I have had many people ask me about starting a new community group. In many cases they were thinking that a face-to-face group would be best but they simply do not have the time to do it all themselves. Online resources are great - and plentiful! The WAG group gives them the opportunity to start the group and grow membership in preparation for when they get enough people interested in attending live events and also a way for them to find other people that have common interests. Hopefully, when they do have live meetings, they can find other “WAG members” that are willing to help them do the work.

Did you even know that WAG existed?

I wanted to help Kevin Remde get the word out about his new idea so I was going to do a blog post about it. I wanted to let people know that they could join one of the existing groups or jump on the infrastructure Kevin put in place to create their own group or even have Kevin create a subgroup for you so you could get the most out of WAG. Actually created the post and then decided it would be better if I interviewed Kevin to give some additional information about the idea behind WAG!

On with the Interview…

What is WAG and WHY was it created? WAG stands for Windows Administrators Group.  When I was thinking about a name I really liked the acronym WAG.  I figured I could use it in many ways to promote and add fun to the idea.

Why was it created?  In order to build community you need to make connections.  Linked in is a really good tool to bring people together so I wanted to kick it up a notch and created the WAG group. I actually got the idea to start an online group from John Weston who had much success with a group he started in Dallas. I created it for the Central region but received lots of great responses outside my territory. I wanted it to grow and I am happy to help others get started so I will keep adding groups as requested until I run out of availability due to limits implemented in Linked in groups. After that, we will figure out another plan.

I do not want to dictate anything for any of the groups.  The idea is just to let them do what they want to do and grow autonomously. There has to be an interest in order to maintain and support. It will require some initial pushing and promoting but after that, I am sure it will grow on without much encouragement from me.

Do you think there is some value in creating a hierarchy based on region?  In doing some initial testing we found that there were limits to the number of groups we could create and there were limits to the number of subgroups. We could not find a way to add subgroups of subgroups so at the current pace, we will run out of availability in no time due to the limitations of linked in.

How many groups now and how quickly are they being added?  We have about 14 groups now and it has only been about 3 weeks since we started so I think it is growing pretty fast. 

How many members"?  There are 162 in the parent group now.  Different cities / regions have different numbers. Some started up as recently as today. One thing is for sure, they will grow and at a pretty staggering pace.

What is the goal of WAG? The goal of WAG is to get people together in the same room now and then; to share, learn, connect, network, and GROW professionally. To do that, we need to get plugged in to local groups.

What would you like us to do? 

Check out the WAG main group site.

  • Look at subgroups; If a group for your geography exists: Join it. Start a discussion. Participate.
  • If a subgroup for your area doesn't exist: Request it by posting a comment with a recommended name and description for your group.
    • If you want to help manage it, let me know and I will promote you to manager.
    • If it's a geography that I don't cover on behalf of Microsoft, I will see about getting an evangelist in that area involved, too.
    • Of course, if you simply want to keep this an online-only resource for yourself, We certainly won't mind. Ask questions. Post discussions. Reply. Contribute. Or just read. Whatever you want.
    • WAG on!

Where do you see it a year from now?  Primarily community driven.  Each subgroup actually has a meeting group using Live face to face attendance or at the very least use online connectivity tools like Meetup to have meetings.

Anything else you want to add? Let’s Get Our WAG On!

WAG BostonPS.  The one group that was created already today was Boston WAG.  If you in in Southern New England or want to keep up with what is going in in the region, Go ahead and join!