Local GNOME community pages
Ronald: First of this, congratulations to your plans to build up a local GNOME-nl community.
Rodrigo: It's nice that you share your GNOME-es experiences, so will I with mine of GNOME-de (GNOME Deutschland). GNOME-de is older than my string interest in GNOME, so I can only tell you what happened since I realized theres #gnome-de. There are lots of small and some bigger GNU/Linux events in Germany, so we try to represent GNOME as strong as possible, it's important that you have some people who like presenting talks (I've seen a CeBIT presentation from the Nat 2003 and while listening one really felt his motivation). Booths on such events are great to make contacts to people, #gnome-de has been some quite small elite group of about 10 people (in channel-rush-hours) when I joined that channel, in the meantime it have become 15 at 6am and up to thirty in rush hours. These people are really important because one can present small hacks and get feedback of people one (virtually) knows before getting it out into the public. So, besides IRC (as Rodrigo mentioned, which is correct AFAIS), local events are important too, because such a channel works great as a news aggregator (people discuss topics there) and as a small GNOME community where people might know others from real life, which is pretty nice to get motivated to fix issues of smaller project; I really enjoy the feedback from the #gnome-de channel on criawips, my presentation application because I know the people like to test software and propose improvements (and criticism of people one almost knows is better that criticism of people one doesn't know).
Rodrigo, you said that a lot of started projects failed, I don't think that every cancelled application means failure. I have been participating on agnubis two years ago. I have to admit that the application itself failed, but in my opinion the project succeeded, because it left me with the knowledge of things that worked out bad and with more motivation to come again and finally develop my presentation application. So, successful projects are not the only ones being successful :)