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  1. #1

    baggss's Avatar
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    So I was watching the show "MacHeads" on TV last night (CNBC). Part of the show featured members of the old "Mac User Groups" or "MUGs" (They highlighted the Berkly Ca and Virginia MUGs as they were HUGE in their prime). They pointed out that the MUG members were aging and that newer, younger members were not joining and they all blamed, as old people are want to do, the internet. They complained that the internet was "stealing" their members because info was readily available and you could find it and leave and never be a part of anything.

    Now, on the face of it I can see where they are comming from, but then I though about this place. Seems to me that the people who stick around here are probably the same folks who would have hung out at MUG meetings 10 or 15 years ago and that the demographic had simply shifted to online forums and groups as opposed to those who meet in person. What makes it better is you can be in the group daily vice only when the meetings are held. You do get to know people if you hang out here long enough and you learn who the good guys are who the not so good guys are and so on. Even better, you get a much more diversified group here than you ever could have in a local group. Downside is you don't meet your neighbors who may be MacHeads too.

    I'm sure others here have watched this show and taken notice of this as well. No real point here, I just thought I would share my observation. That's 45 to 60 seconds of your life you'll never get back, carry on.


  2. #2

    Mac Pro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by baggss View Post
    So I was watching the show "MacHeads" on TV last night (CNBC). Part of the show featured members of the old "Mac User Groups" or "MUGs" (They highlighted the Berkly Ca and Virginia MUGs as they were HUGE in their prime). They pointed out that the MUG members were aging and that newer, younger members were not joining and they all blamed, as old people are want to do, the internet. They complained that the internet was "stealing" their members because info was readily available and you could find it and leave and never be a part of anything.

    Now, on the face of it I can see where they are comming from, but then I though about this place. Seems to me that the people who stick around here are probably the same folks who would have hung out at MUG meetings 10 or 15 years ago and that the demographic had simply shifted to online forums and groups as opposed to those who meet in person. What makes it better is you can be in the group daily vice only when the meetings are held. You do get to know people if you hang out here long enough and you learn who the good guys are who the not so good guys are and so on. Even better, you get a much more diversified group here than you ever could have in a local group. Downside is you don't meet your neighbors who may be MacHeads too.

    I'm sure others here have watched this show and taken notice of this as well. No real point here, I just thought I would share my observation. That's 45 to 60 seconds of your life you'll never get back, carry on.
    I watched that show also and I completely agree with you. It is a lot easier to get on the internet an view forums than to physically have to show up for meetings. Not to mention this is a global forum which makes it much more diverse than having local meetings as you said. When those Mac User Groups were around, I was much to young to attend them anyway.
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  3. #3

    vansmith's Avatar
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    Many people comment on an apparent lack of community building and involvement while neglecting the very communal aspect of online communities. Many individuals believe that for a community to be a community, individuals need to know each other in person. In reality, this narrow understanding of community is more detrimental than not. This is why when people blame the internet for destroying social relationships, they aren't taking into account that online communities are just as social as "real world" ones. It is true that the internet facilitates individualization but it also has an amazing ability to bring people together. So....I agree.
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  4. #4

    clayneal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vansmith View Post
    Many people comment on an apparent lack of community building and involvement while neglecting the very communal aspect of online communities. Many individuals believe that for a community to be a community, individuals need to know each other in person. In reality, this narrow understanding of community is more detrimental than not. This is why when people blame the internet for destroying social relationships, they aren't taking into account that online communities are just as social as "real world" ones. It is true that the internet facilitates individualization but it also has an amazing ability to bring people together. So....I agree.


    Well stated van , I also agree on the Internet being a postive influence on community building. We have a pretty good group of ( dare I say it ?) friends here that would not be possible without the net.

    I just hope baggss counts me as one of the "good guys" and not a closed minded Kool-Aid drinker ! Lol I jest !

    Clay
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  5. #5

    harryb2448's Avatar
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    Yes Baggs that was me a member of the AMUG (Australian Macintosh Users Group) and the SMUG (Sydney). Main problem seems to me that in the early days, software updates and goodies such as games were distributed through the groups, firstly by floppies and later by CDs and this appeared to be the main thrust of the groups, apart from special interest groups such as Clarisworks and File Pro etc.

    Of course now it is all availlable over he 'net and folk perhpas spend the evening or two a month that used to be devoted to the groups to actually using the 'net. One of the first casualties down here was the monthly magazines and when it became downloadable, groups seemed to fall apart.

