About UGN & the InfoManager

and… How can I get involved?

UGNN means “User Group News Network” — The User Group Network began in 1987 with the advent of Apple’s ALPE and evolved into the User Group Forums on America Online. In early 1993, AOL decided the “free” communities were not producing enough income, so they gave notice they would be shut down. At that time, founders Fred Showker and Don Rittner decided to make the move to the internet for the UGN. We’ve been online ever since then.the new site at UGNN.com becomes the web site for connected computer users around the globe.

UGNN Today

This new site at UGNN.com becomes the web site for connected computer users around the globe. We are evolving to encompass the whole world of technology.

Below there is information about user groups — however we find that in today’s world there is a diminishing need for physical user groups and most are evolving into social groups. We’re also finding that the mean age group still supporting and attending user groups are in the 45 to 65 age range.

NOTE Contact UGNN for further information

NOTE Publish your press release or news in UGNN

NOTE Register your User Group in the UGNN Registry

NOTE Help support UGNN and user groups

What is a user group and why should I join one?

If you use a computer, no matter how much or how little you know about it, a user group can help you get more out of your computing experience. It’s a great way to learn more about your computer, and its software, and become an active participant of a larger community. “No person left behind” is our motto.

Computer user groups can be found in many locations around the country. They can be any organization from an informal group of 10 individuals meeting over a laptop; to a nonprofit corporation with a board of directors, and a telephone directory-sized newsletter and a membership the size of Rhode Island.

User groups serve computer users in communities, educational institutions, corporations, professions, and associations. Whatever their size or form, user groups share a common commitment to provide a venue for sharing experience, insight, and knowledge about computing, for the personal and professional enrichment of their members.

Many groups have regular meetings and schedule speakers and events to keep you up-to-date on the latest technology. Getting involved in a user group is a great way to learn how to make the most of computing technologies.

User groups are one of the best resources available to any computer user, as they put the computer community in touch with itself and unite the people that have passion for their chosen platform.

Who is in a User Group?

Among user group members you’ll find all kinds of computer users from the new owner and beginner, all the way up to advanced programmers and geeks. (“Geek” is an endearing term for someone who lives, breathes and sleeps computers and is generally a programmer and advanced user who can tell you how to do anything on your computer from turning it on to reconditioning the mother board, to opening your boss’s email account.) Some of the most helpful and knowledgeable computer experts you’ll find are in user groups. These are people who enjoy sharing their experience and advice.

How do I join a user group?

There are some 700 user groups across the nation and around the world. Most importantly, there may be one near you! To find a registered user group in your area, please visit the User Group Locator. If we have one listed matching your criteria, you’ll get a personal contact from a UGN volunteer helping you get in tough with the group.

How do I register my User Group with UGN?

If you already have a user group, please let us know by registering today, so you can be listed for others to find you! To register in the Global User Group Registry, ask your group’s president or other authorized representative to visit the UG Registrar.

Once you’re registered we’ll refer prospective members accessing our Global Registry database directly to your group! They’re looking for you — help us help them find you.

Interact with the community at large!

If you feel you have something to contribute to the greater computer user community, then contribute an article — like a software or hardware review, or perhaps a “how to” article about some aspect of computing or technology you’ve mastered. They’re ready to hear from you. Give a little and get noticed.


This is the updated “About” file which first appeared in the original User Group Forum in 1987, and then when UGN moved to eWorld in 1993, and then to the Internet in 1994. The UGN is the longest continuously operated computer resource site online.. Same address: 15 Southgate, Harrisonburg Virginia, same phone: 540-433-8402. UGN Director and news editor, Fred Showker, has been involved with User Groups and the user group community for more than 25 years.