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About a year ago today (actually, when I look at my email, it was exactly a year ago today, which is almost a too-eerie-to-be-true coincidence), I was doing some random internet searching and came across a meetup page of people in my area (Philadelphia) that had interest in Sitecore. This made me think to myself “Hey self, there’s people near you that are interested in Sitecore just like you are…why aren’t we meeting with each other as part of a Sitecore Users Group?”. So, I took that thought, and brought it to Mark Gehman, the director of Perficient’s Sitecore practice, and a person I knew had past experience in organizing User Groups. He loved the idea, and we were soon speaking with Peter Kimpton from Sitecore about creating the Philadelphia Area Sitecore Users Group (PASUG).
Fast forward a year, and I’m very thrilled to be writing about the official creation of PASUG and our first scheduled meeting!
The past year has been about finding proper additional leadership for the Users Group, securing a date and location for an initial meeting, and making sure that enough interest exists in the region to sustain a group. I’m happy to report that I have found other leaders in Philadelphia that are experienced on Sitecore and are also devoted to helping grow community knowledge in the product. These individuals are actually from competitors to Perficient, which actually demonstrates the great thing about most User Groups – it’s not about driving business for a particular company, but for meeting the needs of the community that uses a product.
I think the PASUG mission statement sums that up great: The mission of the Philadelphia Area Sitecore Users Group (PASUG) is to foster a community of Sitecore enthusiasts in the Greater Philadelphia Region. PASUG is focused on Sitecore developers, architects, administrators, designers, business users, marketers and managers. Our goal is to provide value to all members, regardless of their role or level of experience with Sitecore. PASUG provides an open environment for our members to share their experiences, ask questions and network; unburdened by SPAM. Like Sitecore itself, we strive to Inspire and Engage our members so that the community can grow and be better equipped to utilize Sitecore as a platform to its fullest potential.
I really look forward to our first meeting, which is going to be a roundtable discussion on Sitecore on Thursday, October 24th at the City Tap House in Philadelphia. My goal for the Users Group is really to help anyone in the community learn more about Sitecore while also learning more about the product from others as well. I will be the first one to tell anyone that I don’t know every nuance of Sitecore, so it’s exciting for me to have a new avenue where I will be able to learn even more aspects then I know today.
If you’re in the Philadelphia area (SE PA / Southern NJ / Delaware) and have any interest in Sitecore at all, I hope to meet you at a future UG meeting! Even if you’re not currently using Sitecore, but want to know about a leading software product in the Web Content Management market, I encourage you to check us out. As our mission statement says, no matter what your role or your experience with Sitecore (meaning you may not even have any experience), we’d love to see you and talk about the product so that you can build some familiarity and knowledge. If you’re interested, you can register on our Meetup page and stay up to date with future meetings.