Ubuntu Toronto Meeting Processes

Dave Sullivan dave at dave-sullivan.com
Fri Jan 12 01:44:29 UTC 2007

On 1/11/07, David J Patrick <djp at linuxcaffe.ca> wrote:
> On 11/01/07, Frank McCarron <erebus59 at gmail.com> wrote:
> > Well, laptops should be closed at some time or another.
> Rather than imposing a buncha rules, why not alter the environment to make
> the afore mentioned  laptopoloosa go away. What I propose we try next time
> is an arrangement where most of the tables are stacked in a corner and the
> chairs are a bit more audiencey. The human at the front has a table, but
> only one row of seating has a table. That table is for the person who is
> wikifying the minutes of the meeting, and driving the projector with related
> content. Someone prepping a presentation, or demonstration, could also be at
> those tables.

Setting it up in a leader/audience style seems like it suggests that
one person (the person at the front) is in power and control of the
meeting, and I think it may even take away from the conversational
nature of the meeting. This works for a workshop, but I don't think it
works for a discussion group. But that's me.. what do you think?

> I expect these gatherings to get more popular, and we, as an emerging
> community, have to learn to collectively crawl, before we can collectively
> walk, before.. you get the idea. Each new user group will have to find it's
> feet, and I, as host of such gatherings, will have to learn to offer these
> groups a mutually advantageous environment.
> I expect things like introduction of new members, and laptop etiquette, to
> sort themselves out on the way. I see "rules" as a last resort, and favour
> clear codes of conduct and clear channels to air grievances.

Indeed, it isn't my intention to impose rules and regulations, but a
meeting code of conduct, or guidelines if you will. Rather than say
"if you attend you MUST do this!" we say "In order to have a
productive meeting, we suggest this..." It's also possible that not
everyone attending is interested in the discussion. I find that often
while we are discussing something, there's two or three people talking
about something totally different and going about their business. What
could we do about this, or should we just leave it alone?

> > A bunch of ubuntu-ists sitting with their faces staring at laptops and
> their hands constantly working keyboards is hardly "welcoming". If everyone
> wants to meet that way we might as well have meetings via IRC.
> Well right you are, Frank, I fear the whole "computer thing" may be
> hazardous to your social skills. There, I said it ! ... no I didn't.. I
> pecked it into a laptop ! but I digress..
>  on the other hand
> for a newbie to get two hours sitting next to people who actually know how
> to operate the operating system, is a major learning opportunity, and can
> have significant benefits if they have their laptop open.
> Every participant may be coming at it from a completely different angle.
> Let's just see if we can learn to structure the event so that the various
> desired outcomes are inevitable. say THAT five times fast !
> just remember; this should be fun!
> djp
> --
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> www.linuxcaffe.ca
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Dave Sullivan
dave at dave-sullivan.com

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