A few years ago a few of us from Digimedia tried to start up a monthly Ruby/Rails user group that never really took off. I came to the conclusion that although Wichita Falls could support a web community, it would be difficult to have that group center around a language or a specific area of the web. Instead I wanted to get a monthly web user group going but never found the time. Fast forward a few years and the idea came up again when talking with Jorin Slaybaugh earlier this year. We wanted to build a community around the web professionals in the area. We emailed several times over a few days discussing what we both wanted out of a user group and what could happen in this area. We ended up with Refresh Wichita Falls.
Keeping inline with the Refresh manifesto we were excited to add Wichita Falls to the list of Refreshing Cities. Our goal was to build a community that could grow, learn, share, and ultimately inspire each of us. We had our first meeting in May and have had speakers every month since. It has been a slow start but the group is starting to take shape and will continue better then ever in 2013.
It has been a great experience helping get the community started but this months meeting was my last. I was lucky enough to join a few other speakers for a Resource Roundtable and at least got my first speaking experience out of the way. However, since we are looking to move to Austin, Texas in the coming weeks I won't be here to see the group continue to grow and really take off. Jorin is already taking over though and has some exciting plans for next year. I do plan to return at some point next year to give my first full talk which I'm really looking forward to. I encourage everybody in the Wichita Falls/Lawton area to check out the group, get involved, and if you are interested in speaking hit up Jorin..