[Nottingham] Response on awareness day

Graeme Fowler graeme at graemef.net
Thu Nov 3 11:52:30 GMT 2005

Hi all

On Thu, 2005-11-03 at 10:54 +0000, Michael Simms wrote:
> So you want to take and not give. Life doesnt work like that sorry.
> So far you have (I find after a brief grep) asked the LUG for help nine
> times over the last 18 months, each time LUG members have jumped to your
> assistance. I dont really feel it is too much to ask you give something
> back.

...and Mike has also replied with what some may have deemed helpful
replies on 4,5,6 or 7 occasions (in my archive). The fuzziness there is
because defining "helpful" is context-based; some people might have
found his replies collaterally useful in a "ooh, I'll look into that". A
9:7 Q/A ratio sounds fairly good to me. 9 questions in 18 months is
pitiful (come on Mike, can't you do better?) in my opinion :)

However, if we're going to get into a statistics-based battle, is it
going to become a mailing list rule (or piece of etiquette) that a
member should offer to physically or logically help out with something
to do with the LUG before they get replies from other list members? I
don't think so. If you intend to deal with the membership in that way
personally, so be it. That'll be a loss to the list as a whole, although
on the positive side it might save your fingers from typing so much.

A lot of us here have a lot of experience of running Linux in many
different environments; far more do not. That's always worth
remembering. The ratio of questions to answers will always be biased
towards the larger number asking a small number of questions each, where
the smaller number post a large number of answers each. That goes for
almost every single technical mailing list I subscribe to, is the
accepted norm, and usually isn't a problem.

Those who are interested in committing physical resources and time and
effort to such an event as the Awareness Day, good luck to you. It's
commendable (there's no other word that fits there, so apologies for it
seeming patronising as that's not the intention) that you feel
passionate enough to hold such an event again, and I hope that a couple
of organisations or individuals learn enough to start to make the
switch. It's unfortunate that support hasn't been forthcoming from the
400 or so *mailing list* members, but that's the reality. I guess some
members might feel a little guilty (Hi Matthew!) at this having
occurred, but I'd expect that they're very much in the minority.

IMO there's real point in haranguing the majority when they explicitly
haven't committed themselves to do anything. Can a "quick grep"
demonstrate how many people, and exactly who, *did* say "that's a great
idea" and then not "get off their backsides"? If so, go moan at them.

Hoping that normal (!) service will resume shortly.


More information about the Nottingham mailing list