[SWLUG] Cardiff Meeting this Wednesday

Ross Fenning swlug at rossfenning.co.uk
Thu Feb 3 14:27:29 UTC 2011

On Thu, 3 Feb 2011, Justin Mitchell wrote:

> On Thu, 2011-02-03 at 12:40 +0000, Paul Connell wrote:
>> My problem with the meetups,
>> I can go for a drink with blokes any time at a pub - and I know we talk
>> about open source 'stuff' but for me the technical meetings we were
>> having in Swansea were the most 'relevant' thing to me about the LUG.
>> Apart from 'The Penguin, what marks the LUG out as different to any
>> other group of people at that bar?  They talk about football, we talk
>> about <insert latest open source thingie here> - not enough of a
>> difference to me really, especially when we drift off topic or have five
>> conversations going on at the same time - 'what am I missing over
>> there?'
>> Does that sound harsh?  It is not meant to be, but I need 'more' to
>> justify my attendance.
>> Call me fickle (no, really)...
> I think it's obvious that we need to do something different if we are to
> remain relevant, first the swansea meetings dwindled and got cancelled,
> now it seems cardiff is headed the same way.
> Whilst the technical meetings were popular, they take a lot more effort
> to arrange as well as involving money, and thus need someone to actively
> organise them.
> I don't know if the answer is a different format, a different venue, or
> simply the need for someone to step forward with the time and energy to
> organise.

I'm new to Cardiff myself, but have been involved with two other LUGs in 
the UK in previous places I've lived.

I personally like the pub meet approach because I enjoy socialising with 
people with a common interest even if we talk about other things. While 
it's true that it's not necessarily that different to other groups of 
people in a pub, for one, someone new to an area might not necessarily 
be able to go for drinks "with blokes any time at a pub" and I would 
always like to widen the social net even if I could.

Also, in previous LUGs, I have been able to bring up something I was 
trying to solve at some point in the evening and get ideas. I've had 
people mention new technologies in a conversational way and I've learnt 
things from that. I've even had people mention me to people they know for 
potentially getting contract work.

In short, I think it's a good balance to be sociable but also feel able to 
talk "shop" as much as we like.

It does seem worrying that Cardiff is fading so much. Previously, I've 
been to LUG pub meets where having 10 people there each month is not 
unusual and where less than 5 is considered a low turnout. I've never in 
my time known one fall to one or no people.

One thing another LUG I was in did was merge with a Perl group. It might 
not apply here, but if there were some other group that overlaps the LUG's 
interests (Internet professionals? Developers? General IT people?), 
perhaps the Cardiff meet-up could be merged with them?

The other thing is I don't know just how many people are on the mailing 
list, on IRC, etc. could it be that a simple recruitment drive would get 
numbers up? Is the problem that most people live a difficult drive out of 

(AvengerPenguin on IRC)

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