[clug] Declining attendance?

Martin Schwenke martin at meltin.net
Tue Oct 9 16:46:18 MDT 2012

Hash: SHA1

On Wed, 03 Oct 2012 21:54:53 +1000, Paul Wayper <paulway at mabula.net>

> One thing that people have commented to me about, and has also been an issue
> raised at the monthly inter-LUG discussion meetings online, is the declining
> attendance at actual CLUG meetings.  [...]

> [...]

> However, is there any interest in having regular meet-ups where people bring
> their computers in and we try to solve problems related to Linux and FOSS?

> [...]

> What does everyone else think?

I think the lack of replies says a lot.  :-(

A few comments...

Local community groups of all types have seen a decline in
participation, although some new ones have appeared too.  I think a
large part of this is due to the amount of information available online.
This doesn't just include mailing lists like this one but also the
ability to find out the answers to many technical problems by just
knowing how to phrase a question well when typing it into a search
engine.  There's a lot of information out there...

That's in stark contrast to the early days of Linux when CLUG was
founded.  The best way of finding out things was by attending a CLUG
meeting, where we were fortunate that some of the local experts were
among the world's best. 

That said, I don't think that CLUG should be written off.  It has
always been an excellent group of FLOSS experts, hobbyists and
beginners, and this should continue... 

I think the idea of people bringing computers and getting help with
their problems is a good one.  That was certainly a big part of CLUG
meetings in days gone by.  People will just need to know that
there's a small chance they might walk away with a machine that works
less well than when they arrived...  ;-)

If attendance is already down then I wouldn't fragment that into a
SIG.  I think consolidation is a better answer...

Personally, I'd love to be (more) involved in CLUG.  However, I have
more responsibilities and other interests than I had 15 years ago,
when I used to attend quite a few meetings and speak occasionally.
Also, I find that after sitting in front of a computer all day answering
emails, debugging and coding, I'd rather do something else than talk
about computers.  Sad but true!

peace & happiness,
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