The UKOUG Council elections are in progress and I think User Groups are a critical part of the community. Peter Robson is both a friend and the type of person I admire and want to represent me within the UKOUG but, sadly, the grumpy old sod is possibly the least Web 2.0 chap I know so, concerned that his campaigning efforts might be hindered, I asked him if he'd like to make his pitch here. Over to you, Peter ....
So if you are not a member of the UKOUG, I suppose you’d better stop reading now, unless I can persuade you to join up! My pitch here is to first of all, persuade you, as a member of UKOUG, to at least vote, and then secondly, hopefully convince you that I should be one of your five votes.
I have been actively involved in the UKOUG for about eight years now, both as a director of the original Board, and as an active member of the Scottish User Group committee. Now that I’m retired, I have the time to spend on these things, and my word, it can eat up one’s time, make no mistake! But it is so worthwhile. Time after time we have found that the one thing which members value are the opportunities to get together and talk about their work. Just ask Doug – he always turns up to the Birmingham Conference. Indeed, he is so obsessed with networking that he will even travel to San Francisco for Oracle OpenWorld! We can’t rival OOW, but our conferences, and SIGs, do provide the best example for the Oracle crowd to network here in the UK.
Personally, I have been able to bring lots of experience to input towards the organisation of these events by virtue of having presented in most of the European User Group conferences, as well as a few in North America, not to mention the Chris Date seminars that I also organise across the UK and Europe. Close to my heart is the Scottish community, which languished for many years, but is now thriving. Our annual conference is June 13 – Tom Kyte is presenting – make a note and come up to Scotland!
You can read the usual huff and puff about me on the election pages, but now I want to say something about the sort of person that you should look to elect to the Council. Most of all we need passionate, committed individuals, and not people who think they might try it for the benefit of their CV. We need people with the time to devote to the business of UKOUG, people who REALLY have the time to give. This is so important, as not only do we have a large user base to offer a service to, but we have a large office staff of salaried people who depend on us for their livelihood. No way are the office staff coasting – they are all stretched, and give of their very best. Indeed, it has been an absolute pleasure to work with them over the past years. We can only do our very best for them, which is why I stress that we need committed members of Council with sufficient time to devote to the job. With such people, and the skills and expertise of the office staff, I see no reason why UKOUG cannot thrive and grow.
Thanks for reading this stuff – did I ask you to vote for me? Yeah, go on, I would really appreciate that!