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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 8:56 pm 
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brad wrote:

If it is just usergroups that people are after in an open source project, to somehow make them feel better, more appreciated, more listened to.. dunno etc, as has been mentioned in this thread, there are other projects that will suit your needs.



How sad that a core team member posts publicaly that people should go and find another project

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 11:33 pm 
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A few thoughts.

One of the signs of a healthy and viable community is its friendliness amongst its members.  I personally think that Joomla! User Groups are a good idea if kept in the proper perspective.

There are several examples in varying projects of different definitions of what makes up a user group.  In some scenarios a user group is much similar to the Joomla! construct of a working group.  In some scenario's a user group is more of a support group.  In other scenarios a user group is more of a social group.

Obviously Joomla! as a project has no need for the user groups that are constructed in the same way as our working groups.  One of the things we have struggled with for quite some time, however, is what the actual purpose of our forums are.  Is it a support forum?  Is it a social forum?  It is a combination?  These are all valid questions and my guess is that different people have different answers.

I would say that so long as user groups fall under the areas of a social construct and/or a support construct they are a fabulous idea and I would love to join one or more.  The point that would raise any concern at all is if a user group attempted to overstep the construct of a Joomla! working group.  Given our project structure I can't really imagine a case where this could happen so I think in general its nothing to worry about.

Again within the social and support context I am completely supportive of community built and run user groups.  Ultimately it isn't up to the core to decide how people get together and talk about or support Joomla! anyway, it is up to the core how to organize and manage the project.  I hope that all together we can find a system that both enables and empowers our community to grow both socially and productively.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2007 3:23 am 
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louis.landry wrote:
A few thoughts.

One of the signs of a healthy and viable community is its friendliness amongst its members.  I personally think that Joomla! User Groups are a good idea if kept in the proper perspective.

There are several examples in varying projects of different definitions of what makes up a user group.  In some scenarios a user group is much similar to the Joomla! construct of a working group.  In some scenario's a user group is more of a support group.  In other scenarios a user group is more of a social group.

Obviously Joomla! as a project has no need for the user groups that are constructed in the same way as our working groups.  One of the things we have struggled with for quite some time, however, is what the actual purpose of our forums are.  Is it a support forum?  Is it a social forum?  It is a combination?  These are all valid questions and my guess is that different people have different answers.


Well, there are certain topics that certain people refuse to discuss on here, even though it does affect how Joomla! as a community and Joomla! as a project turns out. So the validity of different answers to what the role of the forum remains is a prime example of both diversity and exclusivity. It would be okay if there wasn't this exclusivity involved, for as soon exclusivity happens, transparency and accountability breaks down... which means failures to communicate effectively.

louis.landry wrote:
Again within the social and support context I am completely supportive of community built and run user groups.  Ultimately it isn't up to the core to decide how people get together and talk about or support Joomla! anyway, it is up to the core how to organize and manage the project.  I hope that all together we can find a system that both enables and empowers our community to grow both socially and productively.


Beg to differ on one minor point. It's up to OSM to determine where the project goes, because at the end of the day, they remain the clearinghouse for other developers to use the code. Within the various Teams, including Core and Development, to leverage and redesign the code, the buck stops with OSM, not with Core.

This is where the community, as such, hits a brickwall. As Brad said, obviously the local groups want to be listened to.. and if there is no acknowledgement that local community matters by OSM, let alone any means of establishing a meaningful mutually beneficial relationship for all parties involved (remember, we're aiming for a win-win situation here.. not a situation where the Core 'manages' the project and external parties, such as UG's on the ground, don't have a voice).

Any ideas on how this would happen ?

(This may seem like Foundation Redux to some people, like Andrew Eddie.. as it's dealing with the same political and social and technological issues)

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2007 3:43 am 
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As always Lawrence... your assumptions are for the most part just that :)  Good news for everyone here is though that I'm not willing to engage you on them.  Lets keep this one on topic and hopefully we get something good done.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2007 4:12 am 
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Louis - Thanks for your comments and putting Joomla! back into perspective.

Lawrence - no.

