Last week I decided to try something new, and it’s catching on in a big way. I wanted to create a new set of user groups for IT Administrators who primarily work with MIcrosoft Windows-based infrastructures. So I came up with the acronym WAG.
I’m also a recent big fan of LinkedIn. And based on the example/success of people like my friend John Weston and others, I decided to use the LInkedIn groups capability to create the Windows Administrator Groups group, and to create sub-groups for various geographies. The idea is that people can join the parent group and any subgroups they want to be a part of, and the subgroups will lead to the formation of regularly meeting WAG user groups.
“So, if I’m in Omaha, I should join the Omaha WAG?”
That’s right! I’ve created WAGs for several of the cities I visit on a regular basis. (Minnesota, Des Moines, Omaha, St. Louis, and Kansas City.) I really want to help form or support IT Pro user groups in those cities – whether or not they are focused on Microsoft solutions. But I am betting that a general administration group would be very valuable in a lot of cities. We all want a place to get together and share best practices, see presentations from skilled professionals, and generally network with your IT Pro peers. (And sharing some Pizza and Beer now and then is good, too!) On behalf of Microsoft, I cover the States of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri. So I’m hoping to form and support groups in any-or-all of those states.
“What if I’m not in one of those locations, but I still want a group in my area?”
Then I want to hear from you, too! I’m creating subgroups for anyone that wants one – until we reach the subgroup limit in LinkedIn. So if you’re interested, send me a note or create a new discussion in the WAG discussions, and I’ll create it. In fact, if you’re interested in being the manager of your subgroup, I’ll be happy to let you do that as well. I’ve already created subgroups for Chicago, Heartland, Northern California, and Toronto, Ontario. I will also likely get my Microsoft counterparts involved in helping you support those groups.
“So.. are these groups always going to be Microsoft-lead groups?”
NO! My goal is not to continue to be the leader of a bunch of user groups! Quite the opposite. My goal is simply to help get the snowball rolling down the hill and in the right direction. Ultimately I will continue to support the group, but leadership and direction ultimately need to come from the local community. (Sure.. I’ll come and speak to the group whenever you want me.)
- Join WAG group in LinkedIn
- Start a discussion and request a subgroup
- Join a subgroup that pertains to your location
- Get ready to consider meeting as a user group
..and get your WAG on!