The French-Speaking BUG is a direct product of the Community Site. Blackboard’s presence in France grew significantly after a framework agreement made it possible for more schools to use, and the more it grew, the more users were drawn to the Community as a space to engage, exchange ideas, and connect with others. While many of the group members do speak English, exchanges with users across the globe was still difficult, so organizing a French-speaking BUG provided a sub-Community where more extensive conversations can take place.
While most people in the group have met one another, its rapid growth has connected people from more distant regions of the country (such as Marseille in the South, with Paris in the North). We say “French-speaking”, rather than “French”, because it aims to extend beyond geographic bounds and into Canada and French-Speaking African countries as well. So far there have been informal meetings, though they expect to include formal ones as the BUG grows – with Blackboard’s partnership driving its success.