[Ubuntu-US-CA] User Group Link

Neal Bussett neal at bussett.com
Tue Jul 14 22:12:25 UTC 2009

On Thu, Jul 02, 2009 at 05:18:33PM -0700, Grant Bowman wrote:
> I do not find this particular link or it's placement "arbitrary" in
> any way as I hope has become evident.  The "Get Involved" section is
> very purposeful - to direct less active members, first timers and/or
> "the public" to take action to "Get Involved" in the broader Open
> Source or specifically our LoCo activities.  That section is
> intentionally "outward facing," inviting action and greater
> involvement.

The purpose of that section of the menu is to help people get involved
in our LoCo, not the general FOSS community (disclaimers about one being
a subset of the other apply).  "I just read all about this awesome LoCo,
now how do I help?"

More generally, the purpose of the wiki is to organize the business of
our LoCo in a concrete manner; it is not an attempt to organize the
entire FOSS world, or even the entire Ubuntu world, just our LoCo
(there are other venues that are better suited for the various aspects
of these things).

> Why every page?  People often find a web page (wiki or otherwise)
> through search results.  Having the link on only one or a hand full of
> pages would limit the exposure of Ubuntu users to other (hopefully
> close by) Ubuntu users.

The User Group Contacts project isn't about connecting Ubuntu users to
LUGs or even to other Ubuntu Users; it's about connecting our LoCo to 
LUGs so we they are aware of the services we offer.

> Some have mentioned that the purpose of the wiki differs from the
> purpose of our LoCo.  I don't know of any reasons why an artificial
> distinction might be useful or helpful.
The wiki is a tool of the LoCo, it is not a separate entity.  We use it
to accomplish a number of tasks that a website is useful for, and we're
doing a disservice to ourselves by trying to make it into something it's
not well suited for.  Much like we use IRC and the mailing list for what
they're useful for; no one's going to suggest we try and hold a meeting
on the mailing list.

> To those that don't live near any established User Groups, I would
> invite them to create a simple User Group as a "meetup" at
> www.meetup.com

Starting a LUG in your area is great, but I really don't see how it's
relevant to this discussion.
> As the Groups page is intended to be crowd sourced by (hopefully)
> active LoCo members and other contributors and because it directly
> links (at the bottom) to similar user group lists it should not be
> difficult to keep updated, especially as more active LoCo members step
> forward to act as "Contacts."  This also raises the visibility of the
> LoCo without requiring additional organized LoCo activities and gives
> a tangible way for new members to become more active.  Many of these
> benefits were outlined in the quotations from my previous email. [1]
> My hope is this additional exposure to motivated Linux enthusiasts
> will increase the rate of recruiting for LoCo activities.  Every
> volunteer group must address recruitment somehow, either actively or
> passively.

If someone is interesting in getting involved in our LoCo, running off
to make contact with a LUG isn't the best way to utilize that eagerness.

They'll be presented with questions they likely won't know the answer
to, and the LUG will be left with a bad taste in their mouth.  A good
first impression that's a little delayed is better than a bad first
impression.  More importantly, this initial taste of the LoCo (even
though it's not characteristic of most of our activities) could very well
turn them off to the organization entirely if it goes poorly.

Looking at it from the other direction: If I were someone in a LUG, I
wouldn't want someone showing up and telling me about how friendly and
helpful a LoCo can be, without actually knowing anyone in the LoCo.

They'll be much more prepared after interacting with our LoCo for a
period of time to become comfortable and familiar with what we're doing,
what we have planned, and most importantly, they'll know us.  And during
that time, I guarantee they'll discover the Projects page filled with
things to participate in.

Neal Bussett
Ubuntu California

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