[CLUG-chat] [CLUG-announce] Upcoming CLUG Talk: What can CLUG do for you?

Jonathan Hitchcock vhata at clug.org.za
Wed Aug 5 14:06:52 SAST 2009


Hi,

On Wed, Aug 5, 2009 at 1:40 PM, Jonathan Carter
(highvoltage)<jonathan at clug.org.za> wrote:
> we're quite gentle when newcomers ask questions on the -tech list,
> even when they start breaking the rules.

Are we?  Are we really?

I think CLUG has a worse reputation for list-rule-nazism than most
other communities in South Africa.  Alleviating this might also
alleviate the impression of technical elitism that y'all are talking
about.

> Perhaps we can do things like mark how technical or how complex the
> subject matter of a CLUG talk is when it's announced so that users who
> are specifically interested in introductory-level talks can spot them
> easier.

But when we've had entry-level talks, they don't work either.  I know
this, because I've given some of them.  What often happens is that the
talk itself is fairly easy, but the regular CLUG old boy's club sits
at the front and heckles and chats and discusses, and any newcomers
who might be at the talk sit cowering at the back, scared to
participate because they don't understand half of the discussion or
the in-jokes and heckling.  In other words, the high-level attendees
turn entry-level talks into high-level talks.

I think the real problem lies with the idea of "talks", which seems a
little flawed.  You can't *really* learn too much in an hour on a
Tuesday night, and anything you can learn, you could have got from
Google anyway.  Real value would be gained from demonstrations, or
workshops - those are things that Google and mailing lists cannot
provide.  However, they're much more difficult to organise, and
require much more commitment to attend.  For example, ubuntu-za's
Saturday packaging jams were very valuable, but did require the
sacrifice of a Saturday.  I do think it's a good idea to look into
this, though, but maybe on a less frequent basis - once a month or
whatever?


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