“When I took over it was basically 8 people and none-to-one presentation per irregular meetup. Now we are at 700 to 800 developers in the mailing list and up to 90 people a month attend the meetup every last Wednesday of the month at sektor5.”
When did you start the vienna.js user group and why did you decide to start it?
And about the why: I like talking about code, I like to listen to people talking about code, I love code, code is awesome (well, code that does not suck is awesome, but in the end all code sucks, you can always do better, so even code that sucks is awesome), so yeah, that’s why I revived viennajs.
How do you stay in contact with your members?
Sadly just using meetup.com and their unbelievably horrible soul crushing wysiwyg email tool. Meetup.com is a lock-in tool, once you have an active group on meetup.com you can’t easily migrate to another platform, so currently we are stuck with it. We also use Twitter, but mostly just for bad puns.
How did your user group evolve, what possible initial hurdles did you surpass?
The one big initial hurdle was getting people to do a talk. Without talks there is no meetup, the speakers are the heroes of viennajs. To overcome that hurdle form no talks to lots and lots of talks I implemented the rule that there will be an orga talk every month, because that is the one talk I always know will happen. I also try to show the people that you do not have to deliver the perfect talk. Your talk can be fun, a gimmick, a concept, just a rant, or something earth-shattering-awesome, deep and enlightening. We are interested in everything you have to tell – as long as it involves JS-code.
How much time do you spend moderating your group on a weekly basis?
There is so much stuff you can do, I could make it my – unpaid – half time job! I try to limit it to 2 days a month.
Funniest anecdote you can share?
Well I always try to discourage / forbid any kind of networking, and actually get a lot of positive feedback for that. Not everybody is a natural people’s person (I for one am not, code > people) and it seems to take some pressure off of people who attend our events. And well, it does not work, you can tell people as often as you like to not do networking stuff, in the end they will do it anyway 😉
Are you planning something special for 2015?
I think having a monthly meetup is something special. But to make it even better I am thinking about changing the logo to something pink with dinosaurs and unicorns, also there will be a secret handshake. And telepathy, telepathy will be big in 2015!
The next vienna.js meetup will take place Wednesday January 28, starting at 7PM.