I’m getting a lot of calls regarding OpenSolaris user groups, and some user groups are already starting to crop up out there — Brazil, UK, USA, Australia, and I hear some guys in Canada are interested, too. There has also been some interest at universities, so this could get pretty big. Special thanks to Alan Duboff, Alan Hargreaves, Ulf Andreasson, and Simon Phipps (and I’m sure I’m missing some people here) for initiating the groups that are already up and running.
Sun doesn’t have a lot of resources to support these activities directly, so why don’t we leverage what they do have and create a user group community on opensolaris.org? There are 21 communities on opensolaris.org right now and many more proposed. An OpenSolaris User Group community would be a way for the entire community to contribute ideas, connections, and resources to help focus the effort. Sun can participate in the community, of course, but it will be a community gig from the start.
How about this to get going:
- We open a user group community on opensolaris.org.
- Sun engineering and marketing would lead the community initially, but we’d be looking for community leaders to help share the responsibility real quick.
- The user group community site will have links, descriptions, and contact info for all the user groups currently out there.
- We’d be looking to grow the community globally.
- The user group community will have its own lists, announcements, news, and blog feeds.
- The community can also develop resources for starting a user group, such as presentations that can be customized for local areas and informational packages that would provide contacts and tips on organizing and running successful user groups
- Through Sun employees around the world, we can help establish contacts for potential speakers — sometimes this is brain dead easy; other times it’s extremely difficult. But we can easily start working the network and developing the contacts.
- Speakers can also come from the community as we figure out where everyone lives and where people regularly travel.
- Sun marketing can help provide some swag for inaugural user group meetings. Establishing connections with marketing generates additional benefits as well.
- Community members may be able to provide meeting facilities at companies and universities, and in some instances Sun may be able to help as well.
- If we connect all the user groups in this community, we can improve communications and perhaps leverage existing conference venues since we’ll all know who is attending various events around the world.
- Sun will announce the formation of new user groups on the main announce page, but all subsequent user group announcements would take place within the user group community itself. The purpose of this is to simply help drive awareness about the user group community itself.
- Sun will encourage other groups at the company to get involved in the user group community.
- We could hold educational sessions for people to learn how to use Solaris, such as installing, optimizing, troubleshooting, and upgrading.
- Anything else?
If you are interested in participating or offering some advice, leave me a comment here. Also, feel free to watch the discuss list for this topic. We have a simple system of offering community proposals for discussion before we open a new community on the site. That’s pretty much what this is, and I’m taking feedback from the community on this right now. We’ll probably open this community in a couple of weeks.