AWUGU: Sharing Between Groups
By Tom Piper
Like many people, I have missed getting together with friends in the user group community since the last Macworld, and even more over the last year. Still, I was surprised at how truly great it felt to hear from the long-time groups that left their names in the survey.
Each name brought a fond memory (in some cases many, many fond memories) and a reminder that the user group community is both vibrant and caring. With more than 70 responses, here are some of the groups that left comments and a hello (in alphabetical order):
|Apple Charlestown Apple Group||Maryland Apple Corps, Inc.|
|appleJAC User Group||MIAMUG (Midland, MI)|
|ApplePickers of Central Indiana||Mountain View Computer Users Group, Sierra Vista, AZ|
|Ashland Macintosh User’s Group||Naples MacFriends User Group Inc|
|Atlantic City Area Mac Users Group||National Capital Apple Mac Users Group (NCA-MUG)|
|Club HyperPomme Paris||Portland (OR) Macintosh Users Group|
|Computer Users of Erie||Prescott Mac Users Group|
|CVMUG – Conejo Ventura Macintosh User Group||Silicon Mountain MacIntosh User Group|
|EAMUG Englewood,FL User Group||South Suburban (Chicago) Mac Users Group|
|EMUG||Suffolk Mac User Group|
|Exeter area Mac user group||The Macintosh Guild|
|Franklin Apple Orchard||The Oregon MacPioneers User Group (OMUG)|
|MAC2 (MAC2MUG)||TMG Dayton|
|MacinTech||TMUG – Tucson Macintosh Users Group|
|MacNexus||Tucson Macintosh Users Group|
|MacValley User Group, Northridge, California||VMUG (Victoria [BC] Mac and iOS User Group (vmug.bc.ca)|
Thanks for the comments and for sharing your thoughts, and thanks to Curt B. for suggesting the questions!
Responses show that prior to the pandemic most groups met face-to-face. True, well before the pandemic there were groups perfecting their streaming meeting skills while others excelled with fully online Zoom meetings, groups that were FaceTime experts and some experimented with truly novel formats (one group even met in a park with picnic blankets spaced 10′ apart). Still, most groups met face-to-face. Over the last 10-15 years, the number of solely online groups in the user group database has generally been around 10%. As one survey respondent said, “mostly on site, but dwindling numbers and meetings.” So, it is interesting to learn that some groups have been revitalized during the pandemic, helping members stay in touch during difficult times. Here are the results for pre-pandemic meeting formats:
AWUGU: Sharing Between Groups
By Tom Piper
This Apple World User Group University online gathering of Apple user group leaders was held at 5:00pm CDST, on May 17, 2021, via Zoom. We had 30 participants who joined for the topic of “Sharing Between Groups”. The 63-minute video can be viewed at: https://youtu.be/CG5z7WTR9kY (unlisted on YouTube).
When it comes to deciding how to meet, when to meet, and where to meet, it can be hard to make everyone happy. (In fact, most user group officers will tell you that it can be hard to make many members happy regardless of the question…)
Here are some of the factors that groups said go into deciding on their meeting format and location:
In the survey, we asked for guidance and groups offered their thoughts. Interestingly, some of the factors that groups considered, such as aging membership, was cited as a reason for, and against, Zoom-type meetings 🙂
Here is some of the advice offered:
Some groups find benefits in the online meeting format
Some groups see benefits in meeting face to face (more…)
Your members may enjoy Today at Apple this week for live virtual sessions presented in American Sign Language and VoiceOver. Better yet, there are great short Apple Support videos walking users through the use of Live Listen and How to navigate iPad Pro with gestures.
Check them out:
Many groups have had a positive response to accessibility as a meeting topic. Apple’s Accessibility home page says that the true value of a technology is not measured by how powerful it is, but by how much it empowers the user, and every Apple product contains amazing and empowering accessibility features right out of the box. From Magnifier, to Switch Control, Back Tap, VoiceOver, headphone accommodations, made for iPhone hearing aids, Live Listen, AssistiveTouch, Guided Access, typing feedback, text-to-speech, fitness algorithms for wheelchair users, and more, there are features to make every user’s tasks easier.
Another great way to enjoy an accessibility presentation is to use Apple Support’s YouTube videos, covering the basics of using the assistive technologies that are built into every Mac, iPad, iPhone, and Apple Watch.
Check it out.
Are your members interested in the newest version of Clips? Clips is an iOS-only free app for making and sharing fun videos with text, effects, graphics, and more? ASW has information to help you plan a great meeting:
Clips – First Look (L573379A-en_US), iPadOS 14 – First Look (L585034A-en_US), and iPad – Then and Now (L575791A-en_US) can provide the information you need.
Ambassadors: May is a great month to check out ASW.
Many groups changed their meeting location, day, or format in 2020-2921. As you might expect, the pandemic factored into meeting decisions, with some groups moving fully online due to loss of a regular meeting space, civic responsibilities, or need to socially isolate. Some groups have been meeting remotely for years, while others used the past year to master Zoom, FaceTime, and various remote streaming options.
A friend from the Tucson group wrote recently about how some groups may decide to stay online permanently. In fact, his group is currently seeing almost as many attendees for their online meetings as they saw when meeting in person.
We would appreciate your input in this very brief survey. Next month’s Bulletin will have the results.
(Thanks to Curt B. for this discussion – a lot of folk in the community are making plans and it will be interesting to hear their guidance.)
AWUGU: Everything Zoom
By Tom Piper
This Apple World User Group University online gathering of Apple user group leaders was held at 5:00pm CDST, on April 19, 2021, via Zoom. We had 22 participants who joined for the topic of “Everything Zoom” (see attached PDF images and attendance list). The 62-minute video can be viewed at: https://youtu.be/KlmFvfvbxF0 (unlisted on YouTube).
This session opened with my welcome, plus a quick overview of 36 Zoom apps that are currently available. Other Apple User Group Advisory Board (AUGAB) members were not available for this call.
The format for this meeting was an open discussion with many participants sharing their perspectives and suggestions about Zoom including Nicholas Pyers of AppleUser.org (Australia), Mike Kwasniak of Suffolk MUG (UK), Steve Welsh of Oregon MacPioneers Users, Chita Hunter of Naples MacFriends User Group, David Ginsberg of Suburban Chicago Users Group, Webb Sussma of Eugene Macintosh Users Group, Carol Fortlage of The Villages Apple User Group, Joan Newman of SouthWest Florida Apple Computer Knowledge Society, Dale Stephan of Mac-in-Awe Apple Users Group, George Rubin of Naples MacFriends User Group and others.