Guest post by Jose Sermeno, Product Evangelist, MadCap Software Here at MadCap Software we’ve seen a sharp increase in the number of tech comm professionals creating user groups to discuss tips, tricks, and best practices, learn to use new tools, and share practical advice about their industry.  Social channels such as LinkedIn, MeetUp.com, etc., make finding others using the same software tools you do easier than ever.  As technical communicators, we know that the users we develop for learn and grasp on to material in variety of different ways, so having others in your industry available to discuss methods and best practices is key to staying ahead of the curve of new technologies and processes. One of our users, MadCap advanced developer Nita Beck, recently hosted a webinar on how to start your own Flare user group: “Calling All Propeller Heads: How to Start Your Own Flare User Group.” Can’t find a Flare user group in your area? Start one! It’s not hard and just takes a little planning, a bit of management, and a lot of passion.  This webinar offers strategies for starting a Flare user group in your community. Concepts covered were:
  • Find other interested “propeller heads” (our internal slang for “passionate Flare users”)
  • Choose a location
  • Devise a schedule of meetings
  • Run a meeting that’s both fun and packed with information
  • Foster participation and sharing among members
  • Plan activities that keep members coming back for more
  • Establish membership rules and set boundaries (so no one feels taken advantage of)
  • Use technology and social media to manage and promote your group
  • Avoid burning yourself out (if you’re the manager!)
Click to view the webinar: “Calling All Propeller Heads: How to Start Your Own Flare User Group”. If you’re interested in starting a user group of your own, I’d recommend that you check out the webinar. You’ll learn the ins and outs of creating and managing your own group, and Nita’s insights can very easily be directed to any toolchain/software/process. Before getting started, take a look at the User Group topic in the MadCap Flare forums. You may find that a user group near you already exists.
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