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Form a Special Interest Group

This article applies to: Special Interest Groups (SIGs)


As interests in technology evolve on campus, so too does interest and activity in a SIG. If there's not an active SIG for your specific area, or if it's gone quiet, consider forming or restarting one. As SIGs do require a time commitment and dedicated volunteers, consider the following high-level overview of the process.

Overview

  1. Identify your community. If a SIG has fallen inactive, consider contacting former organizers and rebooting meeting efforts.
  2. Consider a co-organizer or committee to share responsibilities and broaden perspective.
  3. Reach out to an existing SIG organizer and join the IT SIG Organizers Yammer group. Other organizers are happy to help and share tips.
  4. Carefully review logistics suggestions (see Logistics below).
  5. Establish or update a charter or guidance statement for your SIG.
  6. Schedule your first meeting and add it to the Cornell Events calendar.
  7. Announce your SIG and get the word out.
  8. Meet, share, collaborate! Repeat!

Logistics

Successful SIGs and communities are built on community interest and well executed logistics.

Required

  • Interest from the community: Reach out to members of the community. Are they interested? What would they want to see at events?
  • A place/way to meet.
  • Find a meeting space that suits your needs and budget (if you have one). Rooms commonly used include Weill Hall 224, 226, and Mann Library Conference Room 102.
  • Familiarize yourself with the reservation policies of a chosen space. Pay close attention to available technology, capacity, and food/drink policies.
  • Meeting schedule: Monthly, every other month, quarterly, etc.
  • Plan to get the word out.

Optional

  • Establish a collaboration space: Yammer, SharePoint Online, Confluence, or similar.
  • If considering SharePoint, an IT-SIG root site collection exists.
  • Maintain an E-list (example: sd-sig-l@cornell.edu).
  • Host your meetings in-person and remotely via Zoom. SIG organizers often find this can significantly increase community participation. Consider if recorded meetings are suitable for your content.
  • Find a formal department or unit sponsor. Sponsors can help with continuity and budget for paid spaces, and the occasional coffee and cookies for attendees.

Getting the Word Out

New SIGs and SIG events can be announced in many ways:

  • Within the SIG’s own community, for example, post to your mailing list or Yammer.
  • IT@Cornell News via the website and Yammer.
  • Official mailing lists, such as net-admin-l@cornell.edu and cu-web-l@cornell.edu.
  • Road show: Visit group meetings such as the ITSG Directors or department all-staff meetings.

Getting Help

  • Reach out to an existing SIG organizer and join the IT SIG Organizers Yammer group.
  • The IT Security Office (ITSO) has experience creating SIGs and can offer guidance: security-services@cornell.edu.
  • Service Group Directors are a valuable resource, especially if you're looking for sponsorship/funding.
  • Support for setting up mailing lists and collaboration spaces (Confluence, SharePoint, Zoom, etc.) is available from the IT Service Desk

About this Article

Last updated: 

Friday, March 22, 2019 - 7:32pm

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