[TriLUG] The Direction of TriLUG
Israel J. Pattison
pattison at usa.com
Fri May 25 09:45:27 EDT 2007
RE: Membership involvement
Long post, here's the summary: TriLUG is hot, tasty goodness. Is TriLUG's
level of membership involvement really a problem? I argue "No," based on
the type of organization and the attributes of the membership. I disapprove
when someone's suggestion is returned to that person as a fulfillment
request. Finally, I argue that the SC could improve follow-up and
follow-through when members make suggestions for presentations or activities
including, perhaps, a standardized form for collecting suggestions.
First, let me say that I sincerely appreciate the members of TriLUG who step
up to leadership and execution. I have enjoyed all of my time in TriLUG,
and the following is not meant to distract from that experience in any way.
Every organization I have ever been a member of has this "problem" and every
organization I have ever been a member of has a perpetual bellyache
regarding this "problem".
Why do "the willing" always have the same expectation for everyone else as
they do for themselves? Not everyone is a leader. Not everyone has
organizational skills. Note everyone is a presenter. Not everyone is
committed to group. I'm guessing that in any given large group only 5% of
the members of that group will have all of the necessary attributes to fill
any particular role within that group.
I strongly dislike people asking me for my ( opinion | suggestion | comment
| response ) only to have the person turn my response around and say, "So
when are you going to do it?" I'm not. Period. I am making a request, not
an offer. I'm willing to support someone who can fill my request. Need
some cash? Need a ride? ...borrow some equipment? ...trade some email?
I'll do what I can, but I'm asking because for something because
self-service is not an option.
Is this unfair to "the willing"? Yes, no question about it. Will some get
burned out from always being "the willing"? Yes. Will the group lose good
people because they're always called upon to carry the torch? Yes. It's
the nature of any voluntary organization like TriLUG. But some folks know
how to pace themselves and do not become burned out. Some people know how
to say "No!" and they do not become burned out. A new folks with big hearts
come into the organization each year.
Is membership involvement a "problem"? I don't think so. I think TriLUG's
level of membership involvement is a characteristic of the type of
organization TriLUG has become.
On the other hand, I perceive (and I may be wrong) that ideas for activities
and presentations don't always receive the 1) Follow-up and 2)
Follow-through that they deserve. I have made suggestions for presentations
or activities, and the person receiving the idea was always very positive.
I never remember anyone making a note of the suggestion, contacting me with
a few days regarding the idea, or asking what I needed to proceed. (My
faulty memory, most likely).
Here are my suggestions: write the idea down immediately (ball it up and
throw it away later, maybe), schedule a follow-up phone call or email within
ten days, and find out what the person needs (equipment, presentation
partner, time) to make a successful presentation. Perhaps, the SC could
standardize this. Maybe make a form for persons to fill out when they want
to make a presentation or activity suggestion. Include the person's name,
contact information and information on what equipment, network, brainpower,
etc. is necessary to make it happen.
On 5/24/07, Tanner Lovelace <clubjuggler at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 5/24/07, Matt Frye <mattfrye at gmail.com> wrote:
> > I'd like to open a discussion about the direction of TriLUG. There's
> > obviously concern that TriLUG is becoming more internalized, and
> > that's something I want to fix. I'm sure there are many other
> > concerns, but I need your help. I recognize that there are many, many
> > people who have great ideas, but don't have time to be on the SC
> > proper. In that interest, I'd like to form an advisory committee to
> > bridge the gap between the SC and the membership. Start by responding
> > constructively to this thread. We'll go from there.
> > Let's all work together to make TriLUG better.
> Thank you very much for starting the discussion. One thing I would
> love to see is more membership involvement. Unfortunately, this seems
> to be a perennial problem. Most people are content to just sit back and
> be fed content. I don't know what the answer is to this, but perhaps
> this discussion we as a group can come up with some ideas.
> Some things I'll throw out that I think would be good for the LUG are the
> - Smaller, more frequent events. Not to take the place of our monthly
> but to supplement it. The LUG has been blessed/cursed with phenomenal
> growth in the past few years. Unfortunately this has paradoxically meant
> that there are fewer opportunities to get involved. People see big events
> and think that small events aren't worth TriLUG's time! I'd love to see
> events like lunches or hacking sessions or open source labs that people
> could go to and get to know other trilug members and hopefully foster
> a better sense of community.
> - Bring back classes and installfests. I know these are limited by
> and by space, but I think they are a good way of reaching both the
> and the public. The LUG is nominally an "educational" group so this
> be part of its core mission.
> - Expand the services of the website. Look into moving the member db
> into something like CiviCRM where we could do more with it. Combine
> that with the website and make some things there for members. Use
> that as incentive to join the lug.
> - Several years ago, the LUG SC looked into updating it's Articles
> of Incorporation to pull out stuff that really should be in the bylaws.
> One particular thing I'd look into would be clarifying the status of
> membership. Right now, membership is nominally for life, but must
> be only NC residents. Maybe if we had the membership db in something
> like CiviCRM we could make the memberships be for a defined time (1
> year?) and have people renew. We could still make renewals free, but
> that might give us a better idea of how many members the LUG actually
> has. The membership db has over 500 people in it, but many of those
> are not active anymore. It would be good to have an accurate list
> of current members.
> Those are a few things right off the top of my head. Like I said before,
> thanks very much, Matt for starting this discussion. Let's hope we
> can continue the discussion in a positive light and focus on what
> we as members can do for the LUG.
> Tanner Lovelace
> clubjuggler at gmail dot com
> (fieldless) In fess two roundels in pale, a billet fesswise and an
> increscent, all sable.
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