder" focused meetings. By doing this I feel that we're better serving the people coming to the meetings. We struggled for a long time how to get valuable content for both new folks and seasoned developers. When you have hunmonk in the same room as someone who's never installed Drupal it's hard to have the content interesting to all.

When we advertise a meeting well in advance we get ~15-25 people.

We open each meeting saying "Who are you? what is your experience? what would you like to learn about? What would you like to teach about?" Often that works really well, but sometimes we struggle with it. I find that if I start off with an example where I provide good examples of things I want to learn about and things I want to teach about then others are more likely to follow through with their own interests.

Finding good space was a problem at first, but now we have many offers of good space to use.

I can't really think of good ways for the association to help us more than they are already by providing http://groups.drupal.org One thing that's been nice is when we get "celebrities" to come to meetings - perhaps the Association could pay to send you on a world tour of meetups ;)

--
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--
CARD.com :)

Jax’s picture

The user-group-meta-group group no longer exists. Is there another group where general discussion about Drupal User Groups (DUG) can take palce?

greggles’s picture

Boris Mann’s picture

Further support of groups.drupal.org would be good. e.g. like webchick's map, it would be good to have solid geo support for all the users and the groups. Of course, events and so on are all possible there, by subscribing to groups and so on. It saddens me that you don't seem to be using those features. If you want to roll them into drupal.org directly...great, it's just a big project.

One point I wanted to bring up is organizing *larger* events. Some of this is DrupalCons, which are truly a lot of effort to organize. Another part is representing Drupal by running a booth at events. The London crew go to a lot of the Linuxworld events and do this.

Which brings me to OSCON. Unfortunately, we haven't had a champion step up and organize presence for Drupal there for the past 2 years. I wanted to point out that the association could certainly support these sorts of attendances, but it does need at least one person to take charge.

One suggestion is to try and keep a running list of upcoming events like that, and solicit volunteers from people that are close by.

--
The future is Bryght.

Anonymous’s picture

Well, Drupal may not have had an organized presence, but at least got a mention in today's keynote address by Bill Hilf from Microsoft "Year in Review: Open Source at Microsoft." I wasn't there (Spike doesn't have a presence at OSCON this year either), so I don't know details on the content, but he was going to include an announcement about a partnership between Microsoft and Spikesource, and an explicit mention of our Drupal-on-WAPP stack, which will be our first publicly available anything on Windows. So even without an organized presence, Drupal's being promoted in Portland #:^)

karthickk’s picture

Please any one send the book about druapl how i can create the website using drupal please help me

drewish’s picture

I agree that it would have been nice to have an official presence here but Drupal's been mentioned quite a bit. I did a small talk about Drupal and the station.module at OSCamp (the free un-conference in the midst of OSCON).

starbow’s picture

Not having location enabled for events at g.d.o is a bit of a pain. There is that great "Upcoming events" block on the front page of drupal.org, but it is filled with headlines like "Drupal meeting", "Drupal meet up at Bob's", and sometimes even the teaser doesn't tell you where it is happening.

drewish’s picture

Lets get it going next year: http://groups.drupal.org/oscon2008

starbow’s picture

The Berkeley Drupal Users Group has been going for a couple of months now. We are a hybrid, trying to serve the campus community and the local developers and hobbiests. Our first meeting was at night, but all the campus folk pushed for a meeting time during the day. Our second meeting was at lunch, and there was a huge turnout, mostly campus groups doing initial evaluations. By our third meeting, it has calmed down a bit, and it is mostly people that are actually doing something with Drupal.
So far the meetings have been mostly introductions and open Q&A, which seems to make most people happy, but I am feeling the urge to push to some more focused conversations. It has been great that there is a group of regulars who enjoy answering questions. Of course, one of the most common questions is "so can you work on this for me", to which the answer is "maybe I can work you in, in a couple of months".
Our attendance has definitely benefited from the absence of a regular San Francisco group. We'll see what happens if anyone across the Bay gets organized.

starbow’s picture

After thinking about it for a bit, the most useful thing I can think of that the DA could do for our group, would be to get two-way groups to mailing list integration going over at groups.drupal.org. There are still a bunch of people out there that only like to interact through email, so our attention is split between postings to the group and email to the list. Unifying them would be great.
I know this has been tried in the past (mailhandler/listhander, og2list), but having it all packaged and ready to go on groups.drupal.org would be fantastic.

