Lately, I've been seeing more and more interest from User Groups in conducting virtual community meetings due to the busy lives of members and the ability to easily record meetings for members that are unable to attend.  Microsoft User Group Support Services (UGSS) provides member organizations with a FREE annual subscription of the Office 365 E3 plan to leverage for just this purpose! 

Does this sound good, but do you need some training on how to best leverage Lync Online for virtual user group meetings?  Lync Online training materials are available for FREE download and can be posted and shared with your members.  These training materials are great resources that walk through Instant Messaging, Presence and Collaboration features in Lync.  In particular, the "Conferencing and Collaboration Training" module in these materials has some great tips for using Lync to deliver engaging online presentations and meetings.

In addition, if you're using Lync Online for your user group, then you'll also be able to configure federation with other organizations using Lync and Windows Live to easily exchange IM messages with other special contacts, such as your friendly neighborhood IT Evangelists ;-)  Federating your Lync Online implementation goes a long way towards being able to do cross-group sharing of ideas and expands your community reach with Microsoft and other peer organizations.  Steps for configuring federation in Lync Online can be found here.

COMING SOON: I'll also be providing additional resources that you can use to begin leveraging SharePoint Online to support your user group!