[Linux-aus] Linux Australia and LUG communication: an idea

Ben ben at geonetrix.com.au
Tue Oct 10 16:02:02 UTC 2006

Hi All,

Considering there is an LA meeting coming up, I've been bouncing some
ideas with other TasLUG committee members around about how LA could
better facilitate communications with LUGs. LUG roundup is certainly a
great innovation for getting info about what the LUGs are up to out to
the community, however there is very little inter-LUG communications -
ie. sharing information, resources and expertise between LUGs and
between LUGs and LA. So what to do, how to it and, of course, why?

An annual face-to-face meeting of LUG-executive members chaired by a
member of the LA committee, a Council of Australian Linux User Groups so
to speak, not only has a pronounceable acronym (COALUG) but would be an
excellent mechanism to facilitate this type of communication and also
give LUG execs a chance to get to know the LA committee and other LUG
execs. It was great to meet a few of the other LUG execs at LCA2005 and
I had some really useful and interesting discussions and shared a few
experiences, ideas and the like which I was able to go back and
implement for TasLUG resulting in a better organisation. New LUGs would
likely benefit greatly from this.

A more formalised way of doing this, such as a COALUG meeting, would
ensure that those sorts of benefits could be shared with all LUGs.
Better inter-LUG communications would help LUGs keep up with what other
LUGs are up to, share ideas with other LUGs, share resources (such as
speakers, etc.) and benefit from the expertise and experience of other
LUGs. Such communications, if facilitated by LA, would also be an
excellent way for LA to share its expertise and communicate any
LUG-specific info to LUG execs. Talking to Pia at a TasLUG meeting about
putting in a bid for LCA earlier this year was invaluable, and the Tas.
LCA bid committee was really encouraged in our bid for LCA. It was an
excellent way for us to ask about bidding, etc. - a COALUG meeting would
give all LUGs a chance to ask questions of an LA rep, and possibly
encourage them to put in bids also.

Other spin-offs would include that with more involvement between the
LUGs and LA (even if it is only an annual thing) would improve the lines
of communication between the LUGs and the LA committee -  being able to
put a name to a face really helps  :) . It also means that LUGs would be
able to discuss LUG specific improvements with LA and pass ideas from
their membership to LA.

I would suggest that that the way to do this would be to treat COALUG as
a sub-committee of LA, with an annual meeting chaired by LA. This could
be done via IRC if need be, but I would argue that a face-to-face is
better for the reasons above. Not wanting this to be an exclusive
meeting, I would also propose that LA may be able to make some funding
available to one exec member from each LUG to attend. Allocate funding
on a discretionary grant application basis and have a simple set of
criteria for eligibility - say a LUG must have some formal constitution
(not necessarily being incorporated), a formal way of determining
membership and at least, say 10-20 members, or whatever (that's just a
quick off-the-top-of-my-head suggestion). The annual meeting could
either be held at LCA or alternatively the next city to host LCA. The
advantage of this is that LUGs that may be thinking of bidding for an
LCA would have the opportunity to meet up with a bid organiser and ask
questions etc, benefiting from their expertise, before deciding to put
in a bid.

Alternatively COALUG could be hosted by LUGs on a state rotation basis -
it really doesn't matter where its hosted  :) . Again, if it looks too
expensive maybe IRC and a mailing list would be the go.

I really think that an annual COALUG meeting would be highly beneficial
for all LUGs, LA and the community as a whole. Better communications
between LUGs and between LUGs and LA can only benefit the entire Linux
community through the sharing of expertise, ideas and resources.

Anyhow that's the kernel of the idea, what does everyone think?



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