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Region 9 is losing two important UGs this year the Las Vegas PC User Group and CoSNUG. CoSNUG is an important UG that serves seniors in the Colorado area. They held their final meeting on December 16th along with publishing their final newsletter. It is sad when we loose a UG. Losing a group means that some user is unable to find a support group to help them become a competent computer user. Many groups are facing low membership, members that are not interested in serving in an office or giving a program. These kinds of problems are life threatening to a UG. This is where the APCUG can offer help and assistance. APCUG has many programs in the way of its speaker’s bureau. We are also offering links to webinars either offered by vendors or other APCUG members. Information regarding all of these benefits can be found on the APCUG website.
The Las Vegas PC Users Group is also dissolving at the end of this year. The reason for dissolution is very similar to CoSNUG, declining membership, difficulty in finding presenters and affordable meeting locations. So after December 31st this club will no longer conduct any meetings and will cease all operations by April 30th, 2012. If your club is facing a similar fate, APCUG offers many presentation opportunities. Good presentations will keep your current members as well as allow membership growth. If your club needs presenters consider using the APCUG Speaker Bureau, the new iLinc enables remote presentations. APCUG can’t help with all of your problems, but we surely can offer advice that will enable you to look at alternatives. Just remember APCUG is here to help, so take advantage of this important member benefit.
We are also offering a means for UGs to communicate their issues and concerns through a new tool called iLinc. With iLinc we can set up an online meeting with UG Officers and discuss means of sharing information, ideas, and solutions that can help other UGs. One of my goals for 2012 will be is to hold such a forum. It will probably take place in the early spring. I will send out an email to each UG with some dates and times that will best meet everyone’s needs.
When I write this article I always check out the Region 9 User Groups websites so I can share with the other UGs what our groups are doing. Need an interesting meeting idea, the Prescott Computer Society (PSC) has a Q&A session called ‘Stump the Geeks”. This is a great way to pull a meeting together if you find that a presenter has backed out. Call on a number of whom you consider the most knowledgeable members to participate. They take center stage and take questions from the audience. What a fun and educational way to hold a meeting. The Sunland Village East Computer Club is hosting a Fix-it Workshop where member bring their computer in for minor repairs, updates, program installation and RAM installation. Here is an opportunity for your members to learn more about the inner workings of their computers. This also could be a membership building opportunity if you open the activity to the public. However, there are a number of things you need to keep in mind when you take on this task. Advertise that you will do only certain things. To keep things moving the tasks have to be simple and on a first come first serve basis. Find knowledgeable folks in your club to assist the user with their repairs. Have a dozen or so helpers to work. This is a hands-on opportunity for both the installer and the user. Sunland Village East Computer Club will also be holding their 3rd Annual Photo Contest in March. The Pikes Peak Computer Application Society (P*PCompAS) has a great interactive website http://ppcompas.apcug.org/. On their site they offer a video on the Computer Item of the Week. They also have a Welcome Message Video from their president. These videos are attention getting and will certainly draw folks to their site which will ultimate help booster their membership.
So that is What’s Happening in Region 9, Happy New Year and Happy Computing!