[LUGcomms] virtual lug talks
russell-linuxaus at stuart.id.au
Thu Mar 18 20:59:00 AEDT 2021
This is a follow up to the virtual LUG meeting we had at LCA 2021. It's
far too late. Apologies for that.
Before getting into the meat of it, there is something you should be
aware of. I suggested we convene on this mailing list because it was
inactive. But now I'm a moderator, I can see 64 current subscribers who
will get this email, and there were about 10 of us. I think that is a
First, a summary of our online meeting.
I gather we agree LUG's are all suffer from two problems. One
immediate: COVID wrecking havoc with our normal meetup habits. The
second is long term. There is less interest in the style of gatherings
LUG's tend to have, ie meetings based on running Linux on your PC.
I will add to these two other things we seem to agree on: enthusiasm for
open source is as strong as ever. The active participation LUG's used
to attract hasn't gone away. It's just splintered into lots of
different meetup's, online communities and conferences. In fact here
in Brisbane I would lay long odds if added up all the hours people spend
would find it far surpasses the interest Humbug attracted at its peak,
and at that peak was well over 100 people attending every meeting. The
second observation is those meetup's in particular have been battered by
COVID 19, just as we have been.
The nub of this email is it appears we open source people have a problem
in common with LUG's: COVID 19 is preventing us from getting together to
have a natter about our favourite interest. And it also appears to me
the LUG's could band together to provide an answer to that common
problem. Most of us have roused up speakers in the past, and we tend to
have the broad social networks needed to do the job. We also have the
in-house expertise to set up virtual Australia wide talk. Well, to be
more precise LUV has that expertise, in fact they do it now. And
finally, we have the ear of the LA council.
On the subject of the LA council, I should set expectations. I've been
the LA treasurer for 4 years, so I can say with some authority they are
like the rest of open source: the council is a do'oracy. Things happen
because someone gave up their spare time to make it happen. In a
do'oracy the people in charge tend to be the people who gave up their
time. The people on the council are busy people already. They can't
and won't be organising and throwing resources our way to make our job
easier. If this is a success, it will be because we made it a success
and it will be ours to own. But ... they do have access to money. They
are pretty tight fisted with that money - to have any hope of being
granted some, you have to convince them you are advancing open source.
And even then we aren't talking a lot of money. But if this is a
success and we need to pay for VM's or bandwidth, I expect the smallish
means required to do that will be forthcoming after a suitable amount of
begging. We might also need to provide headsets to speakers to ensure
suitable audio quality.
The proposal is we LUGS organise a regular nation wide virtual meetup
that our members can attend, the bait being talks. Ie, no different to
what we used to do, but virtual. And that we actively seek to make this
appealing to the splintered offshoots, so they also provide talks and
their members attend. Doing that will lessen the load and broaden the
group. The nuts and bolts of this proposal are:
- LUV sets up the infrastructure for a nation wide virtual meeting.
Apart from organising the server, this boils down to providing
speakers and attendees with suitable URL's.
- Each participating LUG undertakes by replying to this email to find
suitable speakers on a rotating basis.
- I suggest we organise with a calendar like thing (cloud spreadsheet,
trello or whatever) with a LUGS name beside each meeting date, and
the LUG enters the talk names they have lined up. Continuity is
critical, and this will allow is to see if someone is having trouble
so others can step up with a talk they already have.
- The LUG's will activity canvas other open source'y groups in their
area, asking them if they know of speakers who could contribute and
members who would be interested in attending.
- We will maintain a registry of those other open source groups and
their contacts to ensure the process can continue as people fall off
- We will actively encourage people from outside the LUG's to join us
as organisers of this - ie allow them to organise talks, giving them
access to whatever small amounts of infrastructure we have.
- For clarity for now the only explicit goal is to have a talk
organised, invites containing URL's distributed, and perhaps more
than 20 attend. If we regularly pull that off I'll deem the
endeavour a wild success. Other things like recording the talks or
providing chat rooms for other purposes will probably happen, but
for the moment the focus is simply on getting this ball rolling.
I will also create a folder on LA's Google account that will initially
contain the two spreadsheets mentioned above - the meeting dates and
group registry, and I will share that folder with whoever replies to
this email. (I'm guessing we will change this arrangement later.)
Russell Coker, has to reply to this email on behalf of LUV saying they
will step up and organise the infrastructure for the first few rounds of
WE have to decide on meeting dates and frequency.
YOU have to reply to this email, saying:
- You are interested in arranging talks on behalf of LUG xxxx in area
- You will contact other open source groups in your area canvassing
- You will host (introduce speakers, your LUG, etc) your talks on
the infrastructure we come up with,
- You will distribute the invites containing the URL's to the talks far
- You will keep any paperwork we decide on up to date with your doings
(eg, the talk schedule and registry mentioned above), and finally
- Any meeting time and frequency preferences your LUG has.
I, on behalf of Humbug (the Brisbane LUG), undertake to get the ball
rolling by organising the first talk. It will be from brispy, the local
Python meetup, who has ceased meeting due to COVID. With respects to
dates and times, fortnightly or monthly seems appropriate. If they take
off weekly might also be appropriate. On times, during weekdays
anything starting between 6:30 PM and 8:30 PM Queensland time (+1000) is
OK. On the weekends any time could probably be made to work.
+61 438 805 133
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