JUG-USA: The Whole is Greater than the Sum of the JUGs
We are officially launching JUG-USA today. It is an umbrella Java User Group (JUG) which local JUGs from all over the United States can affiliate with. It is my hope that a true synergy will emerge from this undertaking.
The original impetus for the formation of JUG-USA was to work towards establishing a single Federal non-profit that any affiliated JUG could take advantage of in order to take in tax deductible donations to pay for various JUG activities. This was also going to be a way to provide synergy for JCP participation. The plan was to raise the $2000 non-profit annual membership fee once for JUG-USA and let members of all the affiliated JUGs join the JCP via their JUG-USA affiliation. However, that has become less important now that the JCP is allowing any JUG to join the JCP for free until February 28th, 2009.
In case you didn't know, I created an International JUGs Map some time ago. This map is now maintained by a small team of JUG Leaders including myself from around the world. So naturally, I had to create a new and improved JUG-USA Map for my current project.
As a committer for both maps, I will make certain that there is no data loss between the two maps. There are design advantages afforded by creating a separate map focused on just the United States. It can be organized better with further custom navigation when we are dealing with a smaller data set of JUGs to place on the map. Plus, the data on the map for each JUG can be richer when dealing with less data points. I could not afford the performance hit to load site thumbnail images on the much larger International JUGs Map.
Although the JUG-USA project is officially launching today, there is still much work to be done. As a pilot program, we invited one JUG from each of the major regions of the United States to become founding affiliates. We have the Connecticut JUG representing the Northeast, the Capital JUG representing the Midwest, the Houston JUG representing the South, and the Silicon Valley Web JUG representing the West.
Initially, our goal is to simply get ALL the JUGs in the United States to become JUG-USA Affiliates. Once we have done that, we can start to synergistically leverage these affiliations. We are already planning a face-to-face meeting with the leaders from as many JUG-USA affiliates as possible during the upcoming JavaOne conference in June of 2009. If you would like to get involved, the best way to get started is to join the dev mailing list of the JUG-USA project. That is where our early stage JUG-USA formation discussions will occur moving forward.
That's All Folks!