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Suggestions: Next Meeting

Suggestions: Next Meeting

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To: "local@xxxxxxxxx" <local@xxxxxxxxx>
Cc: "discussion@xxxxxxxxx" <discussion@xxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Suggestions: Next Meeting
From: Michael Moore <mrmoore@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 10 Feb 2002 00:08:18 -0600

I have heard several people expression their concerns about the ACLUG 
falling into a state of newbieism; in that, the meetings and 
presentations have been catered to newbies and intermediates and that 
the experts get bored and find no real reason to attend the meetings (no 
benefit to them).  In fact, I know a couple of what I consider Linux 
experts at work that have expressed no interest in attending any 
meetings or presentations because they don't feel it would benefit them.

By the way, at Wednesday' meeting a lot of people told what they do and 
where they work.  I forgot to mention what I do for a living and where I 
work (at the time I was more interested in sharing my past experience in 
computers).  I work at Cessna Aircraft Company as a Manufacturing Engineer.

Several ACLUG members have expressed a need to attract expert users and 
expert presentators.  I think this is good, but raises points on how to 
attract experts to the group and how to attract good presentaters on 
Linux subjects.  This could be some good topics of future ACLUG meetings.

Back to topics at hand.  At Wednesday's meeting Jonathan wrote on the 
chalkboard the Topics that the assembled group would be interested in 
having presentations/Lectures about.  I posted these topics on 
discussion group the other day.

This may have been done before...I don't know because I am new to the 
group.  We could hand out a sheet to each member at the meeting that had 
the topics listed of interest from the last meeting.  On this sheet you 
would put your name and beside each topic you would put your knowledge 
of each topic, marking as either an expert, intermediate or newbie.

For Example:  Say their are their are 20 people at Monday's meeting. 
 The topic of Apache in the group is where the group in the meeting has 
a weekness.  2 experts, 5 intermediates and 13 newbies.  Then the group 
decides to have the new 2 meetings covering Apache.

My point is that we could take these surveys every so often and cover 
topics that the group, as a whole is weak in.  This way the group as a 
whole could advance their knowledge faster than just covering topics 
that will benefit a few people.

Which brings me to my next point that the decisions for the topics 
should only be made at the meetings.  The people that attend the 
meetings that decide what topics will be covered during the 
presentations will probably be the majority of the people that will 
attend the presentational meetings.  The topics of each presentation 
could still be listed on the website, but the voting of these topics 
should probably be held at the meetings.  Hence, you should attend the 
meetings if you want to have a voice on the topics covered.

Handling the presentations in this way would collectively advance the 
group (that attend the meetings) knowledge of Linux faster.  Instead of 
just advancing a few members you would be advancing the majority of the 
groups knowledge.

Of course, this is all well and good but what happens when the group 
reaches a certain plateau.  Where all the members reach close to the 
same knowledge base.  I think this is the point that Tom Hull was 
addressing the other day (correct me if I'm wrong Tom).  

New members come into the group and you have lots of newbies and 
intermediates and the same process starts all over again.  The majority 
decides what topics to cover and same topics get covered again and the 
experts get bored and evently stop coming to the meetings.

There are lots of ideas that I have heard to address this situation that 
would be good to discuss.  Too many to mention here.

I agree with Tom.  Let's not loose our expert users and think of ways to 
attract more.



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