Forming a Local User Group

I just read a short post by Lindsay Hill titled Doing Community Programs Right. I think the points made are accurate and well-founded. Prior to working for Cisco, I was part of the “CLN Designated VIP Program”. I had the opportunity to connect with others in and around the industry. I think these online communities are great and there is a wealth of knowledge sharing that happens. During key conferences many of our paths cross and even more interesting conversations happen.

I’d personally like to bring some of those concepts into the local communities I work in. I think many of the same tenants would be important. I wouldn’t want a local group to be about any single vendor (even Cisco) or partner. It would be really interesting to just get a bunch of people together that wanted to share their technology challenges and how they are addressing them.

If you have started such a group, I’d love to hear what worked and what didn’t. Were you able to get attendance even in smaller or rural communities? Maybe you are located in Central Kentucky or East Tennessee and would like to work together in such an effort? If so, reach out to me by commenting below or using the Contact Us link.

Disclaimer: This article includes the independent thoughts, opinions, commentary or technical detail of Paul Stewart. This may or may not reflect the position of past, present or future employers.

About Paul Stewart, CCIE 26009 (Security)

Paul is a Network and Security Engineer, Trainer and Blogger who enjoys understanding how things really work. With over 15 years of experience in the technology industry, Paul has helped many organizations build, maintain and secure their networks and systems.
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2 Responses to Forming a Local User Group

  1. I am located in Nashville and would love this type of group. There are a few that have been formed through the “Meetup” website for different things like Python, Lync, and other things. We do have a Local Cisco User group which I have been to a few times, but honestly is poorly managed. I am always looking for people who do what I do so I can bounce things off of. Like currently I am doing PCI DSS Compliance and I am so overwhelmed that I really could use people to talk to about what they are doing compared to what I am thinking.

  2. Darby Weaver says:

    I helped start a Cisco User Group in Orlando and it went off well – Myself and Adam from CTI/DiData got it off the ground and did a pretty good job of it by advertising it out – I brought a group I was tutoring/mentoring and invited former co-workers and friends, Adam invited his customers and friends and each time we met we grew – 12-15 to 20-25 – 50-60 and then Cisco asked to sponsor the group and take ownership. I relocated after that but it was a good group and it grew like wildfire…

    Darby Weaver

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