communication and representation (was [Linux-aus] Nominations and their spiels for the LA election)

Ben Powell ben at
Wed Jan 3 10:10:02 UTC 2007

Christopher Yeoh wrote:
>> So in that vein it seems like the 2007 committee will be from Vic,
>> {NSW,NSW}, Qld, NSW, {Vic,NSW,SA,NSW,ACT}, without anyone from WA or
>> Tas or the NT (or north Qld, or country-NSW, or central Australia,
>> etc). There was a bit of talk on the teleconference this evening about
>> getting people who aren't on the committee more directly involved in LA
>> on a regular basis; perhaps having a monthly get teleconf of interested
>> folks from various LUGs to try to help everyone keep in contact and
>> share ideas and so forth. 
> If there are problems with not having sufficently geographic diverse
> representation on the committee, then what about changing things in
> the future to allow LUGs (say with minimum size and regular meeting
> qualifications) to be have the right to internally vote for a
> representative on the LA committee (eg additional reserved spots -
> maybe only for those areas/LUGs where there aren't existing reps)?
> Even if not taken up by all LUGS, this may help encourage people from
> smaller or more remote LUGs to participate in LA who normally wouldn't
> feel they are qualified to be elected to the LA committee.
> Chris
Us down here at TasLUG discussed making this sort of suggestion to LA,
but after much debate we decided that it would not be such a good idea
because if a State/region did not nominate a member it sends a very bad
message firstly to their community and potential members and secondly to
LA and the general Linux community, although reasons for a lack of
nomination are often to do with a lack of time to contribute (I know
that all of the TasLUG executive are totally flat-out most of the time -
and many of our members are too).  If a State/region does not have an LA
delegate then it may hurt its chances of expanding as its potential
community of members may see it as not being a 'serious' LUG.

This is why I made the suggestion of the Conference of Australian LUGs -
it means that at least once a year a LUG exec member can meet with
others and LA to share ideas and knowledge and hopefully develop
strategies to better run their LUG and expand their membership. I think
that the teleconf participation by a LUG rep is also an excellent idea
to help LUG-LA communications - possibly putting this on a rotational
basis amongst LUGs (rather than just asking for calls for participation)
may be a good way of ensuring that everyone gets to participate.

I agree with Jeff - its better communications rather than representation
that's needed and ideas like the LUG-roundup, LUG rep teleconfs and
possibly a COALUG meeting of some form could form an important part of
this. With more communication between LUGs and LA it is likely that more
regional/small LUGs would nominate for LA committee.

On the issue of getting speakers, etc. to LUGs - this is something
TasLUG's been discussing for a while. We want to try and have a major
event in addition to our regular monthly meetings once a quarter eg. get
someone (either interstate or overseas) down to talk at least once a
quarter or run some other major event. It'd also be great to get a
LA-rep down for one of these so we can all "touch-base". However, the
limit of 50 LUG members may be a trifle high for many small-yet-active
LUGs (TasLUG has over 50, but many others that are just as active do
not) - the measure probably should be more based on activity with a
smaller min. member number or alternatively on a purely discretionary
grants basis, then the LA community has an opportunity to comment before
making a speaking grant - although this adds extra admin to the LUG and
to LA.

As far as getting internationals down to talk, maybe try and co-ordinate
these talks with international visits for LCA - eg. after LCA maybe some
speakers would be able to do a talk for a LUG or two. I know many of
them are too busy and only fly-in/fly-out but if LA can even get 2-3 a
year that will reduce the cost as the international leg of their fare is
already paid.



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