Walt Esquivel’s picture

I agree and would very much appreciate this request receiving serious consideration.

Walt Esquivel, MBA; MA; President, Wellness Corps; Captain, USMC (Veteran)
$50 Hosting Discount Helps Projects Needing Financing

Walt Esquivel’s picture

Dries,

Thanks for your solicitation on this.

I've been coordinating Austin group meetups every month since January. We've met socially and, most recently, every Tuesday in June and the 1st Tuesday in July in a workshop manner at Four Kitchen Studios to cover all sorts of things - basic intro to Drupal, contributed modules, CiviCRM, theming...

What works?
- Getting the word out at least 2 weeks in advance of a scheduled event greatly helps people plan their schedules.
- It's best to include detailed info, e.g., what will be covered (if applicable), where the meetup will take place, when, the address, etc.
- Folks like to have both social meetups and more structured meetups, so I've scheduled both types.
- Social meetups are free-flowing and folks can talk about anything Drupal-related.
- Structured meetups cover a specific Drupal area such as theming or contributed modules.
- I think meetups for the Austin group can work if we meet once or twice each month, e.g. the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays from 7-9 pm.
- Having the meetup in a location that is easy to get to with ample parking (hey, we don't use much mass transit here in Texas!).
- Being open and receptive to Drupal users and potential Drupal users at all experience levels, from beginner to expert.
- Expecting Drupal users in the community to give back by hosting a venue and/or providing a presentation on some aspect of Drupal.
- Calling the venue ahead of time to ensure it has wifi and Internet connectivity.
- Beer helps. :)

What doesn't work?
- Having only one leader. It really takes a team effort. Someone can organize the meetup, someone else can give a presentation, etc.
- Meeting someplace where it's too loud. Attendees like to be able to hear each other and engage in conversation.

Any trends?
If you schedule a meetup, people will come. This shows folks are genuinely interested in meeting fellow Drupal users.
Our group seems to have about 10 folks that consistently show up and others that rotate for a total of about 15 or so.

Anything the Drupal project, or the Drupal Association could do to help you organize local Drupal events?
I think that after we get a good number of responses to your query, it would be great if someone created a "Guide to Drupal Local User Groups" document to post somewhere on both the Drupal Handbooks and somewhere on groups.drupal.org with all the "this works" and "this doesn't work" and "these are the best practices", etc.

Walt Esquivel, MBA; MA; President, Wellness Corps; Captain, USMC (Veteran)
$50 Hosting Discount Helps Projects Needing Financing

greggles’s picture

IMHO, documentation on setting up groups already is alive at http://groups.drupal.org/user-group-meta-group

Like many pieces of documentation, it just needs a little more visibility and contributions.

--
Knaddisons Denver Life | mmm Chipotle Log

--
CARD.com :)

tourguide’s picture

Chicago Drupal Users are meeting tomorrow.We figured it would be a great idea to hear the group's thoughts and ideas on this topic. We will make a post after the event in response. Here is the *UPDATE.

Rosamunda’s picture

Hello there!

I think drupal.org could have a special place to announce all events, as a specific block or something.
I´m a member of the Argentina Drupal Group and the Buenos Aires one.
I´ve seen several times anouncents of meetings and barcamps that belongs to certain groups, here in the Drupal homepage; but never ever Argentina gets any attention. Not even when we try to contact drupal using the contact form.
I know that if every single tiny reunion that belongs to every single group would get posted in the homepage, this would be a complete chaos.
But the rules should be the same to everyone.
There are little goups going stronger in south america, and they (we) could do a little help from Drupal :-)

Besides that, the Groups could be organized differently.
In my opinion, we can easily separate the "geographic" groups, to those that try to approach a specific goal, or talk about specific issues.
The groups that are created with location in mind, doesn´t have (at the beggining at least) any other goal than to get acquainted with fellow drupallers.
They shouldn´t get listed in the same column.

