This section covers collective wisdom related to the topic of starting a new chapter.
Where do I start?
- Visit the GDG Directory and see if there's already a local meetup in your area.
- If there is, talk to the organizers there to learn more about how you can contribute.
- If there isn't an existing chapter, then consider starting one by reading the guidelines here.
- Ready to start a chapter? Fill out the application form and wait to hear back on the approval of your request. (If you have nothing heard for 2 weeks please open an issue here at gdg-wisdom, your request will then be forwarded to the global Google community manager.)
- Approved? Congratulations!! Check the GDG Directory to verify the chapter listing. It will probably be marked with a to indicate its incubating status.
What are the Pre-Requisites?
- Make sure you've checked the directory and see that no other chapters are in your area. If there is one, contact the organizer and join in the fun.
- Please also read the Community Guidelines before proceeding.
What are Organizers' Responsibilities?
Leaders (chapter leaders, project organizers, country coordinators, etc.) are by far the key people in communities, who influence everything - other organizers, culture, activities. Leaders and organizers are capable technical, people-wise and organization wise. An organizer is responsible for:
- Networking with people
- Marketing of activities
- Event production
- Inspiring people to do stuff
- Leading people to make a decision
- Offering things to do. Be prepared that a percentage of them (will be so high or low as is your understanding of the community) won't be done by anyone.
What if I own a Company?
We have to be careful about organizers seeing their GDG activity as a way to help their own businesses. GDG is not a selling/marketing vehicle for any company. Not for Google (we are passionate about Google tech and we talk about Google, but not in order to sell it, but in order to educate people in it - and connect & inspire). But not for our own companies either!
So the organizers should not put the banners/logos of their own companies on events unless their company has a status of a partner to the event or to the chapter. Mostly, partners provide stuff - catering, room, money, swags. If the organizer's company provides that, fine. If not, their logo shouldn't be there. If the organizer says - "but I'm providing my time!" then it's not the way it works. Their time is their GDG time, whatever work they do under GDG, they do it for their chapters.
It may sound harsh and you'll have to find your own wording to communicate that to new organizers, but it helps prevent some possibly big issues in the future, such as:
- GDG events turned into semi-marketing events for one company (this would decrease trust in the whole GDG movement)
- other companies in the industry seeing GDG as a marketing tool for one company and perhaps even actively working against GDG then (that's the least thing we want to do)
- Google being falsely accused of favoring one company over the rest (by "letting" them do GDG).
We also have to make sure that GDG organizer's groups is open for ANY company in the country, even competitors to your own company, provided that the potential organizers from the competing companies fulfill all the organizer and chapter requirements and are active.
On the other side - you can always say in full integrity that the business of the GDG manager WILL be helped by the GDG manager having a stronger personal brand, better networking, better access to Google and better understanding of Google technologies; notwithstanding improved management and communication skills.