by Joseph Rickert
For quite a few years now we have attempted to maintain the Revolution Analytics' Local R User Group Directory as the complete and authoritative list of R user groups. Meetup groups make this list in one of two ways: we discover the group because they have a web page of some sort proclaiming the group to be focused on the R language or someone from the group writes to us asking to have the group included in our list. We have deliberately pursued a relatively conservative strategy in growing the list, resisting the temptation to include every data science user group that may have had an R related presentation. Even so, we have been pleased to note the slow but steady growth of R user groups, and delighted to see quite a few relatively new meetup groups from South America and Africa make our list which, as of today, includes 235 groups.
However, it is interesting to occasionally take a broader view. Meetup.com, a very popular site for hosting user meetups of all stripes, lists a number of groups who identify with the keyword "R Project For Statistical Computing" in their "We're About" section. Using the site's tools to filter on this keyword will bring you to a page (Subject to daily fluctuations) containing somewhere in the neighborhood of 358 meetup spread over 223 cities and 55 countries. The following plot displays the top 25 meetups by number of members for May 15, 2016.
Most of these are indeed R user groups, or at least data science user groups with an interest in R. However, the presence of Find a Tech Job in London in the top 25 indicates that interest in R is spreading to a somewhat wider audience throughout the worldwide tech culture. So, while the Local R User Group Directory is still likely to be your best bet to finding a hard core RUG, meetup.com may lead you an R conversation in some surprising places.
My simple code to produce the chart may be downloaded here: Download Scrape_meetup