User Group Stories: AUSOM

This is a new series presented by the Apple User Group Advisory Board to spotlight and share the experiences of Apple User Groups around the world. We will take a look at how groups are managing, meeting, growing, networking, and adjusting to the needs of members in the 21st century.

By Rick Ortiz, Chair of the Apple User Group Advisory Board

Visit: ausom.net.au

This month we share the story of Apple Users Society of Melbourne, better know as AUSOM. We traveled (virtually) around the world to find out the story of how AUSOM has been so successful. We had the opportunity to participate in a FaceTime meeting with the group’s members and leaders at their monthly meeting. What is amazing, is this group is in its 40th year, and the group appears to be going strong. In a day and age where social media, texting, and technology has become the mainstream communication method, this group has proven that in-person social interaction, networking and sharing creates true and long lasting friendship. And to that end, the sustainability of AUSOM. As one of their members stated, “It’s not about the computers, but what we do with them.” Let’s take a look at what makes this group so successful.

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How-To: iCloud Sharing

By Rick Ortiz

With the introduction of iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra, Apple has added some new features to iCloud Drive, offering the ability to share files. iCloud Drive is now offering sharing services similar to what DropBox and Google Drive offer. In the past iCloud drive was designed for personal access to files. For a user group, they can now create or use an existing iCloud account and share files with members or allow board members access to files.

iCloud Drive History:
Apple’s iCloud file services originally began as cloud storage for your iWork files. With the introduction of OS X Yosemite, it expanded to offer you storage of files and folders beyond iWork. In fact you can now access your Desktop and Documents folders in the cloud and on other devices. But in this article we are going to focus on the sharing features. As each macOS update has come along, Apple has continued to expanded its iCloud offerings. (more…)

How-To: Apple Resources for User Group Meetings

by Rick Ortiz, Apple User Group Advisory Board Chair

Part of having a successful user group is having great content to present at meetings. Some groups are able to get guest speakers, products demonstrations, and even remote presentations. But for some groups that is not always logistically possible.  It is fortunate for user groups that Apple has made resources available that could benefit user groups. From Apple podcasts, to Today at Apple, to Apple Sales Web there are resources to create great meeting presentations. (more…)

How To: Keynote Collaboration

Last month we took a look at Keynote Live and how your user group can integrate it into your meetings. In part two of this series we will take a look at collaboration for Keynote, which is a new beta feature added with the introduction of macOS Sierra and iOS 10. Collaboration is built into all the iWork apps, but in this article we will focus on Keynote.

The new collaboration tools are a great way for a multiple presenters to work on a project remotely and in real time. User groups leaders and presenters can work on a topic prior to a group meeting. Needed edits or updates can be made, or individuals can work on their slides for the project while another person is editing their slides.  (more…)

How To: Keynote Live

By Rick Ortiz

This is a two part series on how User Group presentations can take advantage of the new features of Keynote introduced in macOS Sierra. In this first series, we are going to take a look at a new feature called Keynote Live and what that can offer your user group.

Keynote Live is a little hidden gem offered in the latest version of the software. Keynote Live is a way to play your presentations over the internet so your members can view in real-time on any device, wherever they can get online. So if a member can’t make a meeting, they can still see the Keynote aspect of the presentation from any location. This is also a great tool if you have a remote presenter wanting to share information in a presentation to your group.  (more…)

How To: Presenting Hidden Features of iOS

Many times at User Group meetings, the presenter may take time to let members ask questions or seek out tech tips or support. User Group Ambassador Rick Lantz of the Maui Apple User Society took a new view on the Q&A sessions, and decided to do a “How did they do that?” session at his meeting and show some hidden and unknown features of macOS and iOS. Below is his presentation material regarding iOS. User Group Leaders, feel free to use this material and demonstrate at your meetings. Click more to see video and meeting material:

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Helping User Groups Discuss and Understand Malware on Macs

By Rick Ortiz

Apple users have for the most part been protected from many of the viruses and malware issues experienced on the PC. But with the popularity of Apple products over the past decade, those wanting to take advantage and compromise your computer use experience has grown. Most recently, applications, search engine hijacks and web browser plug-ins are the culprits of what many Mac users think are “viruses.” This has become a popular discussion topic at user group meetings. So to help user groups, we are providing group leaders with a meeting guide and how you can address and discuss this issue at your meetings. Click on read more below to continue.

I. Overview (more…)

Social Media and User Groups: An Introduction

By Rick Ortiz, Apple User Group Advisory Board Chair

Apple User Groups are a place for individuals with similar technology interests to meet and network with each other and make connections. Typically user groups meet in person on a monthly basis at a designated location to discuss topics related to Apple products. User groups were the first stage of social media. What social media has done, is take the in-person networking of people and bring it online into the internet digital world, allowing for a broader connection for individuals and groups.

If user groups served as the foundation for what social media has become, then it is important for user groups to continue to evolve and allow their network of members to make connections online as well. There are a number of social media resources available to user groups. We will take a look at some of the more popular online social media resources, such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. We will discuss what each one offers and how it can benefit your group. (more…)

What is an Apple User Group Ambassador?

As a leader for your user group, you may have seen some benefits and vendor offers listed throughout our site. The question that most often comes up from user groups, is how they can take advantage of these benefits. The answer is by having an Apple User Group Ambassador.

An Apple User Group Ambassador is the role assigned to one individual from each recognized Apple User Group in the Apple User Group Locator (database). Leaders from each user group choose a member from their group who will serve in this role. The Ambassador for the group serves as the link and primary contact to the Apple User Group program.

What benefits does your user group receive from having an Apple User Group Ambassador? Below is a list and links to items to  assist your groups ambassador.

Apple Sales Web (ASW) – ASW provides Ambassadors with access to the latest Apple product information, PDF print- outs, and Keynote presentation resources that you can integrate into your meetings.
Apple Sales Training Online (ASTO) – ASTO allows Ambassadors to stay up to date on Apple products and information by taking courses and earning points. ASTO courses can help you to prepare presentations for your meetings.
Apple User Group Bulletin (AUGB) – A monthly newsletter for user group leaders with a summary of the latest news, vendor discount offers and announcements for the Apple User Group community.
Apple User Group Discussion List (AUGD) – An Apple email discussion list where you can ask questions and interact with other user group leaders from around the world.
User Group How-To Articles – These are topics specifically geared towards leaders in assisting them with their user group.
User Group Vendor Discount Offers – Short-term discounts on new and proven products offered exclusively to user group leaders and members

If your group does not have an ambassador, leadership has changed, or you want to find out more about the ambassador program, a guide for user group ambassadors can be found here. If you need further assistance, visit our support site and a user group support team member can assist you.