[clug] Re: Using a forum system for CLUG

Paul Wayper paulway at mabula.net
Sun May 3 12:55:42 GMT 2009

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Daniel Pittman wrote:
| David Schoen <neerolyte at gmail.com> writes:
|> Some (and yes I admit not all) of this would be solvable by keeping
|> the process of setting up and maintaining a forum as open as possible.
| In theory, I agree with you.  In practice, the best case is that the
| maintenance becomes an unending chore with little reward and a regular
| round of undeserved accusations of being part of the "cabal" who keep
| power themselves.

I should interject here with a rough idea of how much actual person time goes
into our current organisation:

The main job is me casting around for speakers.  Then I plug the abstract into
the LUG-in-a-box system and it sends an email to the list.  Then I go to the
meetings, make sure they run smoothly, organise pizza, and greet new people.
If that takes up more than about five hours a fortnight total then I'm worried.

We have no committee.  We have no membership fees.  The LUG-in-a-box system is
maintained by Andrew Pollock when he has time.  Bob Edwards, who generally
opens up the room for us and stays around to close it again, puts in more time
than I do and has more at stake for its maintenance too.  To run a forum with
the kind of moderation that you're talking about requires an order of
magnitude more people-time than anyone puts into actually running the CLUG at
the moment.  I don't see this situation changing any time soon.

This is not to say "don't bother" - this is to say "this is what you're
working with".

My other observation is that if we have one group writing on the forums, and
one writing email, then we have half a group each that won't talk to
eachother.  And while there are programs to do email-to-forum gateways the
ones I've seen generally leak the problems from each media into the other
rather than transmitting their benefits.

My suggestion here would be to use the PHP-Nuke instance on
http://clug.anu.edu.au to store ongoing material that is useful to CLUG
membership, and keep the email list as an email list.

Hope this helps,


P.S. Removing the disturbing bit in the title.
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