[Wolves] Idea for local LUGs

Stephen Welch stephenw at invictustechnology.co.uk
Wed Dec 17 12:40:50 UTC 2008

HI Adam and all.

2008/12/17 Adam Sweet <adam at adamsweet.org>:
> Hi everyone

I am on the the Sb lug as it is closer to me and also the wolves lug
as I still love sunny wolves! :-)

> Both Staffs and Shrops have been discussing the decline in mailing list
> participation and meeting attendance. LUGs originated when it was
> uncommon to know another Linux users and were the main way people got
> help with Linux problems when Linux problems were the norm :)

Personally I really struggle to get to meetings as I have two kids
that breathe air and one that is currently breathing gunchy fluid!
These mailing lists are an absolute god send and I have learnt so much
so far.  Thank you all.

It really takes a bit of organisation to get out to a meeting and so I
try and save those moments for stuff that really rocks my boat.
Unfortunately I have had to cancel two of these attendances due to
family life and when I finally did get out and drove all the way to
Cov the sodding thing was cancelled, meaning the lug meeting is now a
dirty word in our house and is classed as a waste of family time.

> These days LUGs are being replaced by Google searches and distro
> communities such as forums and loco teams and I think we ourselves have
> declined in numbers, due in part to the fact that we are now largely
> past the days when getting Linux working was difficult and many of us
> who have been running Linux for years don't need the assistance any
> more, we are are now gainfully employed and have moved on either in time
> availability or geographical terms.
> I started with Wolves LUG knowing nothing at all about running Linux and
> almost exactly 9 years on I'm a Linux sysadmin. My first meeting was the
> 2000 Christmas meeting and I started posting shortly before that. Having
> grown up on this list, it seems a shame to watch the local LUGs wither
> in participation, though Staffs seem to have woken up a bit now and
> Shrops are re-evaluating their way of doing things.

I came into IT in a professional manner late in my life and saw these
lugs as way of boosting my knowledge and understanding of IT.  It was
not necessarily the need or desire to use Linux but to be part of a
community / club that is into computing like back in the days when the
BBC micro was on the high street.  Those sort of community centre
clubs just do no exist any more and the lugs are absolute diamonds for
this.  Of course I now use Linux more and more these days and will not
go back to using windows, certainly personally and will try and avoid
it professionally.

> I thought it might be nice to think about visiting the other local LUG
> and technical groups' meetings every so oftren and maybe have them visit
> us, as many have (Brum Perl Mingers have been to use many times and
> several SB LUG and Python people have been our way too). Hopefully, this
> might lead to a bit more cross-pollination. It was a shame that after
> the communication with Wolves uni 2 years ago, nobody came our way
> (apart from Suntish I think - wave if you're still here Suntish :)).

I think some of this happens already and it depends on your bag.  If I
get into python at any stage I will know where to go.  If the lugs are
really after more people then i think uni's events, and advertising
are the way forward and I know you already do some of that all ready.

Accessibility is also important.  If I cant make it to the lug meeting
then I would like to know what went on -  we discussed this and it is
ace at ... give it a try - will probably invoke more emails from us
stay and home and look after the kids types!!  Of course podcasting
would also be good.

> I would be willing to drive in a car share to ones in my direction
> (Shrops are in Telford, Staffs have met at Keele where I work, though
> I'm not sure I'd want to drive home and back again...). I could probably
> do SB too.
> Perhaps we could use this end of year period to take stock and think
> about what we want to do next year.
> Thoughts?

I would like to see:

1) Podcasts of the meeting where a talk or talk is organised.
Podcasting is cheap and very easy to sort.
2) Video casting of a sort for those really organised meetings.  Sb
lug have already tried this.
3) A method of communicating to people about the last minute
cancellation of meetings so that the words lug meeting does not become
a dirty word in the family home.  I refer of course to the recent Cov

On an end note.  All of the above requires commitment and thanks to
all so far who have committed their time in organising these lugs and
various meetings, websites , etc. :-)

Stephen (can't make it) Welch

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