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What is your vision of a LUG

OK, so the scenario is this…You are a new Linux user or want to try Linux, but would like to know more before hand. You hear about a local Linux Users Group and prior to going to one of their events, you sit back for a moment and try to envision what it would be like.

Tell me, what is that you envision?

Now that you have envisioned it, how would you really like the LUG to look, feel, and run?

The reason I am asking, is that the LUG in which I am the Vice President of is currently in the restructuring phase. I would like to get some ideas on how to make LUG meetings not only better, but make then accessible to every type of person that shows up.

So, if you have any suggestions, just add them to the comments. Thanks!

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  • nixternal I hope that when you get a good list that you will make another post about it. I am in the same situation with our local LUG.

  • Sorry, I don’t have anything to contribute to your request, but I’m subscribing to this comments feed as I’m interested in what will get posted. I really want to get a LUG going in my town and have limited knowledge(or more accurately, no time) how to get it going.

  • My comment just got hosed by your CAPTCHA, this is a test to see if that is fixed yet (when I clicked the back button, the post was gone… please fix that) (when I refreshed, there was no image visible either… please prevent that :)).

    Feel free to delete this message.

  • Ok working now.

    I’ve never been to a LUG (my local is on at a bad time for me), so I think I’m in the target audience. I am planning on going when I can. This is what I expect:

    1) Structure: I’m expecting one friendly dictator who has a plan of what will be done in the meeting. This plan might be “unstructured socialization”, which is fine. I just would hope that they are intentional with what they do. I’d expect them to make sure that everyone either feels like their time wasn’t wasted, or gets what they expected (which means that before the meeting there should be some description of what to expect).

    2) Topics: I’d expect things like: How to do something interesting (possibly using Linux, but there might be other interesting topics (e.g. putting rockbox firmware on an iPod). Interesting projects people are working on. Funky hardware, gadgets and other toys (e.g. hacked remote control car, toaster running Linux, etc)

    3) Tech support :I wouldn’t expect a normal meeting to be about tech support. But I would expect that at the end, a person could ask for assistance without feeling dumb about it, and they wouldn’t feel dumb about bringing in their laptop or whatever. I’m imagining that at the end, people have a chance to say “I’m trying to get foo to bar, does anyone want to try fixing it?”

    4) Food: People bond better with food :). This one I think depends on the people, but I would expect something like takeaway to be consumed, or after the ‘formalities’, there would be a visit to a local restaurant for a group meal. It would be pitched as optional, but most people would partake.

    5) People: I’m expecting one or two eccentrics. And I’m expecting to enjoy that 🙂

    /me copies comment to clipboard

  • I would expect :

    – technical support (see 3) of Andy)
    (particular problems, installation, configuration)

    – laboratory (see 2) of Andy)
    (technological experiences, state-of-the-art stuff, multimedia, …)

    and the most important point : ethics !
    I left many LUGs because of their lack of ethics. People in LUG usually don’t get the GNU philosophy. They focus on technical points, they fight against eachothers to argue in favor of their beloved distro, they would scare newbies.
    This is really annoying. They miss a big point : social practises and ethics of Free Software. A LUG should be more Stallman than Torvalds.

  • A LUG event can also be a perfect ground for a Keysigning party 🙂

  • why not just run a info evening once a month for new users where they can bring their hardware, get some help installing $distribution and a introduction or just can ask some questions.

    IMHO it is a good idea to give them a way to ask without getting in touch with some “let’s start a holy war this guy over there said Fedora *and* xEmacs!” – at least if there are some old school, non newbie frieldy guys in your LUG.

    One thing that is IMO necessary for new people in a group is that they get a chance to know who they are talking to, so a little introduction at the beginning of the meeting is never a bad idea.

    Beside that a wiki or maillinglist with a shedule what you have in mind for the meeting can never be wrong – just a short list like
    * talk about rails
    * talk about django
    * fight to death using pillows what the better web application framework is

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