    To get the type of support one finds on these forums meant telephone calls, and living outside the metropolitan area as I was transferred around the State, meant trunk and STD calls. Would not 'blame' the 'net, things are so much more technically advanced today.

  6. #6

    TattooedMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clayneal View Post
    We have a pretty good group of ( dare I say it ?) friends here that would not be possible without the net.
    I like this statement ..... Made me smile ... Thanks Clay

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  7. #7

    Collin Bl's Avatar
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    Better than MUG groups - i know with our local group it never really got to 25 at a meeting in the last 4 years, but in that time and thru the power of internet (and iChat) i have met heaps of Users that simply would not have been possible otherwise;


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  8. #8

    fearlessfreap24's Avatar
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    i went to a MUG meeting in Jacksonville, FL once. it was not for me.

  9. #9

    MYmacROX's Avatar
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    I think it's silly to "blame" the internet for a lack of younger members.

    I also think it's unrealistic to say that an online forum or user group is better than or the same as real-life, face-to-face interaction.
    It's nice. It's great. But it's not the same.

    BTW, I'm not discussing handicapped individuals and shut-ins who are not mobile and perhaps can only interact via computers and phones. Just comparing online forums/user groups with real-life group meetings.

  10. #10

    baggss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fearlessfreap24 View Post
    i went to a MUG meeting in Jacksonville, FL once. it was not for me.
    Interesting you say that. I went to a local meeting here in SoCal 7 or 8 years ago and was not all that impressed. They advertised as being open and friendly but it didn't seem that way. I never went back.

    Quote Originally Posted by clayneal View Post
    Well stated van , I also agree on the Internet being a postive influence on community building. We have a pretty good group of ( dare I say it ?) friends here that would not be possible without the net.

    I just hope baggss counts me as one of the "good guys" and not a closed minded Kool-Aid drinker ! Lol I jest !

    Clay

    Yeah, we do have a good group here. I belong ro a lot of forums, but there are only a few that I actually hang out on and where I know a lot of people. Don't worry Clay, you're one of the good ones, you Nancy boy...


  11. #11

    Village Idiot's Avatar
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    I for one would not be a member of a computer club. I see them basically as tools, I care not which brand you use or which OS you run. I spend most of my time in this forum in the AG section or the photography and media sections.

    I'm not a potential member of a MUG lost to the internet, but a member of this community that would have never considered joining a MUG. I live in a small college town so to go to a regional one like in the DC area, or perhaps Baltimore, that would require me driving about an hour or so and that's not something that I would do for that type of group.
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  12. #12

    Village Idiot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clayneal View Post

    I just hope baggss counts me as one of the "good guys" and not a closed minded Kool-Aid drinker ! Lol I jest !

    Clay
    I'm the local dissenter. Nice to meet you.
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  13. #13

    cwa107's Avatar
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    This is probably a sad commentary on my social life, but my closest friends are those I met at an Amiga users group many years ago. All, save one person, no longer own any Amiga hardware, but we still get together biweekly on Saturday nights at one of the member's house. Occasionally we talk about technology, but usually we sit around and watch SciFi flicks on his home theater system. It's kind of like a geeky guy's night out for all of us, but I do miss the days of old when being a computer geek was its own little subculture. The things we did with computers back then pushed the bleeding edge. Today, even the cheapest Wal-Mart special can do 90% of what I use a computer for, so it's much more mundane. And of course, if I need tech support, all of my answers are just a Google away.

    As much as I enjoy the forum scene, it does often lack the social aspect of the old-fashioned user's group. Even when members get to know each other at a personal level, it's still not as personable as it was back then.
    Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!

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  14. #14

    dtravis7's Avatar
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    Interesting you would say that CWA. I have fond memories of the local Amiga Groups we had in my area and the meetings I attended. Made many good friends, some still close friends 18 years later. Also we had a very close Atari ST group here at one point. Then the BBS's in my area. We had BBS picnics and I made some of my best friends ever at those picnics. We had 80 BBS's just in my city alone and we all worked together.

    I am all for a close internet community like say Mac Forums, but wish the clubs were still around also. It was cool meeting local computer users.

    It really depends on the people in the group. The ones I met were all very cool and helpful.

  15. #15

    Elurofila's Avatar
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    I wouldn't stand a chance of going to any meetings as I live in Brazil and I don't think there's enough mac users here to even form a group lol!
    So if it wasn't for forums like this one, I wouldn't know how to find answers to the every so often doubts that I have - and normally I did just found the answer and moved on, but today I decided to join =]

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