Just my 2 cents.

Thanks!! :-)

Rosamunda
Buenos Aires | Argentina
www.ligadelconsorcista.org

tomekg’s picture

I want to say that I agree on "I think drupal.org could have a special place to announce all events, as a specific block or something." what say Rosamunda. "In my opinion, we can easily separate the "geographic" groups, to those that try to approach a specific goal, or talk about specific issues." - this is brilliant idea!

seaneffel’s picture

Boston has a few great meetups, some well attended during academic seasons, and some with lower turnout. We had a couple of formal presentations that were excellent, like the grad student showing off a voice-to-text/text-to-voice content system for users in non-wired areas to use their cell phones to post content. And we've had a bunch of informal, no-agenda meetups that were great for networking. I'm currently planning out to August when I host a DUBBQ, a Drupal User's Barbeque. Just think, weenies and wifi.

FWIW, the Drupal Association should think about nominating regional organizers and empowering them to hold regional conferences and networking events. I think these regional organizers don't have to be developers, they're often hard at work anyway. Just some good schmoozers. I'm a member of the ACM (Alliance for Community Media, a public access entity) and they have a similar structure that promotes excellent collaboration.

greggles’s picture

The same as you're empowered for local meetups you are empowered for regional ones ;) You just say you're holding it and that is what empowers you. We're a do-ocracy here, after all.

And while the phone2drupal is offtopic - can you please point us to a link about the module code or something? That sounds awesome!

--
Knaddisons Denver Life | mmm Chipotle Log

--
CARD.com :)

seaneffel’s picture

I totally get it, no doubt. I dig the do-ocracy, and the general merit-ocracy theme in the Drupal community. But the question is what could the Drupal Association "do" to make local meetups stronger. My little experience in social organizing made me think that the DA ought to sanction some individuals to play a leadership role in their geographical areas. Aside from that (and funding) I don't know how else they would help "do" local meetups.

Boris Mann’s picture

So....no sanctioning. Works the other way around. Someone in the local region puts their hand up and says "I would like to organize a conference in this area". The DA supports in certain ways, dependent on a submitted proposal (e.g. it's going to be for 100 people, I'm going to charge $25, and here's my budget), and might help fund, support, promote, etc. -- donating swag, for instance.

There is a template in the works to outline what the DA would like to see from folks that are trying to organize events.

--
The future is Bryght.

tandonian’s picture

I have been apart of several meet-ups including the second berkeley and two down around san jose and palo alto. the latter being just two people strong each, but no less enlightening. The Berkeley meet-up was cool to have the breadth of minds and conversation in the room, but I thought it might be kinda hard to get beyond the talk and actually work productively with that many people. My most recent involvement with a group(actually just a dude from Palo Alto) is that it is naturally much easier to structure working sessions with small groups. We each would come to the meeting with a small 25-30 minute lesson on something that we worked on and learned over the week. This worked really well.
My first attempt at getting a south bay meet-up going was with very little hands on exeperience with Drupal and I was really more drawn to the conversations of theory and implications of Drupal and society, but I think people we're like 'what the f is this guy talking about, I want to work on drupal' But I still think we need to really focus on drawing a style and languange of talking about Drupal amongst beginners and experts alike. Often times I see people ask, 'what is drupal', and the drupalers of the bunch sort of slip back into their chairs with knowing smiles and look up into the sky, and search for the words.
If our communications reality is that the majority has their mouth propped firmly open for the force feeding with huge proprietary infrastructure that is so engrained that to consider another infrastructure doesn't even compute, than I feel there has to be a real concerted social/relational effort that draws a broad conceptual understanding of the magic and implications of such a system on the world of media dronedom. After all, the main message that has drawn me here over and over again, is that '[Drupal is world-changing]'

