Recently, a weblog user group was formed in the San Francisco Bay Area. This usergroup doesn't advocate a single online journal service, but aims to bring together people throughout the community to interact, share ideas, and maybe even work together at times. Judging from the interest it has received from people elsewhere in the world who want to start similar user groups, it might become the first of many such gatherings worldwide.
The Bay Area gathering is significant, however, since it is bringing together some of the key people in the weblog community. I expect just about every employee of Userland Software and Blogger to be there, as well as people behind other well known sites such as Metafilter and Lockergnome. We might even have the press there, in the form of Dan Gilmor, the technology reporter for the San Jose Mercury News.
Many of these people routinely speak at large conferences on the Internet, but in this case, they will be meeting on the third Tuesday of every month (that's today), 7 p.m at the Dana Street Roasting Company, 744 W. Dana Street in Mountain View, California. The cafe has free 802.11 wireless Internet access for anyone who wants to get connected.
While I expect the first meeting will be a bit disorganized and crowded, this user group would be a great place for anyone interested in online journaling to not only learn a bit more about what is going on out there, but also to help influence it. Judging from the reaction I have been getting from other people on the usergroup's maillist, they are very interested in LiveJournal and the powerful yet easy-to-use features we have that so many of us take for granted. We can frankly use more LiveJournal users at the meeting so that we are properly represented in the community.
Hope that if you are in the Bay Area you'll take the time to check it out... and if you see someone in a LiveJournal shirt, be sure to say hi!