Brad - check your PM.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2007 4:23 am 
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Moderator:

I want the off topic posts deleted, please! I have never asked for this before but this is important and I would very much appreciate it if we could start over -- this time with a deep breath.

This portion removed from post #88.

brad wrote:
If it is just usergroups that people are after in an open source project, to somehow make them feel better, more appreciated, more listened to.. dunno etc, as has been mentioned in this thread, there are other projects that will suit your needs.

[me=brad]has made his contribution to this thread now[/me]
[me=brad]goes off to his quiet place...[/me]


Replies #89, 90, 92, 93, 94, and this one removed.

Thanks for understanding Brad, Brian, Louis, Lawrence and everyone else. Please, let's stay on topic.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2007 4:52 am 
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I looked at the user groups posted and I don't see anything there that is not here in this forum except for commercial postings.

They are just forums set up differently but without moderation.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2007 9:05 am 
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So the melbourne and berlin user groups are just like the forum?

The whole point is to meet people face to face in a social setting.

Believe it or not not everyone wants to spend their time talking in a forum. Somepeople would like to meet others face to face. Perhaps in chicago ;)

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2007 2:25 pm 
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We need to scope this effort. Initially, we began talking about documenting a process to create "physical" User Groups. Then, groups.drupal.org was offered as one of several resources we were each to review. I am impressed by how that resource helps their community self-direct and produce contributors. At that time, I started looking at our discussion much more broadly. But, I believe we need to pull the scope back to where we can all get behind our goal, again.

This discussion creates questions of overlap into an existing resource -- our forums -- where we *are* very successful. That discussion also creates questions of overlap into another structure -- our working groups -- where we are *also* very successful. I personally believe that allowing virtual User Groups would have an explosive impact on community contributions, but, I don't think we are ready and that's okay.

There are absolutely ways that we are using our forums to empower and encourage our community, here's five examples off the top of my head:
- Chris and Ian as they work on the MVC Tutorial with the community (I could give dozens of examples of Chris doing this. IMO, he's the best at it.)
- Johan and Louis on the MSSQL [drive] testing.
- Andrew and Louis encouraging community participation in the OSCMS.
- That's what the CakePHP posts are all about.
- That is what Shayne is recommending with the Template discussion.

I am a big believer in consensus. In the end, that is all that works. We have to all believe in what we are doing or we will just have conflict and none of us want that. But, please, do not ever make the mistake of doubting - I am a proud member of our Joomla! community.

Here is where I see our next discussion items:

1. Should this discussion be limited to physical User Groups? (At this time, I recommend yes.)

2. What should be provided 'centrally' to support physical User Groups?
- Full resources needed by a JUG to schedule meetings and events, share agendas, minutes, pictures, etc.?
- Or, a simple listing of how to find information for a JUG near you? (Still, a huge step forward.)

3. Will the resource that comes from the previous question be a part of the Joomla.org family?
- if it is just a listing, I am guessing it will be a posting in the forums, so yes.
- if it is a JoomlaUserGroup website, will there be a link to it (ex. "Main" "News" "Help" "Forum" "Community") and will it be supported by the S&I working group?

++++

That's where I think we are. Since my involvement is causing a distraction and this is too important to take off-track, we need someone else to lead this discussion. Steve and Cindy? Might you be willing to guide this for awhile?

Please discuss items #1 through #3 (or other items related to JUGs that I might have missed). Please be open and honest about your concerns, but, be willing to consider a bit of change if it is helpful, keep your eyes firmly on strengthening Joomla! and, please, stay positive, please!
Amy :)

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2007 2:43 pm 
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I think Louis made the best summary to date

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2007 4:33 pm 
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Let me try to add a marketing perspective  (this post could been seen as an extension to Andrew Eddie's: http://forum.joomla.org/index.php/topic,141541.0.html)

On Thursday I attended a Drupal users group in the Atlanta area. It was our second meeting with 16 people and there were many more who are planning to come next time. On a local level it was great advertising. There were people in attendance who:

  • had been looking for a local Drupal developer and were on the point of abandoning Drupal until they found that meeting.
  • had never heard of Drupal before seeing announcement but were keen to start learning and getting involved
  • are in key technology positions for their companies who wanted to know whether Drupal was right for their businesses
  • are designers and coders keen to get their hands dirty on a cool, upcoming CMS project


I would dearly love to get an comparable Joomla group going in Atlanta and I do believe they can play an essential role in growing Joomla 's user base.

