What a Users' Group Ought To Be

Source: Ed Seidel, "What a Users' Group Ought To Be," The Desktop Journal 3 (February 1984), 3.
Location: M1007, Apple Computer Inc. Papers, Series 12, Box 19, Folder 9.

The Macintosh is a new computer, fundamentally different from most others, and it has drawn many new users who were previously unfamiliar with computers. In this sense, I see two different sets of people in our group: those with computer experience who are just now seeing new avenues to follow in computing, and those with little or no experience who are just now seeing what computing can do. We must provide for the different needs of both, but we have in common that our eyes are just being opened to something new and different.

The mission of our group, then, is to explore the possibilities of the Macintosh. This process can be frustrating or impossible for the single user, but as a group our efforts can be fruitful and enjoyable. The key is communication. We must get users with similar interests together (join a SIG!) so that particular aspects of computing can be explored in depth (for example, scientific and educational computing, programming, software development, new users, etc.), and we must also encourage communication between members with different interests. Many of the best things that I know about the Mac came from people who were doing things which I had never thought of.

Besides communication between different members of the group, we must make contact with software and hardware developers. We are in the process of talking with these groups and we expect to have demonstrations of new products, both hardware and software, at our meetings. Again, this sort of contact and information exchange is possible only through the group and not through the individual.

As a group we can potentially provide great benefit to everyone involved, but the key word is involved. We need to be more than just a source of public domain software (although we are that!); by getting together we can explore the Macintosh together.

Document created on 17 April 2000;