blakehall’s picture

I have given drupal sessions at both BarCampMilwaukee and BarCampMadison in the last year. Since then the g.d.o group has probably tripled (to 24 ;). In Madison we've found it tough to get together regularly. There are 6 or 7 of us in Madison, and another similar sized group in Milwaukee. Since we're somewhat geographically dispersed it's tough to meet regularly. In the coming months I'm hoping to see meetings ramp up quite a bit though. There is a group in Milwaukee web414 (who chose to build their site in Drupal after one of the BarCamps) that's had some success, so I imagine we'll piggy-back on that.

We're also shooting for a DrupalCamp in the Milwakee area in late August / early September (planning wiki).

I would love to see some sort of regional DrupalCon's. I haven't been able to make it to the coast for some of the larger events, so it would be nice to have one closer to home.

Gábor Hojtsy’s picture

A few years ago (before discovering Drupal ;) we tried to organize generic PHP user group meetings. We found that meetings without set out topics do not work, there were only a small number of attendees. Maybe it is because Hungary is not a wealthy country, and people would like to get something done with their time, not *just* to go out for the evening. This is not exactly fortunate.

Anyway, with Drupal, we opted for bigger events, so we organized the first Hungarian Drupal Conference in October (and we got Dries coming!:), and we also organized a Drupal 5 release party with presentations and discussion on Drupal 5. Apart from these bigger events, we are not currently into organizing smaller, regular user group meetups, although I think it would be great. We are basically very time constrained.

I would second what others said here: it would be great to have the geographical and topic-oriented interest groups more separated on groups.drupal.org with more support for geographic groups as pointed out by webchick. A better home page for groups.drupal.org, which directs people to local groups and topic-oriented interest groups would be great. As the number of both types of groups grow steadily, we need a better overview interface.

jredding@drupal.org’s picture

I took over "management" (so to speak) of the New York City Drupal meetup about a year ago. When I started hosting them we only had 5 or so people in attendance. Now 1 year and 3 DrupalCamps in we're hosting about 25 people every month.

The one thing that worked well for us was consistency. We had the same venue every month (MNN's Studios on 59th st) and we hosted it at the same time and on the same day (last Tuesday of the month). Word got around and a good chunk of the people attending every month never even heard of groups.drupal.org (pure word of mouth), this was great but it also meant that g.d.o/new-york-city wasn't being fully utilized.

Recently we've begun to notice that the group is divided into two groups. A complete newbie group and a hardcore dev/performance group. In the past this wasn't so difficult to manage as we only had 10-15 people but now with 25+ its pretty difficult to appease both groups. This is an issue we'll have to work out though. If the trend continue we may create two groups; one hardcore Drupal group and one Drupal newbie group.

Drupal Association, however, can really help us out with one major thing.

DrupalCamp finances. Our last camp had about 140 people and cost around $2.5K to put on (food, tshirts, stickers, venue, etc.). I setup a paypal account to bring in funds and we worked with a local non-profit to help us accept credit cards and other things. However it would have been really, really nice if I could have directed people to the Drupal Association to make the donations then I could've "drawn" on the DrupalCampNYC account from the association to pay for the items. The D.A would, of course, take a cut for administrative costs, etc. (hell paypal takes a cut as it is). It'd help us out and it would help out the D.A

Other than that. G.D.O is f*in awesome... few minor bugs but it works great!! Thanks!

icame’s picture

I'm in NYC, what is the website for your project to attend these groups?

---

Drupal Projects -- http://www.icame.com/

Walt Esquivel’s picture

Try Googling the following: New York City Drupal meetup

Walt Esquivel, MBA; MA; President, Wellness Corps; Captain, USMC (Veteran)
$50 Hosting Discount Helps Projects Needing Financing

sschridde’s picture

So, this is the first german DUG. Logically I am starting it in the capital city Berlin, first being a "Berliner" myself like JFK has been too. Secondly drupalberlin will push drupal - the best cms everseen - "first we take ..." May be this quote needs to be changed ;-). Horray and up we are rising. Please do not hesitate to visit our Site for leaving your greatings to encourage any german for membership.