Currently we have 2 people in the Atlanta group, plus one from Alabama. What this tells me is not that no-one uses Joomla in the south, but that the current forum isn't sufficient to promote and grow succesful user groups.


For the record, my views are as follows:

1. Should this discussion be limited to physical User Groups?  Yes

2. What should be provided 'centrally' to support physical User Groups?  a simple listing of how to find information for a JUG near you. If the project works well, we can later discuss expansion

3. Will the resource that comes from the previous question be a part of the Joomla.org family? Not really my place to decide this

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Last edited by alledia on Sat Feb 24, 2007 4:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2007 8:06 pm 
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I was going to quote you, alledia, but...  ;)

Some of you know that WGs, in my opinion, should be slightly different as how they are now. It is just my personal opinion and you simply can´t limit UGs phisically. You would want to do it, but it´s impossible. All we would do is "label" them. Or not.

We had seen some developers trying to join efforts to make their components compatible (xajax). Or look at the "translation teams": somehow, those "teams" are user groups working on a extension, the language files. And no one but me is asking for real working groups for the translations!

I had asked just before Amy´s post about "official" UGs just because a Core Team Member said "officially":

ibnhafsun wrote:
Hi, sorry if this has been asked before. I posted this on the M&M forum

Quote:
Hi, Pete, where are the docs and info about JUGs (if any)?

The existing JUGs... have signed the logo usage policy and have had the approval of OSM? have you verified their websites too?

Is there any list of available JUGs?


and here is the reply:

Quote:
It's early days but regarding best practice your first port of call for guidance should be our events co-ordinator, Alex Kempkens.

All officially JUGs should adhere to the logo usage policy.

No, I don't have a list of all of the JUGs at the moment but it would be a good time to start that list.


What means "officially"?

Thanks for your time.


It was not the logo usage what worried me but the word "official".

Words, you know. Words are important.

If you say "this is the Omaha Official JUG" you should expect any new user from Omaha trying to get in touch with that group. Therefore, Joomla! should provide a "charter" or "guidelines" or an "agreement". If we can help on this it would be better. If not there´s time to review how users are controlling the future of Joomla! as said and signed in the Open Letter to the Community (it seems to me, from time to time, that some people is starting to ignore that document [the Joomla! Declaration of Independence, lol]).

Some decisions don´t require the community input at all, that´s the truth, but even being so, we should all work to make the Open Letter to the Community an example of management. Demands of its users, ability of its developers and, in this case, available resources. If we can´t find a way to do it then we all have failed. But only if we are allowed to work on that spirit. Any coaction, imposition or prejudice should be severely treated.

And from this perspective, if we are not going to have Official UGs, the community is responsible of helping the current structure to grow. It´s our duty, if we are planning to run non official UGs, to support our project: learn from those who have spent their time making Joomla!, from those who have more experience, from those who really care about Joomla!. Ask for help and respect their opinions. Simple.

prejudice

1 preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or experience
2 unjust behaviour formed on such a basis.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 2:56 am 
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ibnhafsun wrote:
It was not the logo usage what worried me but the word "official".

Words, you know. Words are important.

If you say "this is the Omaha Official JUG" you should expect any new user from Omaha trying to get in touch with that group. Therefore, Joomla! should provide a "charter" or "guidelines" or an "agreement". If we can help on this it would be better. If not there´s time to review how users are controlling the future of Joomla! as said and signed in the Open Letter to the Community (it seems to me, from time to time, that some people is starting to ignore that document [the Joomla! Declaration of Independence, lol]).

Some decisions don´t require the community input at all, that´s the truth, but even being so, we should all work to make the Open Letter to the Community an example of management. Demands of its users, ability of its developers and, in this case, available resources. If we can´t find a way to do it then we all have failed. But only if we are allowed to work on that spirit. Any coaction, imposition or prejudice should be severely treated.

