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   RE: [xml-dev] XML User Groups - Any Survivors? Time To Move On?

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The one thing I have found in the 10 years that our users group
has been going is that it is easier to find speakers.  This is
because more people are doing some very interesting things
with XML.  We usually have 2 speakers, one techical and one
vendor (because lets face it product is still important).

The audience changes from month to month depending on the topic.
You will get a different crowd depending on the topics.  XML is

I hate to burst your bubble about beltway bandits Len (sure we have them
in droves here and some of them are interested in XML and driving the
direction of the Government) but I think saying that our group is just
Beltway bandits denegrates the achievement of the individuals and 
organizations that make up our users group.  They are some of the 
most professional and knowledgeable people I have had the priviledge
of dealing with. 

I did a count of the people who subscribe to our listserve (around 425
people signed up) a few months ago when Philadelphia was looking for
advice on starting a users group. This is the breakdown:

Government -17% 
Commercial - 58% 
Non-profits - 12% 
Education - 4% 
Other - 9% 

Washington is also hope to a lot of non-profit and scientific 
organizations.  We have our meetings at the American Geophysical
Union - they have been wonderful about letting us have meeting
space for the last 10 years.  I think this is the reason for

I am amazed myself that we are still going after 10 years!


On Fri, 27 May 2005, Bullard, Claude L (Len) wrote:

> Nope.  It's an XML thing.
> XML is a known quantity at this point.  It gets harder 
> to find speakers with anything novel to say.  Audiences 
> that haven't heard it before aren't interested now.
> Maybe the Washington group is anomalous because:
> 1) This is the Beltway.  Turnover is fast.
> 2) This is the Beltway. "I can't recall" is the right 
>    answer to all hard questions so they have to keep 
>    coming back and pretending it is the first time.
> 3) This is the Beltway.  Consultancies are based on 
>    the number of associations one belongs to and how 
>    often one associates.
> 4) This is the Beltway.  The current administration  
>    has to be told everything three times; once to hear 
>    it, once to check with their masters if it is hearable, 
>    and once to twist it into something for the press to 
>    report that can be plausibly denied later.
> 5) This is the Beltway.  If they go to the XML meeting, 
>    they can tell their colleagues they are running to a meeting 
>    instead of from a reporter. 
> 6) This is the Beltway.  If anything changed in XML, they 
>    want to be the second penguin to know.  The first gets eaten by 
>    the walrus.
> 7) This is the Beltway.  Half of the audience was trying to 
>    find Gaithersburg and are at the wrong meeting.
> 8) This is the Beltway.  Half of the audience are surveiling 
>    the other half that were trying to find Gaithersburg.
> 9) This is the Beltway.  XML is a TLA and TLAs have budgets 
>    other TLAs want to abscond with.
> 10) This is the Beltway.  XML promised that verbosity didn't matter.
> len
> -----Original Message-----
> From: G. Ken Holman [mailto:gkholman@CraneSoftwrights.com]
> I wonder if it is a Canadian thing, as the http://xugo.org attendance in 
> Ottawa has been dropping steadily to only about 8 attendees each month and 
> we missed a number of months this year.  Thankfully we just got a new host 
> for a meeting room (thank you again to Stilo!) and we're hoping for better 
> turnout when we resume in September.
> I've always been so envious of Betty's group in Washington and the North 
> Carolina group, and I have had the privilege to have spoken at both and 
> experienced the comradery and enthusiasm there.  I think that is a tribute 
> to each of the organizers and their hard work.
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Betty Harvey                         | Phone: 410-787-9200 FAX: 9830
Electronic Commerce Connection, Inc. |
harvey@eccnet.com                    | Washington,DC XML Users Grp
URL:  http://www.eccnet.com          | http://www.eccnet.com/xmlug


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