Stefan Schridde
founder of drupalberlin, First DUG in Germany
www.drupalberlin.de

bobject’s picture

Drupal Usergroup Berlin
http://groups.drupal.org/berlin

Jeder 1. Donnerstag im Monat

P.s. Drupal-Anfänger, hab keine Scheu!

Monthly Gathering of the Drupal Usergroup Berlin.
English Speakers More Than Welcome!!!
Maandelijks Ontmoeting van de Drupal Usergroup Berlin.
Nederlanders (en ook Belgen :-)) meer dan welkom
Slurpee’s picture

Chicago Drupal Meet Up Group (CDMUG) has been around just over one year. Our group has grown tremendously in size and will continue to have a bright future. Members range in experience but always bring topics for discussion. Group members are mainly developers and/or represent non-profit organizations. The group currently has 100+ local members between our 3 web sites, but only draws 5 – 12 members, on average, each month with 4 – 5 members as regular attendees. The environment is very open – we discuss ideas, debug problems, and brainstorm current personal or client Drupal projects. (ie: what module would work best to solve this need? etc.)

Matthew the organizer was lucky enough to have an employer with an available conference room that we can use monthly; this has helped in multiple ways. We found meeting at bars or restaurants are not an ideal setting for Drupaling. Having a private space with a conference room table is more than we could hope for to provide the local community with education about the Drupal CMS. Our meet up facility has a projector that we use to demo projects, comfortable chairs, a large meeting desk, whiteboard, and also a free WiFi network. We name the SSID “CDMUG (July) Meetup” each month and it always gets a good response from new attendees. Restaurants and bars become loud which makes it hard for all members to participate. An office location usually has multiple power hook ups and an Internet connection stable enough for web developers. Another advantage is that our location has tons of free parking which is a big help in a major downtown city like Chicago, IL. It’s also possible that having the meet up at one location each month - every time - has helped members feel more welcomed to the group. Free pizza and soda is provided by our group organizer at every meet up so if you live near Chicago what are you waiting for – stop by the next CDMUG meeting.

Not all attendees bring laptops. Most often this type of attendee does not return. However we do have a few members that are solid programmers and can carry a detailed Drupal discussion without the need of a laptop. onShore provides additional laptops if needed or attendees have access to take the drivers seat on the laptop hooked up to the projector.

On the topic of topics, we try to have a general event theme. Our most popular event is “Show and Tell”. This gives our group members a chance to show off Drupal projects and how they accomplished them. Having a projector is a great feature for any event. “Drupal Install Nights” is another meeting topic we have and has proven to be the best received events from the attendees. We also provide a freely hosted (sponsored) Drupal solution called a “Drupal Test Drive”, this allows for non-profits or other organizations to easily examine the Drupal CMS in action. For the Drupal Test Drive – CDMUG members walk the new group member through the Drupal installation, admin screens, how to FTP, give a description of how the database works, go over the Drupal core (themes, modules), etc… The CDMUG Drupal Test Drivers can move the code/files very easily to a production server as the project grows into a beta/live website solution, so they take on no-risk of wasting their time/money.

We have utilized meetup.com for majority of our advertising/marketing. Meetup.com has a monthly cost of $20, but does a great job of continuously bringing in new members. Organizing the group is hard enough; it is nice to leave some responsibility up to meetup.com. We manage the sometimes day to day, month to month group needs (advertising/marketing, getting the meet up space ready before and after the event, mailing list, job referrals, website(s) admin, etc) with the help of our members and our assistant organizer Kyle.

