[Talk-us] Local user groups

Kathleen Danielson kathleen.danielson at gmail.com
Wed Jan 22 16:47:22 UTC 2014

Surprising probably no one, I have a lot of thoughts on this topic, so I've
been watching this conversation with interest.

Not to toot my own horn, but I gave a talk on this very subject at SOTM US
2013, which you can watch here:

Among my key points is my intense loyalty to Meetup (I understand the
reservations, but it *just works*). I also have some recommendations around
how to structure such a group, and how to keep yourself from burning out.

I'll have more to say soon, but here's the main thing I want to say: No
matter what anyone tells you, or what you tell yourself, this isn't an easy
task, so don't get down on yourself if your local community seems to be
struggling. Community is hard. You're doing great.

More Soon,

On Wed, Jan 22, 2014 at 11:37 AM, Martijn van Exel <martijn at openstreetmap.us
> wrote:

> I dislike relying on volatile third party services as much as the next
> person, but:
> * As stated before, it does get you unparalleled exposure outside of
> the regular channels, targeted at people actively looking to explore
> new interests / meet new people. Sure, many of these folks may just be
> grazing and will not turn into long term contributors, but some of
> them may, and we need both dedicated and casual contributors.
> * Setting up our own thing requires resources (time and commitment)
> that is hard to come by in a volunteer run organization with lots of
> other things on their minds.
> * Meetup is pretty well established, and if it were to go away, it
> would be pretty straightforward to take our business elsewhere.
> I second Richard's and Clifford's observation that in terms of growing
> a local community, there is really no perfect script, and the most
> important ingredient is not any single tool or design or words, it's
> perseverance. After two years I still have meet ups here in SLC with 2
> or three people attending, but sometimes it's more, and I get new
> folks from time to time, and that keeps me motivated. I make sure that
> our meetup group always shows a next event with a time and place (I
> have two monthly recurring events: Geobeers and Saturday Mapternoon.)
> I believe that helps.
> If there is one single piece of technology I would like to invest some
> time in, it would be an automaton to grab the new user feed from
> http://resultmaps.neis-one.org/newestosm.php for a given area and send
> them an OSM message tailored to the area (announcing next meetup or
> something). Anyone done anything like that already we can reuse?
> Martijn
> On Wed, Jan 22, 2014 at 9:10 AM, Clifford Snow <clifford at snowandsnow.us>
> wrote:
> >
> > On Wed, Jan 22, 2014 at 4:59 AM, Richard Weait <richard at weait.com>
> wrote:
> >>
> >>   The publicity aspect of Meetup really gets people to your events.
> >> Though i wonder if these people are the long term contributors to OSM
> that
> >> we want.
> >
> >
> > It is in part a numbers game. Only a small percentage will become regular
> > mappers and of that only a small percentage will become uber mappers.
> > Certainly the planning for and running the event can positively impact
> those
> > numbers. Something cause people to sign up for an event. Hopefully the
> > people they meet and the satisfaction of mapping will appeal to them.
> >
> > BTW - I don't have the "right" script yet either. I just keep blindly
> > trying! The bad thing is that even if you do have the perfect meeting,
> you
> > don't know until much later if it worked.
> >
> > But Meetup also creates an awareness to OSM. People just looking for a
> > group, will see our Meetups. They may not join, but they see
> OpenStreetMap.
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> > Clifford
> > @osm_seattle
> > OpenStreetMap: Maps with a human touch
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Talk-us mailing list
> > Talk-us at openstreetmap.org
> > https://lists.openstreetmap.org/listinfo/talk-us
> >
> --
> Martijn van Exel
> President, US Chapter
> OpenStreetMap
> http://openstreetmap.us/
> http://osm.org/
> _______________________________________________
> Talk-us mailing list
> Talk-us at openstreetmap.org
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