[clug] [OT] Canberra/Australia maker community

Nemo Thorx clug at nemo.house.cx
Fri Nov 27 00:24:01 MST 2009

On Fri, Nov 27, 2009 at 03:59:24PM +1100, Adam Thomas did utter:
> >>
> >> There are a few pockets of people who have had similar ideas (myself
> >> included) but have not made much progress due to the fragmentation and
> >> (warning:generalisation ahead) insular nature of the communities in
> >> Canberra.
> >
> > I think insulated and fragmented communities is a better description of
> > the problem in bigger cities, where enough people with a common minor
> > interest can get together to make it work, but then split into more and
> > more subgroups (to use an on-topic example, I've heard of LUGs where the
> > RedHat people don't talk to the Debian people, etc). Canberra is small
> > enough that CLUG is barely on the "linux" topic as often as not, and is
> > arguably a fairly broad 'computer and technology enthusiasts'
> > collective.
> Those subgroups are more like forks of existing groups. It sounds like
> there once was communication but now it's actively avoided because of
> fallings out between members.

yeah, that's pretty much what I think of with 'fragmentation' :)
I think also there is just a case too that in bigger cities there are
enough people for more finely grained groups to emerge naturally too... 

and that can be a good thing, and/or a bad thing, depending on your
needs and how it all works out...

> I think the situation in Canberra is more passive. People start new
> groups because they can't find existing groups which match their
> goals. There is lots of crossover potential but not a lot of
> communication. I _should_ have said "lets bring the groups together
> and see what happens" earlier but didn't for one reason or another.

*nods* I'm just saying that I don't think the communication issues are
Canberra specific. It's a problem with communities (and meta communities
more topically) at all scales. IMHO :)

I do hope that a community can be brought together though. The degree of
talent in Canberra is an untapped resource...

> > Rather, the problem I see in Canberra is that the people interested in
> > new projects are already spread thin between existing other communities,
> > so it's hard to find enough people who have the time/commitment to start
> > a new community to reach community population critical mass. ie, the
> > relevant people are all diluted across other communities.
> I'm currently spreading myself across a few communities because there
> isn't one that is dedicated to what I want to do, which is Make. I've
> seen a new community (CRESSIDA) start up to bring people interested in
> dark electronic music together because one of the organisers kept
> getting told by different people that there wasn't anyone to
> collaborate with. There has been enough interest for monthly meet and
> greets and there have been a handful of outcomes already.
> Canberra _can_ support multiple groups with either specific or broad
> interests. If there is enough communication between the groups,
> collaborations are likely to follow.

I've long said that Canberra is big enough to comfortably support
one[22] social group for any given subculture or interest group - just
sometimes it needs defining before people can coalesce around it.


[22] sometimes more than one too, but I didn't seem to see that too
much. Of course depends on what you call a culture, subculture, etc[23]

[23] Cultural analysis is now... two degrees off topic? :/

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