In addition to meetup.com and g.d.o/Chicago, the group decided to setup cdmug.org. It is hosted by lmservers.com who is our hosting sponsor and has provided free hosting solutions for all of the group needs, including Drupal Test Drives. To receive an account on the cdmug.org website, members must physically attend a meet up. After this requirement is met they are given access to change any aspect of cdmug.org. We plan on developing this site at future meet ups, but haven’t had a cdmug.org topic for a meeting. Ultimately we want to give the local Chicago community a web-place for learning and educating themselves about the Drupal CMS and help with a list of resources to find answers or other needs through a trusted network. Provide a place for employers and developers to find each another.

One exciting new development on cdmug.org is that we have installed a live chat room (via phpfreechat). We tested this out for the first time at the July meet up. The goal was to get everyone logged into the chat and take notes on the topic of local Drupal User Groups. However, it wasn’t a huge success, but we did learn a few things that we are going to test out for the next meet up. In August we are going to require all attendees login to the chat room at the start of the meeting – also the group organizers are going to take on the role, as moderators, to log any important discussions, highlights, or links. The 1st CDMUG chat discussion is posted in the CDMUG forums.

CDMUG would like to request the Drupal Association to take part in advertising local user groups. If the Drupal Association made sure user groups were documented in future books, events, publications, web sites, articles, etc....It might help groups grow all over the world.
chat discussion.

CDMUG Links

cdmug.org
drupal.meetup.com/1
groups.drupal.org/Chicago

kbahey’s picture

Toronto has a lively and active Drupal User Group, dubbed DUG TO. Meetings are on the second Tuesday each month at the LinuxCaffe. Active participants/presenters include James Walker (walkah), and a lot of consultants from Toronto and surrounding areas.

The group grew fast that the meetings had to be rescheduled so as to have space, and not coincide with other user group meetings at the same venue. On some occasions, we had people coming in from all over Canada, such as London Ontario, and even Manitoba.

The group organized a well attended Drupal Camp Toronto in 2006 and 2007. They were a resounding success, mainly because of the efforts of organizers and volunteers who worked hard to make it a success.

Regular meetings normally have a topic or a theme. Some have a formal presentation, others have show and tell, and yet others are discussions. All meetings have a "segment" at the end where "anything goes" type of questions.

--
Drupal development and customization: 2bits.com
Personal: Baheyeldin.com

--
Drupal performance tuning and optimization, hosting, development, and consulting: 2bits.com, Inc. and Twitter at: @2bits
Personal blog: Ba

adixon’s picture

For the record, and your amusement, here's a short summary of how we got started. It's kind of like how Drupal got its name, a mistake that got reified.

The first meeting was Monday, November 21, 2005, at it's still current location of linux caffee (thanks to David Patrick, who runs it). For the sake of a story, I'm going to say that the idea was incubated at the Penguin Day that Phillip Smith and others organized a few months earlier, where there were lots of Drupal presentations and Jason setup a [DUG-TO] list. The list languished with no postings until by mistake, I sent a note to the list proposing a topic for Phillip's Socialtech brewing monthly meeting (which is no longer monthly), and after some discussion, Jason proposed that we actually meet, which we did, a day earlier that we'd previously announced to the list (so attendance was a bit sparse). My original topic proposal to the list was forgotten.

That meeting was surprisingly well documented, with Jason taking notes and posting them to the list. I'll append them here below for the future historians who'll want to know, and current user groups who want to be inspired.

My conclusions about why our group has succeeded (as evidenced by the continuing high turnout, new arrivals, and especially the drupal camps we've organized), are:

  1. a solid core of knowledgeable drupal people (khalid and james especially bring some great insider views and facts). I go because I always learn new things!
  2. good space (food and drinks make an open and friendly atmosphere - if you're a nervous first timer, you can always order a good latte ...). The absence of beer may or may not be a good thing.
  3. a great depth of 'activist' types - people who actually follow up on good ideas (you know who you are, but I'll single out Jason for a special oscar).

My only regret might be that we haven't done any collaborative work as a group on the drupal code base. Maybe that's because individually we've already got enough going on ... but I'm thinking there must be some fun collective way to do this one day.

