Internet Groups Essay

812 words - 3 pages

"100% Smoke-free, Microsoft-free, fat-free, caffeine-free environment. No animals were harmed in its creation. No cookies, no ads, no JavaScript. Get involved in the NEW User Group Network!" As soon as I read this intro for The User Group Network (http://www.user-groups.net), I was intrigued. If nothing else, I was immediately curious as to what this cybernetwork group was about, merely because of the added humor. I found out that this group is actually the center for an entire network of groups. So I picked out one group that is apart of the network, and analyzed it's structure. I chose a group called CEBUG. CEBUG stands for Computer Erie Bay Users Group (http://cebug.member.apcug.org/index.htm). This group is based in Sandusky, Ohio and it's members extend throughout Erie County and the surrounding area. Computer groups have the ability to recruit members who are thousands of miles away and yet this group, along with many other groups, is concentrated in one particular area. Location can be a very important resource shared between users, some people are more willing to help out their neighbors rather than someone on the other side of the country. And that is important in this case because giving and receiving help is what this group is all about.They are a cybernetwork group "dedicated to computer users helping other users." The shared interest between users is simply computer users who either need help, or are willing to lend help to their fellow members. CEBUG holds nine meetings each year at a local high school. The meetings are open to the public free of charge, however certain privileges such as door prizes are reserved for members. At these meetings, new software, such as Microsoft's FrontPage 2000, is usually the topic at hand, but demonstrations of software or workshops may also be held.As far as the authority structure of the group, there is a president, Irene M. Kraus, but as far as I maintenance of the group and its activities, that is mainly taken care of by members and Special Interest Groups (SIGs). SIGs exist within user groups to help further define interest areas, or may be dedicated to the support of certain hardware or software products. Articles on club news or SIG events are available in the newsletter that they send out to their members each month...

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