Group is gathering momentum

In case anyone in Lake County, Illinois/Kenosha County, Wisconsin reads this blog, I’d like you all to know that the LCNUG group is already gaining momentum. To give some people an idea of how fast things can move, I’d like to take some time to explain what is going on. I’ll post (when I remember to do so) about what is going on with the group and how we are doing as we go through our gestational phase.

The first thing I did was pick a ‘dream venue’. In this case, I wanted a local location with great parking, centrally located, and with space to host a largish group. The local community college was my first choice. I sent a message to the head of the CLC Computer department who put me in contact with their .NET instructor, John North. John and I talked about what a .NET User Group is, when they meet, etc. He then worked with his department and got us a location. CLC has a charter that includes working with the community. His department used this reasoning to get approval for the LCNUG to meet on the last Thursday of the month for every month except November and December (dates are November 20 and December 18 in these cases). Once this was done, I set out to contact the local developer community so that we could have some attendees at our first meeting.

In the process, I found out that another local programmer, Tim Stall, had just started meeting with his coworkers for the same reasons as me-driving to downtown Chicago or Downers Grove is a bit far for folks who work in Lake County. Tim and I found each other by contacting our local Developer and Architect Evangelist. At this point in time, that’s Dave Bost and Larry Clarkin. Dave and Larry made sure that Tim and I got on the same page. They also looped in Keith Franklin, who runs CNUG, so that we could get linked from their site. This all happened over the course of a few hours. I’ve also got people sending me messages and asking to help out.

Why do I bring this up? I thought that anyone else looking to start a .NET Users Group would be interested in finding out what does it look like from the time one says ‘we need a group in this area’ to actually getting a group together. I started the process when I contacted CLC on April 17, 2008. At this point, I’ve got the following things ‘done’:

  • Scheduled a venue through the end of the year
  • Contacted Microsoft
  • Setup a web site
  • Setup an account on CodeZone.
  • Setup an account on INETA. FWIW, their ‘register a .NET user group’ form is busted. I’m looking for alternate ways to register. Fortunately, I have some avenues to investigate.
  • Have some feelers out for sponsors.

Doing this isn’t too hard. Like I said, I’m also starting to get help from others. I don’t want this to be the ‘Scott Seely’ show. I want a group where I and other like me can learn and socialize.

I’ll let you know how everything works out.

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