And finally - the notes from the first meeting of DUG-TO:


Jason here on David's laptop in linuxcaffe

We had 8 gentleman (I use the term loosely) showup. :-)
 
The cafe was great. Tasty snacks and drinks.  No alcohol this time but David says that he will get us an event license next time.

We discussed about expecations for DUG and here are the notes I took:

Stuff we like
* Regular monthly meeting 3rd Tuesday every month?
* get out of house
* drink beers
* hear stories
* learn new stuff
* employment 
* networking
* faces to names
* Feature presentation "cool stuff I have done"
* Promote Drupal
* Visibility
* Being part of the larger Drupal.org community
* Getting new people to join the meeting
* Code sprint?

Stuff we don't really like
* problem solving as a group - bug fixing with an audience
* collaborative projects (not at the moment)

Meeting Format
1. Intro: name, organization, how you found out
2. Feature Presentation - Q & A
3. Open Discussion

toronto.drupal.ca will be hosted by James Walker

Next meeting in January.  Invite your friends.

walkah’s picture

Thanks for posting that Alan!! I never did get around to the whole toronto.drupal.ca thing.... it's not to late yet :)

--
James Walker :: http://walkah.net/

greggles’s picture

I've seen a few group specific sites and always wondered where they come from and what the need for them was. I feel like groups.drupal.org provides all we need to support our group and keeps the conversation in one place. Are there any benefits to hosting your group site somewhere aside from groups.drupal.org?

Greg

--
Knaddisons Denver Life | mmm Chipotle Log

--
CARD.com :)

Walt Esquivel’s picture

If it's perhaps because there's something highly desired of a group nature (as in contributed modules) that's not available at g.d.o, I think it's best to either help build the code and contribute it back to the community so others can benefit or, at the least (as in my case since I'm not a developer), put in the appropriate feature requests at drupal.org so others can determine the feasibility and priority and then hope the developers/module maintainers will add in those features to g.d.o. at some point if feasible.

However, I understand the need for stand-along group web sites in certain situations, particularly when it comes to putting something together such as DrupalCon Barcelona 2007, although this is more event-specific than group-specific. Also, some folks simply prefer to have their stand-alone Drupal group web site. Perhaps a Drupal local group knows it will have sponsors, the local group wants its very own calendar with only those events listed that pertain to that local group vs. events for the hundreds of currently existing group, or the desire exists for some added functionality not currently available at g.d.o.

Regardless, I would hope, in the case of stand-alone groups, that they place a link on their site to g.d.o in order to create a more cohesive community as well as better awareness of Drupal. I think the Drupal community would benefit if that stand-alone group's name was also created at g.d.o with a link to the stand-alone site. This is because I strongly believe that g.d.o should be, and most often is, the starting point in anyone's search for a local Drupal users group once someone has become familiar with drupal.org. Stand-alone Drupal-related group web sites benefit from a presence on g.d.o.

Walt Esquivel, MBA; MA; President, Wellness Corps; Captain, USMC (Veteran)
$50 Hosting Discount Helps Projects Needing Financing

kbahey’s picture

Thanks Alan.

This is really helpful. Memories are always fun and educational.
--
Drupal development and customization: 2bits.com
Personal: Baheyeldin.com

--
Drupal performance tuning and optimization, hosting, development, and consulting: 2bits.com, Inc. and Twitter at: @2bits
Personal blog: Ba

benc’s picture

Hi Dries,

Appreciate this thread. We need assistance in activating the community here in the Philippines (and probably Asia). We need ideas and strategies badly! Some of the things we are planning are Drupal seminars and open source days (where we will install LAMP and Drupal on servers brought to the meeting place). We also wish to spur interest in creating a Drupal module for disaster management, or a module that would help Drupal interoperate with the Sahana open source disaster management system (something that's very valuable to Asia and the rest of the world).