And from this perspective, if we are not going to have Official UGs, the community is responsible of helping the current structure to grow. It´s our duty, if we are planning to run non official UGs, to support our project: learn from those who have spent their time making Joomla!, from those who have more experience, from those who really care about Joomla!. Ask for help and respect their opinions. Simple.

prejudice

1 preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or experience
2 unjust behaviour formed on such a basis.



I agree with all of this, especially in regards to the issues surrounding the "offical JUG" vs non-offical JUG. It's been one of the reasons I've been trying to negotiate the terms of agreement between OSM and a UG regarding status as part of these discussions.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 4:05 am 
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Joomla! User Groups are about spreading the word and supporting people who want to use Joomla!. I am interested in this effort because I know Joomla! can be used to help make the world a *little* better place. Do you think ANYONE wants JUGs to spring up ALL OVER THE WORLD more than the people who wrote the code? Everyone wants this to happen!

Let's keep it as simple and easy. I confused matters and complicated this silly thing by broadening this out too far. I am sorry for that. If we try to take one step at a time we will make progress. No one is trying to stop anyone. We are all just trying to figure out how to do it and earn a living and tend to our families and have fun.

Here's where it's at (some wanted more, but, I think we can all cope):

1. Initially limit to Physical User Groups.

2. Provide a central list here at Joomla.org.

So, the only "negotiation" question is will the core team allow a central list of physical Joomla! User Groups for community members to look at and see if there is a group near them? Something easy like the Name of the JUG, perhaps a short description, the JUG website, a contact name and email address.

I'll be honest. I hope it will not be long before we are able to add virtual groups, too. But, if we first get a little success under our belt, it'll make more sense later if this second phase is appropriate, or not.

Like I said, I'm going to stay out of this.  :P
Amy :)

--> I think my post sounded aggressive and I meant it to sound like "Let's chill out!"

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Last edited by AmyStephen on Sun Feb 25, 2007 5:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 8:29 am 
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Please not just a list but a place where new groups can establish themselves

eg Person A prooposes that there is a JUG in Alabama. And Other people can post that they will be interested

Once it is established then a list is fine. But the new group needs a way to solicit interest

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2007 10:47 pm 
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brian wrote:
Please not just a list but a place where new groups can establish themselves

eg Person A prooposes that there is a JUG in Alabama. And Other people can post that they will be interested

Once it is established then a list is fine. But the new group needs a way to solicit interest


Thats true. It would be great to have a more expansive options available to support the groups.

On the other hand, the Joomla store was started with just one T-Shirt for sale. Theres something to be said for getting things moving and upgrading later.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2007 3:29 am 
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Well, I reckon I ought to weigh in here so ya'll don't think I'm dead. 

What's the difference between a UG and a fan club?  Well-- there are official fan clubs and your garden variety fan club.  Personally, I think that having the support and validation of being an "official" user group would lend credibility and forward motion to the group.  In that same vein, I believe that a possibility would be that "official" UG's could sell licensed merchandise and split proceeds with Joomla to fund events.  Win, win situation.

Having local UG's for support is redundant and unnecessary IMO.  That leaves the options of promotion and socialization.  Frankly, I live in world where the only people who know what I'm talking about are here on this forum.  Everyone else seems to think the web is voodoo in a box.  I would enjoy the opportunity to postulate on how Joomla has promoted my business and forced me to be better at what I do and listen to the same.  Possibly convert some folks over to Joomla to build the community and further development.

What I don't get is the point of arguing over it.  From what I've read we are all humming the same tune, we just need the lyrics to sync.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2007 3:37 am 
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montano wrote:
What I don't get is the point of arguing over it.  From what I've read we are all humming the same tune, we just need the lyrics to sync.


I AGREE!

