I really don't know what are JUG's structures around the world (maybe you could provide me a feedback about it) but most JUGs in Brazil face almost the same problem: Coordinators who need to spend considerable time to work for the JUG. Let's not forget that working for a JUG, according to my opinion, should be volunteer job, which means that you are aware that sometimes need to spend your time and maybe some money to work for the JUG.
Some JUG's activities include:
- Build Strategic plan for the year
- Organize affordable events
- Make the link between community and job offers
- Create and maintain a mailing list so community can share ideas.
- Organize open meetings so community folks can join
As you can figure out, there is an considerable ammount of job to be done for the JUG. but what are the advantages for those who work for a JUG and don't receive any money for that?
I can tell some:
- Visibility: As a JUG coordinator you join lots of important meetings with people who are interested in participate JUG's events
- Networking: This is the most important for me. You know lots of people. You know directors, managers, developers and create a very good relationship with those people.
- To keep yourself aware on what is happening in the Java world.
And what about money?
No, you won't probably receive any money. Some JUGs are working together with User Groups organizations (In our JUG we work together with SUCESU, the main organization that represents lots of User Groups for IT) and saving some money as a result of events to somehow spend this money organizing more events or send some people from the community to larger events like Javaone and No Fluff Just Stuff.
Maybe this is an approach that should work for most of the JUGs. In my case, our JUG is really needing some fuel to continue to work for the community as it did very well in a couple of years ago.
I really believe JUGs should follow examples of SouJava and DFJUG, two of the most passioned JUGs in the world.
But what else coudl we do? Maybe some new structure (what is your JUG's structure)? Maybe work closer to User Groups organizations or even Sun?
What else? What do you you think? What about your JUG?