How to start a JUG
The most important part : HAVE FUN !! Otherwise you'll not continue doing this crazy stuff + DO IT for the right reasons !
- Ahmed Hashim (egjug):
- Yakov Fain (Princeton Java Users Group):
JUG Leaders' Mailing List Archive
Roman Strobl (czjug)
- Get good speakers - there's no better motivation I think. I know this is hard. But you can also find good speakers among your JUG attendees - to my own surprise.
- Do presentations about topics which are hot - and topics that are of interest of majority of people. We did a survey filled out by about 100 of our JUG members so if you are interested I can send you a list of "most wanted" topics from our JUG, it shouldn't differ too much worldwide.
- Giveways - t-shirts, books, little swag, every little helps make people happy. Ask tough questions and give giveways to the ones who reply correctly. They will feel great and will come again smile
- Food and drinks (although we don't do that it can boost audience for sure).
- Get the word out - advertize the JUG as possible (at Java mailing lists, web forums, etc.) - the more people know about the JUG the more will come.
- Involve the audience as much as possible - they will more likely tell their friends about the experience if they are involved.
- Get universities to promote your JUG - or organize meetings at a university (we always get some attendees who are students from the university).
- Put lots of content on your web and promote the web (though mailing lists, web forums, etc.) - do it for every event.
- Blog about the cool stuff that happens at the JUG or ask known bloggers in your community to blog about the JUG.
- Record a podcast with your friends from the JUG - this is another way to reach new people.
- Write an article into a Java magazine about the JUG. Promotion helps to reach more people who didn't know about the JUG.
- Meet regularly at the same time of the month, so that people get used to the rythm. Find a time which is good for majority of attendees.
Stephan Janssen (BeJUG)
- Register a domain name with your JUG initials (avoid using Java in your domain name :o)
- Setup a collaborative website, preferably a wiki (JUGs can get a free license of Confluence but you've other options: XWiki, PHP Drupal, ...)
- Setup a newsletter where people can easily subscribe to.
- Send out a newsletter on a regular basis.
- Include stats of your website so you can give sponsors some numbers for sponsoring your site (if needed)
- Setup events on a regular basis, like one every month to get the JUG vehicle going (don't worry if not too many people join in the first year or so), just make sure you get together smile
- Publish content on your site on a regular basis (RSS feeds are a nice way to get some content - [self promotion] you can always publish the parleys.com RSS feed on your site with great podcast content smile
- Invite and setup a steering committee of different people and meet and schedule your events
- Once the JUG takes some form think about setting up a non-profit organization
- Ask your partner to do the admin :o)
- Maybe consider asking a membership fee to cover the logistic costs. You'll need this once the JUG gets BIGGER.
- You can ask Oracle/Sun(sic)/IBM/HP (if needed) to sponsor a server, if you want to cover your own ISP costs ?!
- Keep the evens as neutral and technical as possible, so the JUG members get value.
- Consider (video/audio) recording your JUG events and publish them online or (if you want) post them on Parleys.com
- Take pictures of your events so you can expose your passion to potential JUG members / sponsors.
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