AAUG appoints new chairmanBy Chris Williams. Published: 12th Nov 2003, 03:26:07 | Permalink | Printable
Neil Spellings steps downThe Association of Acorn User Groups, AAUG for short, has appointed a new chairman following the standing down of Neil Spellings. Daniel Shimmin, better known to many as simply dgs, will take over from Neil.
Neil founded the AAUG in 1997 to help promote and organise user groups around the world. It also represents user groups at major RISC OS shows, maintains a website of all known user groups, offers a discount scheme for club members to get discounts from a range of companies and has a regular column in Acorn User with user group meetings and events news. A similar column recently started on drobe.co.uk, fittingly written by dgs.
"Over the past six years the AAUG has been enormously successful in achieving its original goals of promoting user group membership, raising their profile in the media, and getting representation at the regional shows", Neil told drobe.co.uk. You may recognise him from Spellings.net, the outfit behind the Aemulor and Cino projects. Neil admits that his RISC OS software projects have taken preference over his AAUG duties and this has led to reduced representation of user groups at shows. The global online directory of user groups has also been neglected, according to Neil.
"I think its time to hang up the towel and find a new leader to take the AAUG forward. We are entering a new era for RISC OS, with new 32 bit hardware, RISC OS running on PCs under emulation etc, so the role of the usergroup is still as important as it was 5 or 10 years ago, especially if RISC OS users now have to battle with the likes of Windows XP also."
Neil makes a good point (apart from the WinXP bit), that some people prefer to use user groups for product support as they can talk face to face with fellow users who have gone through the same sort of problems as them. User groups also attract guest speakers, usually from companies with a story to tell, allowing group meetings to turn into interesting and informative affairs. The meetings, like the annual shows, also reassure users that there are still lots of other people using RISC OS.
The AAUG can be fairly influential too as well as providing email services to user groups and their members. For example, before the cancellation of the Phoebe project, the AAUG and Acorn had negotiated discounts for all user group members and coordinated a tour of the doomed machine.
Proving himself to be a big user group advocate and supporter, dgs commented: "I'm delighted to be taking over as Chairman of the Association, which plays such an important part in the RISC OS market. My first priority will be helping to ensure that groups are able to provide up-to-date information (through the AAUG website as well as other channels), as well as helping to encourage newer groups to get going. It is almost always a myth to believe that there just aren't any other RISC OS users in your part of the world."
While we're not entirely sure how dgs became chairman, we're told dgs has previously been involved in the creation of two user groups and is part of another three so he certainly has the qualifications required. Plus. he writes for drobe.co.uk, so he has our vote.
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