[TriLUG] just to clarify a few points about meetings ...
Christian J Hedemark
Fri, 11 Jan 2002 15:42:51 -0500
> more than one person pointed out that, well, ok, but last
> night was an exception since it was more a meet 'n' greet, state
> of the LUG get-together, and that it *should* have been more
> free format and interactive. sorry, but you shouldn't confuse
> free format and interactive with rambling and unfocused. even
> a social get-together should have a clear agenda so people know
> what is expected of them and what's about to happen. (i didn't
> see much value in hashing, and rehashing, the fact that trilug
> made money pulling down wires for HAHT. we all know that
> happened. it was on the mailing list, and described in detail
> at at least two previous meetings. why, oh why, are these
> things beaten to death?)
Hey you've got some great ideas, and at least one SC member has claimed they
won't be running again. As you've pointed out you are a long time member
and contributor to this group. Why not run for a seat in the May election
and help out by helping Kevin (or whoever ends up as our chair in May) with
organizing the meetings?
> regarding the flowe speaker, i had *no* idea there was going
> to be a flowe presentation.
I don't think the SC realized that either. He was supposedly our pizza
sponsor and was supposed to get a few minutes to pitch his product. I think
after the initial recoil at a Windows look-alike subsided and people saw
what kind of work he has put into this product, it seemed pretty obvious
that we all wanted to hear more and we ended up having to do our annual
state-of-the-LUG meeting along with an unplanned presentation.
> there is no mention of that on the
> web page. frankly, the first hint i got was when i looked down
> at my laptop for a few seconds, looked back up, and suddenly
> there was someone other than kevin speaking. what the heck?
> who's this? and he did a pretty fair job, considering how
> minimally he was introduced and what little build-up he got.
> why no advance warning of this?
Well it would have been nice to get an intro and recognition in advance that
this was our pizza sponsor. Initially I think he was treated with some
disrespect for the concept of cloning a Windows desktop on top of Linux and
under a non-free license at that. Just speculating, but maybe he would have
been treated a little differently if he were properly introduced.
> a number of people (eg., chuck, ben) have said they like the
> notion of getting out, just having a social evening.
Oh yes absolutely. Also I'm going to dig up my dead horse and re-suggest
BOF groups. I think there are clearly some small numbers of people
interested in niche areas of Linux and free software, but feel uncomfortable
dragging the whole LUG through these subjects. My recent inquiry about
PA-RISC hardware is one example... I'd love to have a mini-LUG get together
and have all the HP guys get together and try to convince Linux to run on
these boxes. We don't really have a good infrastructure in place with our
limited use of the mailing lists to be conducive to that.
> enough, but the way the meetings work these days actually
> *minimizes* the potential for social interaction. too many
> meetings have dragged on to the point where the speaker is finally
> wrapping up at the same time we all have to vacate the premises.
> where's the social interaction? as chuck pointed out, apparently,
> out in the parking lot.
Well also we typically only see each other once per month. If different
special interest groups tried to pepper events throughout the month, even
just simple social gatherings, it may cut down a bit on all of the monthly
catching up that we see at the regular meetings.
> so what's the solution? simple. have an agenda, get rolling,
> and stick to it.
Run for a seat. Announce this as your agenda for your term. You'll
probably get a lot of votes. Our current SC is great but I don't know if
any of them feel driven to be that well organized at the meetings. Their
contributions to the LUG are evident elsewhere. This is your chance to make
> eat the pizza, have the trilug chair get
> trilug-related stuff out of the way, and get to the speaker.
> invited speakers should get 30-45 minutes to say what they
> want and, in my opinion, all the official business should be
> done by 8:30 at the latest. this gives *plenty* of time afterwards
> for people to mingle without being rushed out the door.
If we took 2 minutes before introducing the speaker to lay down some ground
rules, that would be great. I think it would be more efficient if we moved
all questions to the end of the presentation, which would help the
presentation flow (flowe?) much better.
> and if i can take one great, big giant step backwards, this is
> directly related to something i mentioned a couple of years ago,
> when i asked just what trilug's intended audience was going to
> be. i posted that there were at least two possible audiences
> trilug could try to appeal to. on the one hand, there were the
> geeks. on the other hand, there were the corporate executives
> in the area who might be considering linux for part of the
> corporate infrastructure, and wouldn't it be just peachy keen
> if we could act as local evangelists.
Sounds like you've got two big ideas to contribute and implement.
I know I'm jumping the gun but I am nominating you for an SC seat (can
someone from the SC please record that for the May election?)
> for daring to express such heresy, i was thoroughly flamed to
> the point where i needed new underwear. and it seems clear which
> direction trilug has chosen to go -- it caters pretty much
> exclusively to the local geek/techie population.
Nothing necessarily wrong with that. Like-minded people tend to congregate.
Again, though, the pursuit of forming BOF groups could help diversify the
> there is precious little to appeal to, say, the local influential
> corporate executive who might be considering linux to come to a
> trilug meeting. i market to these people and, believe me, they
> are not the slightest bit interested in investing three hours of
> an evening to, first of all, sit there for 45 minutes hearing how
> the pizza is just about to get there, then hear geeks constantly
> interrupt the chair with geek jokes.
At the same time though, I think there is precious little appeal to many
geeks to have to go to a meeting where the atmosphere is very formal, rigid,
businesslike, and quiet. Should we not cater to the crowd that does the
most work to maintain the LUG?
> but this is where it ends. while i value the chance to socialize
> with other techies, my business demands that i spend my time
> "selling" linux into corporations, and making a living off of that.
> and, as far as i can tell, trilug is not making any effort to
> evangelize locally. which is too bad since, given the number of
> people at the meetings recently who are looking for work, a little
> evangelism could really go a long way.
TriLUG is not a person. It is a corporate entity that facilitates the
meeting of individual people like you and me. When you want something done
in TriLUG, you either need to do it yourself or find someone who can do it
that is as passionate as you are about it if you can't or won't do it
yourself. So instead of throwing in the towel, I'd suggest the best course
of action is to *take* action. Come up with a good evangelism project, drum
up support, and make it happen. You'll probably get at least half a dozen
people to help if the idea is a good one.
For example: install fests. Ed Hill used to just take this by the horns &
do it. I recently suggested that we needed to have another installfest.
Many agreed. The SC asked for volunteers and no one wanted to do it. I am
the guy who opened his big mouth about us needing this event, so I stepped
up and volunteered to coordinate one. Nobody is questioning your past
service to the LUG. But I am suggesting that in order to affect change you
need to be the one to take action.