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2007 9:16 am 
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montano wrote:
Having local UG's for support is redundant and unnecessary IMO.  That leaves the options of promotion and socialization.  Frankly, I live in world where the only people who know what I'm talking about are here on this forum.  Everyone else seems to think the web is voodoo in a box.  I would enjoy the opportunity to postulate on how Joomla has promoted my business and forced me to be better at what I do and listen to the same.  Possibly convert some folks over to Joomla to build the community and further development.


Agreed. UGs need licencing freedom to promote using the J! logo in this respect.

montano wrote:
What I don't get is the point of arguing over it.  From what I've read we are all humming the same tune, we just need the lyrics to sync.


Agreed, and in that light, perhaps we should consider this entire community UG thing as an orchestra of many instruments? If so, I'm taking contra-bassoon.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:46 pm 
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absalom wrote:
Agreed. UGs need licencing freedom to promote using the J! logo in this respect.


Discussed dozens of times already, Lawrence. We know this is out of scope for the moment. Let's keep building consensus < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consensus > and quit slowing progress by repeating earlier discussions.

Forward progress! Let's get Joomla! User Groups positioned to help Joomla! v 1.5 get on a server near you! To Infinity And Beyond! 8)

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2007 10:04 pm 
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So, is there a description yet for this that's agreed upon?  This is long overdue.

Meanwhile, I've started Joomla Chicago. Right now, anyone wanting to be a part of it, go to http://www.JoomlaChicago.com and sign onto our OPT-IN email list, so we can keep folks up to date on what's happenin' in the Chicago area.

We're going to meet in person on a rotating basis throughout Chicago's "Loop" as well as the 'burbs.  We've got Frank Sinatra playing now, "My Kind of Town" till we get up and running.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 3:07 am 
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As an update:

Everyone is pretty busy getting ready for v 1.5. I am to be working on Wikipedia updates and also to help with other M&M PR duties in preparation for the (dare I say it!) release.

Steve Burge (Alledia) has agreed to lead this. We are hoping to put Steve in touch with Tonie and Alex and see if we can do something simple to begin.

It might be a three phase plan:

Phase 1 - Start with "physical" JUGs and a listing on Joomla.org where people can find a JUG nearby where they live or work;

Phase 2 - Soon after (as we find volunteers to help!), we want to provide a common website for these physical groups to use to store their agendas, calendars, minutes, pictures, etc., for their JUG (and the world) to see. That could be hosted as part of the Joomla.org family if permitted by the core, or we could work independently as a community using the JoomlaUserGroup name. Steve volunteered to host it. We have it on record. I don't know what will happen - it would be phase II, we won't be worrying about it right now.

Phase 3 - Add a few virtual groups as it makes sense. By that time, it will start to make sense what goes into the working group or the forums and what is a good candidate for a Virtual JUG. A Woman's JUG (that men can join if desired!) is high on my list of priorities. But, we may never get to phase III - or it might end up being part of the forums and not part of the JUG - it's down the road.

But, right now, we are hoping to get Steve in touch with Tonie and Alex. If people want to buy domain names, knock yourselves out, but I hope that you think about working as a group on a common resource that all of us can use. We could point your domain name at your front door on this site using subdomains - but - I sure would like your volunteer time pooled into one fabulous website, instead of all of us building mediocre ones.

Having said that, you are absolutely free to do what you want and the real goal is getting together with others who want to learn and have fun using Joomla!.

I've enjoyed a few emails with John - he's going to rock the Windy City and I hope when I'm there end of June/beginning of July there is a Joomla!Day or a JUG meeting going. I sure would love to see that and will be happy to help, if I can.

More later on JUGs. Probably from Steve. I'm supposed to stay focused on M&M PR stuff. I was *not* here.  :P

Thanks!
Amy

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 9:53 am 
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It would be hard to list something that is not defined.

At least for me.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 3:48 pm 
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DesignGuy wrote:
Go to http://www.JoomlaChicago.com and sign onto our OPT-IN email list, so we can keep folks up to date on what's happenin' in the Chicago area.


John -

I was posting a blog about your new JoomlaChicago site - and enjoying the logo on the building when it dawned on me - I *think* the use of the Joomla! logo is unfortunately breaking the rules. Please take a look at the logo guidelines < http://www.joomla.org/content/view/259/70/ > and see if you think it's in conformance. I believe the logo needs to be placed on a solid colored surface and the building probably doesn't meet those guidelines.

