Early last year I was developing course material for a WordPress workshop that I was planning to pitch to the ViTech program at UH Maui. On mentioning this to Kim Haueisen of MEDB’s High Tech Maui program, she suggested that I give a WordPress workshop at High Tech Maui since she was starting up a series of social media workshops with Peter Liu.

Peter kicked off the High Tech Maui social media workshop series in January 2010 with his workshop, “How to Use Social Media to Improve Your Business,” and followed up with several more social media for business workshops, covering such social media staples as blogging, Facebook, and Twitter.

I got into the mix in May and June with introductory WordPress workshops. It was obvious from teaching and attending these workshops that there was a demand to learn about using social media. Most workshops sold out and we often had to scramble to put together follow-up workshops to satisfy the demand. Witnessing this demand sparked the idea about creating a social media user group where people could gather and trade success stories, tips and techniques about using social media.

Kim, Peter, my wife and I met at Whole Foods in Kahului on a beautiful sunny June day last year to kick around ideas about a social media users group. Where would we hold it? What would the format be?

There were a lot of great ideas and excitement about the project, but as often happens, other demands and priorities pushed the project to the back burner. Every month one of us would raise the question about kicking off the user group but some obstacle always seemed to get in the way. Finally, in December, Peter raised the issue again and somehow we all pulled together a loose plan for the first event.

Once we got the first event scheduled, I decided we’d better get a website, as well as a Facebook fan page and a Twitter account. So, I set up a pretty basic, WordPress website, It’s nothing fancy, essentially the default WordPress theme Twenty Ten with a couple of minor tweaks. The puzzle piece social media icon set comes from Daddy Design.