[CLUG-chat] Changing CLUG meeting/talk formats/topics

Jonathan Hitchcock vhata at clug.org.za
Wed Aug 19 16:08:10 SAST 2009


I'm starting this thread to discuss how we want CLUG meetings and
talks to go.  In this message, I raise a few questions, but feel free
to ask (and answer) your own.

One of the outcomes of the discussion we had at the last CLUG meeting
was that a lot of people feel that the talks we currently have are too
advanced, or the wrong format, and this is one of the reasons why some
people don't attend them.  After some discussion, we came up with a
few ideas:

- From now on, we will have at least one "introductory" or "beginner
level" talk every two months.  We will cover things such as playing
multimedia, discussions of how things are done differently from
Windows, and so on - basically things which newcomers to Linux will
need to know so that they can get into it.  Do you have any topics
you'd like to hear about?  What do you think will work well for the
widest audience?

- Our talks will have less of a "How To" aspect (since most of that
stuff can generally be found on the internet anyway), and will be more
overviews or discussions, and a sharing of experience.  What are
things you want to discuss?  Do you want to know about web frameworks
and which should be chosen for certain purposes?  Do you want to
compare scripting languages and what they would be used for?

- We are going to look into having more "roundtable" discussions - see
http://princessleia.com/journal/?p=1832 for how this worked for the
Philadelphia LUG.  What sort of topics would be good to have these
roundtable discussions about?  Would they work for technical topics,
as well as more philosophical topics (such as software licensing), or
even social aspects of Linux (community building, One Laptop Per Child
and other outreaches, etc)?

We are also going to start having Saturday events, to see if these
work.  These will be of two varieties:

- Swarms:  We are going to pick a project or goal every now and then,
and invite anybody who is interested in it to come along.  We will use
our combined skills and energy to contribute as much toward achieving
the goal, or improving the project as we can in the time we have.
However, these swarms will be good learning experiences as well as
being constructive events - if you want to watch how they work, or
learn how to get involved, they would be good too.  Do you have any
ideas for projects which would benefit from this sort of thing?  What
days or times do you think would be best?  Is a Saturday afternoon
workable, or should we try for Sundays?

- Workshops:  Having a single topic for a meeting means that we can't
cover all the things people want to hear about.  For this reason,
every now and then, we will hold general "workshops".  We'll get
together somewhere with internet, coffee, and space. People can bring
their machines along, and if you've been having a problem, we'll try
sort it out.  If somebody wants to give an impromptu talk, and others
want to listen to it, that can happen.  If you want help installing
Linux, we can do that.  I envision these being fairly decentralised
events, where everybody just mingles and takes advantage of the wealth
of knowledge and experience that everybody else brings to the
workshop.  Do you have any ideas about good venues for these?  Do you
think we can do something else to improve them?  Would you attend such
a thing?

Is there anything else you want to discuss?  What will make you want
to come to these talks?


More information about the clug-chat mailing list