NOW - please don't think I am pointing fingers, here's my story! I took the logo and turned it into a Peace Sign because I thought it was cool - and I had it on my blog for quite awhile. Then, I read something Johan posted and it dawned on me I had seriously violated the logo guidelines. So, I changed it. As soon as I switched to the regular logo on a solid background, I realized, it looks better, anyway.

Thanks for considering!
Amy :)

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 4:44 pm 
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The "solid" logo is actually being projected from the other side of the river.  I'll put a solid logo at the bottom too - thanks Amy.

I suspect we'll get marginal interest in the group in the beginning; that's how it normally goes with these things. It will be worth meeting and sharing knowledge, even if it's only a few folks in the beginning. Usually, the best ones take a while to gear up. That's usually the most healthy way for groups to form - steady - to make sure we get maximum payback.

;)

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 4:53 pm 
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Next time I am passing through Chicago i'd love to meet up with you all in the Chicago group :)

Louis

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2007 4:59 pm 
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Thanks for the information on forming groups, I lend my support to your idea! I have donated to the groupjive development, I believe that it will come in handy in the future when joomla decides to have extended user groups. Until then I suggest everyone who is in support to head on over to http://www.groupjive.org and say hi to Michael and the team, they are in need of testers, suggestions and donations.

:)

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2007 9:14 pm 
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That'd be great, Louis. We'll treat you right.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 3:35 pm 
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Interesting discussion; thanks for inviting me in, Amy. 

I have signed up for John's Chicago JUG.  I'm interested in getting involved because Joomla is the best open-source CMS I've used,  and I need to get in touch with others to talk about how we can adapt it for use on my Chicago 501(c)(3), The Site of Big Shoulders (www.sobs.org).

I agree with Amy that it's probably best to keep things as simple as possible as this process gets underway.  Although  I do understand that some structure needs to be put into place, too much will turn people off, especially at the beginning.  I also agree that the focus should be on local, face-to-face meetings: We can all participate in the virtual Joomla community any time we want through this forum. 

That being said, I do think there  are some things that the centralized group could do to help out new and fledgling JUGs, some of which have already been mentioned in this forum:

• Have a central registry of local user groups on joomla.org so that it's easy for users to find their local JUG.

• Provide online resources to make it as easy as possible for local JUGs to get started and manage and publicize their activities.  Maybe this wouldn't be hosting per se, but it could perhaps consist of, for example, a default "JUG template," a default configuration of a Joomal install to support membership signup, posting photos, publishing the calendar, etc.  (Of course, any JUG could customize such an install as wished, but if there were an easy way to implement "here's the default install of what you need for a JUG," I think it would help these groups to get started quickly.)  It is my take that most JUGs would prefer to directly control their own Joomla installations than participate through a more rigidly structured, central interface provided by joomla.org/the central organization.

• Provide a "Getting Started Kit" for the first few meetings of a JUG.  I'm guessing that this process is going to be new to many people (myself included), and it would be valuable to have an initial script to get ideas.  This could include both "serious" activities like technical presentations and some fun stuff like Show & Tell, Joomla trivia quiz, or other things to get people talking and build relationships.

• Set up a method for JUGs to connect with visiting Joomla experts who may be passing through the local area and would be willing to give a presentation to the JUG.

Just some ideas; I will post more as I get them.

Also, I agree with earlier comments that once money gets involved, things tend to get quite  a bit more complicated.  It is a bitch to get 501(c)(3) status -- we did it for The Site of Big Shoulders, which took us a couple years -- and this would be beyond the capabilities of most local JUGs, I'm guessing.  If there's a way to leverage centralized support for not-for-profit money management, this may help the effort (albeit adding complexity and centralized politics, etc.).  I think this element should be considered from the get-go, but I don't think any local JUG  should need to wait to get started until this issue has been resolved.

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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2007 1:11 am 
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Firstly, you have my full support, cooperation, and interest.

