Christoph Walcher is the user group leader of the node.js Vienna meetup. We decided it was about time to chat about what moved him to gather a group of people around this particular framework on a monthly basis:
When did you start the node.js user group and why did you decide to start it?
We started the node.js Vienna meetup group end of January 2014 and had the first meetup in March. I’m not really the community guy but I’m quite keen on node.js since it’s an awesome development platform with a vital community and a world class package manager. I was convinced that node.js needed a community platform here in vienna. So I pushed the “create meetup” button on Meetup.com. The rest is history 🙂
How do you stay in contact with your members?
Unfortunately the tools offered by Meetup.com for group interaction are a bit 2000ish but we use Meetup.com mailings (to announce meetups) and event forums (to collect talks/talk ideas). Our Twitter account is not the most active, we use it as a second channel to announce meetups and post photos from the meetups.
How did your user group evolve, what possible initial hurdles did you surpass?
We’re the first meetup group that had a negative “no show rate” in the first meetups, then experienced a steady growth of the group on meetup.com whilst our participant count stayed more or less constant over time. The only hurdle was to secure a location, but then there was sektor5!
And of course we’re always looking for sponsors.
We have 162 noders in the meetup group today and about 30 of them show up per meetup.
How much time do you spend moderating your group on a weekly basis?
Less than an hour.
Funniest anecdote you can share?
When I prepared my opening talk for the first meetup I struggled not to say “vienna.js” instead of node.js Vienna. You can imagine what came out of my mouth during my opening talk…
Are you planning something special for 2015?
Not really. Perhaps a nodeschool type of event. And improving community involvement. After a short winter break we’ll start again in February, on the 10th.