A friend of ours belongs to the Joomla community and they are planning a Joomla event here in the Philippines, inviting government agencies, developers and NGOs. Their association/foundation will be donating some funds, including sponsoring the lead developers' trips to the Philippines.

TIA,

benc

"Drupal and the Power of Categories (Taxonomy)"
http://digitalsolutions.ph/couchkamotereviews/power_drupal_categories

najibx’s picture

I have started Drupal in Malaysia a couple months ago (because we never had one). Up to now, there are only 19 subscribers. It seems that Drupal is not that popular here in Malaysia. Although there's an active user group for Joomla and Xoop. Myself, i was a Joomla user too, until about less than year ago I started to look into Drupal. When searching 'user from malaysia', there are many, but they just haven't join the Malaysia group yet. Any times to invite them? Many turn-off 'contact me' feature. Some I go to their website, find their email ...then invite.

We had coffee talk meeting only once with only 2 guys!

Then trying to arrange our next meeting via the groups, but no good feedback.

I really hope all Malaysian drupal developer can join the group and possibly meet once in two months or so.
I believe if our the group is active, more knowledge sharing, help each other, get better understanding and get to know their fellow developers.

-najibx-

h2cm’s picture

Hi
Chris and I are trying to establish a NW England group. Planning to meet once a month - Preston initially.
We'll send details of developments, a dialogue is ongoing on Drupal UK:
http://drupal.org.uk/
Best wishes
Peter Jones

greggles’s picture

I've decided to host a BOF/advice session in Barcelona as a continuance of this session:

(Dis)Organizing a Drupal Local User Group: lessons learned

--
Knaddisons Denver Life | mmm Chipotle Log

--
CARD.com :)

eigentor’s picture

Well, I think the two things don't have do be antagonistic. Personally, we use for Hannover and Berlin User group both: One can announce a new Meeting and important things on the official site (for this we use drupalcenter.de, being vigorously de-centralistic ;) not to use drupal.org ), and on the site actually dedicated to the user group you can post image galleries of the last meeting, whatever fancy stuff. It's just much more fun running a dedicated Website whith page loads faster than 8 seconds ;).

I'm happy being miserable

DeanSealer’s picture

Need some guidance with finishing my website, and questions about video and flach on site. thanks
Dean

najibx’s picture

Well, one of the way to get more participation is to involve in exhibition and provide FREE introductory courses. I remembered when I started playing around with Drupal, I got lost and without being motivated to learn more detail ... I just ignored Drupal for sometime before coming back.

I guess, by doing this more people can really see the best of Drupal, gained their interest and how they can benefit more.

-najibx -
Drupal developer in Malaysia

karthickk’s picture

Please any one send the book about drupal i am trying to learn drupal but it's very hard please anyone help me any one know about drupal please send the book or queries to develope the websites

Walt Esquivel’s picture

It generally doesn't help you by posting randomly multiple times to threads that don't pertain to what you're posting about. A pet peeve of mine is...please don't post to threads where you really shouldn't be posting to. It just creates clutter for others to have to wade through. What does your post have to do with "Drupal Local User Groups"? Answer: nothing.

In addition, I seldom help someone who doesn't demonstrate he/she has first made an honest effort at doing the homework, i.e., seeking to learn a bit on their own without first expecting others to do the work for them. You joined on or about 12/19/07. Did you look at the Drupal handbooks before your multiple posts seeking help?

Accordingly, please take the following suggestions as my "help" to you:

1. Help yourself first by reading through this part of the handbook for starters.
2. Then, do a SEARCH on drupal.org for answers to your questions by using keywords. SEARCH is your friend.
3. Go to groups.drupal.org and see if there's a group that aligns closely with the issue you're having. Join that group and look for answers there.
3. If you still have questions after all of that, post each question individually by being specific about what you're having trouble with either here at drupal.org or within the appropriate group over at groups.drupal.org.

Walt Esquivel, MBA; MA; President, Wellness Corps; Captain, USMC (Veteran)
$50 Hosting Discount Helps Projects Needing Financing