Ted T'so wonders about the LUGs over the world, seeking to answer a conversation he recently had at the Linux Foundation. He quotes a blog posting in Lenovo, “Local User Groups - gone the way of the dinosaur?”. I think this is an interesting point to gather input from others.
In Mexico City, we did have a strong LUG several years ago, holding not-very-regular-but-good-quality-wise meetings, roughly monthly, at Instituto de Ciencias Nucleares. I was active there ~1996-2001.
By 2001, however, the group stopped acting as one - Maybe one of the main factors is that we had a very strong, unquestionable group leader and cohesion factor (Miguel), who worked at Nucleares and regularly got said auditorium. Once Miguel left to form Ximian, the group slowly disgregated.
In one of the last LUG meetings, we started working towards the National Free Software Conference (CONSOL)... Nowadays, in Mexico (as a country) we have several conferences around the year, although I'd be hard-pressed to say whether any of them really fills the needs of a LUG (and my answer would probably be negative).
Now, there are several smaller groups that have popped up in the void left by the Mexico City LUG - Mainly LUGs local to universities or faculties... And yes, a 25-million-people city is too large to have a single, functional LUG - Just the geographical size of the thing is too daunting. Besides, we are too many people, even though few of us are contributing any real work. But I also recognize that a local *users* group should care about making the users better, before focusing on making the world a better place ;-)
Anyway... My intention with this post, besides writing what I see, is to ask to other people that read me (I know this blog is syndicated at Planeta Linux Mexico, maybe even people reading in other Latin American countries through Planeta EDUSOL) to write what they see at their local communities. To make this a bit more useful, please leave a comment (in English, if possible) at this blog, so this can be used as a summary for Ted's request as well.