JUG Location: Central Texas/Austin

Now, let me try and put this in my own perspective, as this thread has become rather complex

Pros: 
Gets the J! name to the public and helps familiarize new users
Solidifies the community through social interaction
Promotes community development and support of the project
Gives users an outlet to express themselves beyond the limits of forums or their own web sites.

Cons:
Opens the door for exploitation of the Joomla name and community
Legalities involved in use of Joomla name and Logo for the benefit of the user groups
Centralization, deployment, and management of the User Groups "hub" and consequently JUG specific sites if applicable

Unresolved:
Location and deployment method (once deployed, management can be secured)
Legal ramifications
Promotion and sponsorship

Thoughts:
It seems to me that while some view these user groups as simple social events, others seem to think they should be responsible for projects much like the J! workgroups function.  Let them do whatever they want!  If a JUG wants to do nothing but drink beer and shoot the breeze about the web, so be it- it's still providing the end function of bringing the community together and solidifying them into a loyal user base.  They will be contributing to the community by their existence alone.

It also appears as though some consider these user groups to be redundant of assets already provided by joomla, yet others view them as an addition.  There is no replacement for a handshake.(period)

Some discussion about monetization and cost evaluation has gotten nowhere.  What is there to monetize?  Other than the money spent by Joomla.org to promote or otherwise host this service if they desire, and then, depending on their level of coop, simply recoup the costs through licensing or reap the benefit of the publicity and call it good  I give away banners advertising my site to LAN gamers.. they cost me $15.00 a piece- each one brings in 2-3 new members at $10+ subscriptions per month.  That's plain and simple ROI at it's best.

  Copyright and OSM rights have been mentioned....  Sell the logo rights on a per user basis with an EULA retaining rights over the Logo, thus protecting the design and usage of it-  it's not that hard to draft or implement unless I am just totally missing something regarding OSM or the GPL

My opinions:
First and most important, each JUG must have their own site to work with, whether by subdomain of J.org or privatized hosts, each JUG has to have a page.

Joomla can control the creation and deployment of JUGs and get around their copyright/licensing by selling J! Logo licensing to would be JUG leaders or founders.  Not only will this help to ensure a serious participant, but provides income for Joomla to help cover the costs of implementing and managing their end of the JUGs.  Make it dirt cheap, $2.00 a month, $10.00 a year, whatever- but only those who are serious and dedicated are going to log into their paypal for this.  They can either cover it themselves or take donations from their JUG members, but at no time may JUG leaders charge "dues" or other payments required to participate in the group.

Which brings me to-  Joomla's role in the JUGs (other than providing hosting for JUG sites, if desired) would be to provide a page to centralize the JUGs. A listing, search, and perhaps event calendars.

additionally- a framework of rules and practices would need to be worked out to protect the J! name from exploitation or misuse, like say someone starts a JUG and it evolves into adult parties (what's wrong with that, anyway?).  Simply require that anyone who wishes to join a specific JUG must first register via JUG.Joomla.org and that they enter into agreement protecting Joomla and absolving any responsibility or legal obligation concerning the practices of the JUGs in general.  Also make a note that "JUGs" are the sole property of Joomla and as such licensing and/or membership may be revoked for violation of policy regarding the use, implementation, or promotion of said events.

For as complex as it looks on top, this is really a very simple concept that requires only minimal framing for a proper implementation.  The hardest part is licensing and drafting a policy regarding use, but with so many brilliant minds here, even that is small.

What I think many people here are not considering is that the brunt of all the work now and in the future would be the responsibility of the JUG leaders and members.  And once again, if you charge for the usage of the JUG, you can be assured that leaders are not going to sit on their hands and let it go to waste.  They will have ample motive to propogate the J! name any way they can, and will be more compelled to comply with their licensing ageements if their money is on the line... even if it is only a few dollars.

I can say this much, if this project goes nowhere, I will be purchasing JoomlaTex.com in the near future- I was all ready to pull the trigger on a Joomla usergoup and hit this thread just as I was reviewing the option, so I hope this turns out.

Once again, this has my full support, I'll make myself as available and useful as I can.

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