After some spring cleaning, /groups now sits around 143 active across the state — from Duluth to Rochester, east side to the western burbs.
Groups are defined in the system as a (a) set of individuals who (b) publicly organize around (c) specific technology subject, language, or theme with some (d) regularity; those are the variables we look at when classifying a group. It’s not a perfect science, nor is it 100% exhaustive all the time, groups change and re-arrange every month.
Most are ad-hoc, unincorporated, special interest for the most curious and passionate of people seeking to broaden their skillsets and networks. There is a rich history of special interest groups in Minnesota and collectively they are a huge asset to the industry.
Those that operate as 501c3’s, generate revenue and function like a business, can be found in the /company section under nonprofit filter. So to say that yes, there is a difference between a group and a company, at least in so far as the taxonomy of the database goes.
If you’re group isn’t listed & archived, you can do so here now. The purpose of this resource is to provide group organizers and operators with maximum exposure to Minnesota’s tech community. All groups are categorized and tagged throughout the system at large so our visitors can find that which is of greatest relevance to them at a given point of time. Exploring some sample clusters:
It’s fascinating to observe even anecdotally which groups/languages came and went, which languages have become less or more popular over the years based on user group size and consistency.
Strong and consistent leadership is a huge factor in whether or not a group really finds legs – and keeps them – even if there’s demand for the topic. Some groups had hundreds or thousands of members, but for whatever reason are no longer gathering?
A lot of the groups that were in the robotics/hardware/3D printing space have fizzled out or merged. There was also a handful of groups that sprung up for entrepreneurs that didn’t seem to last. Then there’s the Twin Cities Windows 8 User Group, which is (sadly) no longer a thing.
To the above, look for a pending followup to this will provide more data & analysis surrounding Minnesota’s many unique groups…