Due to the reaction to COVID-19, physical meetings were severely disrupted. This was amplified tremendously due to our physical meeting location being in a healthcare facility. So in 2021, our previous definition of membership fell apart. We eventually added on-line "virtual" meetings, but that failed to capture the spirit of the previous definitions of membership, as well.

For those reasons, we essentially abandoned the concept of "membership" in TWUUG, shifting the focus to just having a login on the TWUUG forums.

Everything you see below has been retained as historical...

Becoming a Member

Becoming a TWUUG member is easy- just come to one of our meetings, put yourself on the sign-in sheet, and get your picture taken at the end of the meeting. There are no dues. You will retain "membership" status as long as you attend at least one meeting per year.

Your membership status has nothing to do with the TWUUG Forums, you can be on the Forums and not be a member, or be a member and not be on the Forums. Further, when you sign up to be a member, we do not add you to any mailing list. We do encourage members to also join the TWUUG Forums, however, so they can get announcements and follow what is going on with the group, outside of the meetings.

Why we Track Membership

Tracking who is or is not a member gives the group:

  1. A clear indication of the health of the group
  2. An measure of strength to outside entities such as vendors
  3. A way to reward long-term members with an indication of status
  4. A way to bestow certain other rewards to those who have made TWUUG possible

Since we have no dues, there is no clear reciprocity. It was easy to just track based on a reasonable time period. The minimal physical involvement with the group by coming to a meeting just once a year is enough to "prove" your interest/commitment.

Some people come to many meetings and never become members. Others become members, attend a few meetings, and we never see them again- eventually expiring yet still participating on the Forums. There is nothing wrong with any of these possibilities.

Those who come to a meeting but do not complete the registration process are counted as "visitors" in our meeting statistics. They are not added to the membership directory and do not appear on the next sign-in sheet.

TWUUG is a physical, local group, not just online, so we count membership that way.

Member Seniority

As a way to easily identify long-term members, there are four levels of membership:

  • Member (under 5 years)
  • Fellow Member (5-9 years)
  • Senior Member (10+ years)
  • Charter Member (those with TWUUG since the "beginning")

Members who expire (lose their membership status) and then rejoin as a returning member lose their seniority. The longer-term members are sometimes consulted as a steering group for important TWUUG matters. The theory being those who have been with us the longest have more experience and more invested in the group and therefore should have a louder voice.

Membership Directory

Of course, the main purpose of having "members" is so that everyone can find out who everyone else is! Combined with pictures, it is an effective way to figure out who gave a presentation, or who it was you chatted with on-line or at a meeting.

The directory is updated soon after each meeting. It is held on a separate site, and it pseudo password-protected to prevent web crawlers from getting our information and indexing it.

Our membership varies over time, from a high of 110 to a low of 40 over the past several years. It tends to fluctuate around an average of 50. To view the directory, CLICK HERE

If you find an error on the directory, please let us know at the next meeting so it can be corrected. You can also view past members on the directory.

O'Reilly User Group Program

TWUUG can offer special benefits to our members as we are a part of the O'Reilly User Group Program.

Some benefits include:

  • 35% discount on O'Reilly (and partner publishers) books and PDF's that are purchased direct from O'Reilly. The discount code you should use is DSUG. Orders can be placed online or by calling 800-998-9938. TWUUG members also entitled to a discount on O'Reilly conferences and tutorials.
  • TWUUG can get you a free review copy of an O'Reilly book of your choice if you agree to write a book review for our website. Contact Mark if you are interested.
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