Ubuntu Toronto Meeting Processes

Evan Leibovitch evan at telly.org
Fri Jan 12 07:31:32 UTC 2007

Dave Sullivan wrote:
> 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?
There needs to be a leader/facilitator to control the meeting, or what
you have is a cacophony rather than a discussion. You can have extremely
interactive meetings, with chairs arranged in a circle rather than
classroom format (that might be difficult in linuxcaffe, but it has been
known to work). But you still need a single point of focus, at very
least to deal with times when multiple people want to talk at once.

Personally, I find more than one laptop in use at a meeting to be a
distraction. Unless you're interested in multiple side-conversations,
there need be no more than one live system used for demonstration or

After all, the purpose of the meeting is to encourage face-to-face talk
(literally!). As Frank said, if everyone's got a laptop going you might
as well hold the meeting on IRC.

>> just remember; this should be fun!
Should it?

There is certainly a social aspect of such meetings, but people come to
LEARN. And given the technical nature of the subject matter and the
newness of the meetings, there's simply a limit on how "fun" you can
make a new teacher tell a new student about the inner workings of CUPS.

It _is_ necessary to determine if the _primary_ goal of the meeting is
instructional or social. Eventually the meetings will settle into their
own rhythm and be both, but in the beginning there probably needs to be
some structure that is guided by priorities. The meetings are simply not
mature enough to expect them to be all things to all people -- those who
want fun and those who need their questions answered.

- Evan

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