[ubuntu-uk] LUGs

TheVeech theveech at gmail.com
Wed Mar 28 20:17:39 BST 2007

On Wed, 2007-03-28 at 19:28 +0100, Alan Pope wrote:
> On Wed, Mar 28, 2007 at 06:34:37PM +0100, TheVeech wrote:
> > On Wed, 2007-03-28 at 16:35 +0100, Tony Travis wrote:
> > > TheVeech wrote:
> > > > Just curious.  Anyone a member?  If so, what's yours like?
> > > > 
> > > > I'd have thought they were a bit of a geekfest, not having been to one,
> > > > but I'm probably way off the mark.  Trouble is, the one for my neck of
> > > > the woods is supposed to be active but its website hasn't been updated
> > > > for a long time.  These days, is it time better spent online?
> > > 
> > > I subscribe to the AberLUG mailing list (Aberdeen) and I've found it 
> > > quite useful. I've met up with a few people 1:1, but I don't attend the 
> > > AberLUG meetings: A 'geekfest' sounds a rather judgmental!
> > 
> > Don't be daft.  Of course I'm not judgemental.  There's nothing wrong
> > with pointy ears (i.e. it's judgemental).
> > 
> Clearly via email I cannot detect a sense of humour here, so bear with me if 
> this is badly dectected.
> :( Negative comments like this about LUGs by people who have not been to a 
> meeting make me sad and a little cross.

No worries.  Seriously, I think most people's ideas of them are that
they're a bit like a geekfest, something akin to a Star Trek convention
(which also caricatures them!).  That said, the people I know who are
proficient with Linux could hardly be described as 'geek' types.

Just laugh off things like this, call them daft and slip in the truth
while you're at it.  The reader-response studies I've come across are on
your side.  Besides, the facts speak for themselves, as you've already
outlined and made everyone here aware of, if they didn't already know
(neutralising the negativity of the caricature, IMHO).

Another possibility is to find a way to address it, if it becomes an
irritant.  But if you think such things are bad, try sitting through
'300'.  Now THAT's bad!

> My local LUG meets are great fun. They are a tremendously social event with 
> a lot of chat and general shooting the breeze.
> The tech stuff can get deep but it's not like you have to sit and talk to 
> someone about the subtleties of one kernel config parameter over another, 
> you can just go and talk to someone else if you're getting geeked at.
> > 
> > >  I've found 
> > > AberLUG members friendly, and willing to help anyone learn about Linux.
> > 
> > This is what I'd be after.  It sounds like it's a similar mood and
> > approach to, say, the Ubuntu forums and the mailing lists, which I've
> > found really impressive at times.
> > 
> Each LUG is different of course, some have pub meets, others meet in 
> offices, universities of church halls. They all have their merits and often 
> the locals like the way things run or they either wouldn't attend (sad, 
> means low numbers in LUGs) or they instigate change (as Colin has done in 
> Kent).

You mentioned that there's some communication between LUGs - is there
anything worthwhile where people can read up on them (so far, though,
it's mainly people who are already members who are talking about them
here)?  Another query is if there's coordination for things like
campaigns, events, etc.?

> > > I guess it's about making contact with like-minded people. I think far 
> > > more people read the LUG lists than attend LUG meetings. However, the 
> > > LUG meetings are what some Linux people want, so each to their own :-)
> > 
> As an example there are 178 members (not filtering duplicate addresses) on 
> the Hampshire LUG list. At each meeting around 10-40 people turn up 
> depending upon time of year, what talks are scheduled and who has broken 
> stuff or gadgets to show off.

Any national events?

> > I think I'd feel pretty comfortable in a crowd like that, but what about
> > people who are still getting to grips with the 'basics' - would they
> > benefit or would they feel a bit out of place?
> > 
> We get complete newbies at our LUG. People have been known to just walk in 
> off the street and ask for help. Others travel some distance to come.
> We have name badges on (mostly - unless we forget) showing the distro we 
> know, and have someone sat at the door directing new people to a place to 
> sit, where to get power and LAN, and who to talk to about specific issues.
> I'm not saying ours is the best run LUG, many would find the above awful, 
> but it works for us. Other LUGs like meeting in a curry house or pub during 
> the week and their members would never dream of actually giving up a weekend 
> to go to geek-out.

Being as enthusiastic as you are about this, you should think about
doing some sort of feature on it.

> Each to their own I guess, but at least give them a chance :)

You already have.  I'm sold!

> Cheers,
> Al.

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