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…)
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.
With the update to iOS 9 and some cool new features of the Apple Watch, we thought it would be a good time to recap two great how-to articles that can help your user group when presenting iOS and the Apple Watch. Also with the new AppleTV on the horizon, this is a great chance to get you setup for the perfect user group presentation.
Since Apple introduced the Apple Watch, many members are eager to know more about the basics. Most groups are used to presenting on a projector or flat screen television. In a previous how-to, we discussed how to present iOS at user group meetings. But the Apple Watch does not have any built in features that easily allow us to share the screen interface. So, how do you present the Apple Watch then? With some new hardware and software tools, along with some previous tools, we will get you prepared for presenting and showing off the Apple Watch at your user group meetings. (more…)
The Apple User Group Resource team has been hard at work providing user groups and its members, vendor presentation material, vendor product discounts, community news, leader resources and the Apple User Group Locator. Our website has recently gone through an overhaul to better present and offer this information to the community. Here are some of the new features:
- Safari Notifications- receive OS X notifications when new information is posted to our website
- Navigation Header- Focus on the Find a Group, User Group Leader Support and User Group How-To’s
- New slider focusing on featured vendors for presentation materials for groups
- New User Group Leader Support page bringing leader support to one access page
Check out what the updated site has to offer!
In our January User Group How-To we discussed ways to revitalize your group. This How-To will expand on that article, focusing on volunteer involvement and management. Volunteering is key to a group’s success. Parts of this article were taken from a presentation given at User Group University held at Macworld in 2007. The focus of the presentation was on volunteers and community involvement. This how-to will look at volunteer types and roles, difficult volunteers, and most importantly recognizing your volunteers. (more…)
The Apple User Group Resource Team introduced a new vendor program a few months ago. User group leaders who used our vendor program in the past saw it as a discount offer based program. This aspect of our vendor program still exists. In revitalizing this program, we had one goal. It was to offer user groups presentation resources from vendors to use for meetings. The idea was a “meeting-in-a-box.” The vendor could provide the needed information in print material, online presentations, video tutorials, or remote presentations. So how do you take advantage to the program? This how-to will take you through the process of using the program, working with the vendors in the program and using the resource materials offered.
User Groups both big and small must deal with record keeping and managing membership. For group leaders this can sometimes be burdensome and time-intensive work. Managing a database of members, membership payments, and, of course getting the monthly meeting emails out can take a majority of your group’s leaders’ time each month. There is no one-way-fits-all for groups to manage their members. The goal of this how-to is to offer some tips and guidance, to help automate some of your groups’ membership tasks so that your group leaders can spend their time creating great meetings. We will look at member database management, communication, and payment options for membership. (more…)
In the past, Apple User Groups could earn a free MobileMe paid account to host their group’s website, use as a contact email, and a few other features. With the introduction of iCloud, some of the services changed or were enhanced, and some were removed. But the accounts are now free. Apple continues to develop and add new features to iCloud. What user group leaders may not know, is that these features can offer resources to your group leaders and members. Most individuals use iCloud to integrate and sync data between computers, iPads and iPhones. In this how-to we will look at how groups can use iCloud for maintaining a membership list, notes, meeting presentations and many other features.
In order to avoid conflicts with your personal iCloud account, this how-to is going to focus on using iCloud as a web based service for your user group.
Traditionally many user groups were known as “Mac” user groups. With the popularity and growth of iPhones and iPads, many groups are changing to become “Apple” user groups. In the past, meeting presentations could be done by hooking a Mac computer up to a projector or television. For iOS devices this can be a challenge. The Apple Use Group Resource team has put together some tips and strategies to get you up and running, presenting iOS at your user group meetings. We will address hardware needs, Apple technologies, software options and user groups successfully using these technologies. Read on.