For many years, I ran a few industry groups to try to help people that either did work or wanted to work in the web design/web development industry.
In 2011, I founded a nonprofit membership organization called the Pikes Peak Webmasters Guild. This was a group created for people in the web design/web development and digital marketing industry, was an invitation-only group, and required a paid membership, and adherence to a strict code of ethics. This group was a blast, and I enjoyed every meeting we had until I moved away from Colorado Springs a few years later.
In 2018, after I moved to Longmont, in Northern Colorado, I started a Meetup that we called the “Longmont Web Masters,” that was an actual Meetup which was free, open to the public, and was hosted at a CoWorking Space. We also loosely participated in Longmont Startup Week, Boulder Startup Week, and Denver Startup Week. I ran this group until the COVID pandemic hit, and I moved from Colorado to Arizona.
Well, it’s now 2022, and I’m ready to do it again. I’d like to start another group for people like me in the industry. Here’s what I’m thinking:
- Monthly meetings, held in the late afternoons or evenings.
- A strict emphasis on local professionals who live and work in and around Tucson, AZ.
- A group that is open to people who are already industry veterans (designers, developers, marketers) -or- those who are thinking of joining/career switchers.
- A focus on downtown Tucson, but not exclusively: we could occasionally meet in places like Oro Valley, Marana, or other localities on the outskirts of the city.
- Meeting locally like this provides additional benefits such as mentoring, networking, and sharing job opportunities.
- Member-driven topics of discussion: what is important to you? How can we help your business?
For costs: I would like to keep it as low-cost as possible. In my guild, I took the proceeds from member dues and put them toward things like: drinks and snacks for our meetings, a library of books (mostly from A Book Apart) that members could check out, and, occasionally, paying for a room rental if we couldn’t find a free place to meet.
At this point, it may cost us something like $5/meeting/person or $50/year/person, or it might be free. I’m not sure yet.
I’m currently looking around for meeting spaces and finding out what it would cost to find a regular meeting place. I’m not a big fan of meeting in loud coffee houses or restaurants where you feel pressured to buy food… I’m looking for a quiet place, ideally with free parking, where we can meet around a table, use a presentation screen if needed, and have a discussion for an hour or two.
If this sound like something you’re interested in, would you please contact me and let me know? If you have a meeting place you could help us with, or if you want to join as a member, contact me!
For the record, below is a (partial) list of topics of discussions my groups have had in the past. This should give you an idea of the types of discussions we’d have in the future.
Past Meeting Topics:
- Cybersecurity 101 for Web Designers
- Learning to use Git (Version Control)
- Choosing a CMS: WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and More
- Understanding UX Design
- What’s In Your Web Design Toolkit?
- IP Law: How Not To Get Sued When Building Websites
- Movie Night: Art & Copy (Documentary)
- Perfect your Sales Pitch
- Web Design Hall of Fame
- UX World Usability Day Workshop
- Project Management Tools Compared: Basecamp, Trello, Wrike, Jira, and Asana
- Code Schools Analyzed: Should I Go To a Coding Bootcamp?
- The DNS (Domain Name System): How it Works, and Why Nobody Understands it
- Getting Better Clients & Avoiding Red Flags
- Web Security: “My website got hacked… now what?”
- Web Accessibility for Web Designers – What is WCAG?
Does any of this sound interesting to you? Come join me!
Update, May 2022: great news! I’ve found a place to host meetings! I’m still finalizing details like the timing and frequency of meetings, but the generous folks at Startup Tucson have agreed to let me host the meetings at their location at 44 N. Stone Ave in the heart of downtown. More info coming soon!
Ron Stauffer is a web guy and digital marketer with a passion for helping small businesses grow. He has spent over 16 years working in the digital marketing field, building websites, creating marketing strategies, and growing traffic and revenue for small businesses across the USA. His motto is “data wins arguments,” and he uses data visualization tools and charts and graphs to track everything and prove the value of his marketing efforts for clients. Connect with Ron on LinkedIn, follow him on Twitter, or visit Lieder Digital online.