[Wolves] Meeting room

Alan Pope alan at popey.com
Mon Sep 4 18:47:47 BST 2006

On Mon, Sep 04, 2006 at 05:39:43PM +0100, Jono Bacon wrote:
> No disrespect Pete, but how do you know how often people come to the
> LUG when you only show up rarely yourself? Sure, some people come
> once, some people stick around, but I think this has less to do with
> the location and environment of the LUG and more the people who go to
> the LUG. It doesn't matter what format the LUG takes, but some people
> will either love or hate it. Sure, some LUGs put talks on, and people
> may only go for the talks, but speaking personally, I am not
> interested in just making seminars where random people show up - the
> LUG is about building communities of people who regularly meet on the
> list and at meetings.

I'm not convinced that one necessarily follows from the other.

If I look back [0] through [1] the [2] last [3] few [4] HantsLUG meets where
there were tech talks I see the same people turn up at each. So it's not
quite the random bunch of strangers that turn up each time. Although of
course new blood is always welcome, and frequently does turn up.

I think what Jono and Peter say highlights a key point. Whilst each LUG is
different and each LUG does things differently (which is good of course)
there's certainly a lot of common ground and indeed a lot we can learn from

For example a couple of years ago I went to a Silicon Valley Linux User
Group meet in California whilst I was working there for a week. The meeting
was well organised in a Cisco office building where there was a talk given
about Linux on laptops. After the meeting and a Q&A session some went home,
others met up at the IHoP (International House of Pancakes) for some social
chat and food & drink. So they combined the best of both worlds, tech talks
*and* social events afterwards. 

Now clearly things are different there as SVLUG has been going longer than
pretty much any other LUG (they were a UNIX UG before that IIRC) and they
have the critical mass that can make pretty much any event work (with some

Anyway there was one or two simple things I learned from that LUG meet that
I brought back to ours and we now do every meet that improves the experience
for everyone.

The "island" nature of UK LUGs lends itself to each one doing things
differently. That's certainly no bad thing, as I've illustrated each LUG can
learn positively and negatively from eachother. I know for example that
there's things we do in Hants that you guys would probably hate to see in
Wolves :)

Maybe as Canonical Community Bloke, you Jono can help us to build
communication between LUGs, learn from eachother and embrace eachothers ways
of doing things. I know I can't make it to many other LUGs meets, but I love
hearing about them.

On the flipside maybe it's time to put more LUG back into LUGRadio too?


[0] http://hants.lug.org.uk/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?2ndSeptember2006
[1] http://hants.lug.org.uk/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?5thAugust2006
[2] http://hants.lug.org.uk/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?3rdJune2006 
[3] http://hants.lug.org.uk/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?1stApril2006
[4] http://hants.lug.org.uk/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?4thFebruary2006

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