May 4, 2004

What should LUGs do?

Author: Robin 'Roblimo' Miller

Last week two friends of mine from the local Linux Users Group were telling me that while they realize bringing in and helping new users is important, they're more interested in meetings that focus on enterprise-level tech presentations that will help them in their jobs. Is it possible for a LUG to serve everyone?Personally, I believe advocacy is one of the best reasons to have an active LUG. But improving members' skills has become just as important, especially if they are using Linux and associated open source software to earn a living.

This isn't an "I have answers" article, but one where I'm putting out questions and hoping for thoughtful answers, knowing full well that no one answer is going to fit all LUGs.

More specifically:

  • Should all LUG meetings be newbie-friendly, or just some of them? Or should there be regular installfests (perhaps quarterly)?

  • In an age of email and IRC, are F2F meetings still important other than for their social aspect? And if the social aspect is most important, why not have an excellent party every 3 - 6 months instead of a so-so meeting every month or every week?

  • How many people does it take to make a LUG meeting worthwhile? And -- barring special events or presentations -- is there a maximum feasible number beyond which conversation breaks down?

  • What about "Beyond the LUG" outreach attempts, like booths at (non-Linux) local computer shows? Are they worth doing? Have you ever helped do one? What advice do you have for others thinking about doing something like this?


  • Linux
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