Starting Your Python Users Group
Getting the Word Out
Create a chapter on the http://python.meetup.com website. Such chapters cost
- per month; some say $19.95/month but I'm paying $9.95/month so far. It's a good way for people to find you though, and you can take donations from the membership. Here in the DFW Pythoneers, we have found many of our members via this method. (Much the same is true for Houston.)
Edit the wiki at http://wiki.python.org/moin/LocalUserGroups to get your
- user group listed. Some people come here to find such groups.
- Identify other user groups in your area and, with their permission, post an
- announcement of your meetings. For DFW Pythoneers we use the DFW Unix Users Group, and need to start making use of the .NET Users Group, the Apple Users Group and the North Texas Linux Users Group.
- For each meeting or other event, post an email to the python-announce and python-users lists (need URLs to list?) While, in my experience, many are not on these lists, it reaches another subset of the Python community you can't reach any other way.
- Hang some flyers at your local college; hold some meetings on a campus and get listed as a campus organization.
- Produce some podcasts (or even better screencasts) and get them listed on video.google.com, Python 411 and such. Be sure to edit in a publicity blurb about your user group.
Set up a Google adwords (or similar) campaign targeting your local geographic area for search terms such as Python, Java, and scripting. Keeping the spread local keeps the cost reasonable. We targeted the province of Manitoba in Canada, population 1 million, for http://WinniPUG.ca, both Python and Java, for about $60 per year, and it generated a lot of interest. We pass a hat at meetings to cover the cost.
Decide on the flavor of your meetings.
- Some people are looking for social opportunities and here in Dallas we hold
- those once a month, an evening at a local restaurant.
- Others want something more in-depth; we hold twice-monthly Saturday afternoon
- sesssions at a local bookstore that has wireless. Sometimes we have presentations and other times sprints, with hands-on coding.
Possible Group Projects
- Put together a club website using one of the many Python web frameworks.
- Establish a club mailing list, wiki and subversion repository.
- Consider producing audio recordings ala podcasts, an especially good option if your group is geographically dispersed or cannot agree on meeting times/locations.
- Work to run a "scripting conference" in your area, bringing together proponents of the various languages. Some people will convert, either because your group looks like more fun or Python is such a cool language.
- Work to run a "web technology conference" in your area, bringing together proponents of the various approaches. Many just want *something* to easily produce web sites and if Python is more friendly, they'll give it a try.