You knows something. The first Apple computer was first presented at the Homebrew Computer Club.
User Groups are part of the programming community. I remember my father going to User Groups in the 1980's in Tampa and bringing home free software for us to try.
And with Meetup, you can find several local User Groups meeting throughout the month.
Here's what I found out though. Finding a meeting space is not an easy task.
How do User Groups find a place to hang out for a few hours and discuss programming topics?
Well, what I've seen is many groups have sponsors who allow time and space for events. Perhaps it's a recruiting firm. Or a business that somebody works at. Or whatever.
When I tried to track down a place to hold a User Group meeting, here's what I saw.
I placed several calls to several places, left voice messages. Some called back. "We rent our spaces out in 4 hour blocks at a cost of $400." Uh, we're a non-profit organization and there's no way we could pay that kind of cash each month. Don't you have anything for free, in an effort to disseminate information to people to get them excited about new technology and create a Grass Root culture that attracts some of the brightest minds out there? No, we don't do that.
I let the User Group go and somebody else picked up the reigns and did a good job reviving it, hosting meetings at a recruiters office.
User Groups are the grass root movement for the technology industry. It's been there from the beginning. If business' want to attract top talent, they have to volunteer space in which the community can grow. Because community is like a snowball rolling down a mountain. It builds momentum and everyone benefits.
And there you have it~!