[Autistic] The perfect lug meet

chris procter chris-procter at talk21.com
Fri Jan 13 18:20:22 GMT 2006


My names Chris and I'm not autistic, however having
read Sparkes rant on his blog (http://sp.arkes.co.uk/)
and opening shot on this list I got to thinking:

How do you structure a lug meeting to be inclusive,
friendly and generally welcoming to all wether they're
autistic, disabled, shy, dont know anybody else there,
OSX user, or whatever. 

Are there ways of structuring the meetings (talks or
purely social? formal or relaxed? etc), laying out
seating/tables, choosing venues (are pubs good places?
members houses?) etc that would help? 

Should there be introductions at the beginning (helps
to learn peoples names but some people feel very self
concious standing up and talking about themselves even
for 30 seconds in front of people they dont know)?

Should there be a talk and if so at the start or at
the end of the evening?

Should people be allowed to sit where they like (which
leads to groups of friends sitting together and not
mixing with those they dont know) or should some form
of random element be used (could you do this without
people thinking you were mad?)?

How have lug meets you've attended been? how could
they be improved? if you've never been to a meet what
puts you off?

Basically I'm wondering if you were designing a
perfect lug meet what would it be like?

To me the conversation and meeting people that have
different experience and knowledge are the most
important things (at the last Wolveslug meet I spent 2
hours talking to someone about VMS clustering, a great
evening :-) and things like introductions where people
say who they are, what they do, and what they're
interested in are a good thing because they help get
that started. Talks are worthwhile if they give a
common meme to start a conversation with someone
you've never met, and keeping conversations roughly
on-topic is important to maintaining an interest
level. YMMV, tell us about it.


P.S. I hope this doesn't sound like I'm treating you
all like "lab rats" but I do think there is a really
worthwhile question here as to howto make the social
side of Linux work for everybody.

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