User group downturn?

Marsee Henon marsee at
Mon Dec 3 12:12:58 MST 2012


I've been watching this discussion and thought I'd jump in. I manage O'Reilly's UG program (for over 10 years) and can tell you there are still vibrant user groups and new groups forming all the time.

If you take a look at Meetup <>, you'll see quite a bit of activity there with topics ranging from broad to niche. I know a couple of Perl groups have moved to that format which helps them find new members. I know for O'Reilly, when I'm interested in finding new groups (Data, Makers, Web Performance, etc) that's my first stop.

O'Reilly UG Program

On Dec 2, 2012, at 9:11 PM, Dave Smith <dave at> wrote:

> On Dec 2, 2012, at 1:29 PM, Jima wrote:
>> Most of the links I've checked appear to follow the same marked 
>> downward trend.  A little sad, but nice to know it's not just us.
> As proposed in an earlier thread, I suspect this is just the same life cycle we've seen for all new technologies. Made me think of the bay area PC users group to which Steve Jobs and Wozniak brought the first Apple computer.
> You don't see many vibrant PC users groups anymore. And I think we all know why.
> The question remains for me: Is there still a desire for like-minded computer-using people to get together in person on a regular basis to discuss and learn? I am having a hard time slicing the Venn diagram of people and interests in such a way that creates something with wide enough appeal to be well attended and valuable.
> --Dave
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Marsee Henon
O'Reilly Media, Inc.
1005 Gravenstein Hwy North
Sebastopol, CA  95472
marsee at

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