Hi Sam and WLUG members
These are all good points which we need to consider. I believe we could
continue as a club for FOSS and linux users. Should we (can we) do more,
promoting FOSS to a wider audience? If so how should we do it?
Whatever we decide we need office-holders and members who will support them.
On 15/11/10 22:42, Sam Lin wrote:
Hi Rod and WLUG fellows -
I am a PCBSD (or FreeBSD) user and have attended couples of WLUG
activities recently including Monday meetings, Saturday workshops,
SFD2008@Waikato University, SFD2010@Central Plaza and eDay2010. I have
for the last few years been using and contributing to FLOSS both on
*BSD and Windows, and have also been spreading the word of FLOSS
whenever there is "appropriate" chance.
For a long time I have usually, if not always, felt that *BSD, Linux
or even FLOSS is still giving the general public a wrong impression
that these are for geeks but not for the them to use. One example is
that all books regarding Linux are titled something like "Building a
Linux server system", "Linux systems", "xxx Programming Language
Bible" etc whereas undeniably these would scare most general users
away. While more general books and online tutorials for general users
are coming out nowadays, these are still far less than those technical
stuff. Another example is that the term Linux refers not to a OS but
to a kernel, whereas general users just don't realise the difference
between them nor do they care what they exactly are; all they care is
- how to use those common/useful software in their daily lives. This
is what the public is interested in as well as in need of the most.
Linux? System administrating? Programming? These are definitely useful
for techies but sorry most people just don't intend to bother them. As
a side note, in NZ there used to be a user group called NZFUG (New
Zealand FreeBSD User Group) but apparently they have disbanded years
ago, which I believe is due to fail to draw the public's interest
mainly for the similar reason. Sadly enough, all official FreeBSD
webpage/ftp mirror sites in NZ were also discontinued due to the lack
of maintainers for ages. I see WLUG is unfortunately following the
WLUG has been holding several interesting talks in the meetings as
well as valuable activities, I felt WLUG (and probably other
FLOSS-related user groups too) needs to focus more on the general user
base. An introduction to Inkscape given by Stephen last month is a
good start. I think similar tutorials/seminars about other FLOSS e.g.
GIMP, Scribus etc would be helpful for both the user group and the
public. While technical skills is an important part of WLUG, I think
expanding and promoting FLOSS to a wider audience urgently need to be
prioritised - if the user group is still to be continued. I also think
that the user group had better not claim something like FLOSS/Linux
but instead use the term FOSS as this otherwise would give the public
an impression that all these was only for Linux, whereas in fact FLOSS
exist on *BSD, Windows and other platforms. That said, by using the
term "FLOSS" instead of "FLOSS/Linux" it would be less likely to
ourselves from the otherwise potential yet wide user base.
I was even dreaming that, if I were to lead the WLUG, I would rename
the user group to say WFUG (Waikato FLOSS User Group) and merge those
FLOSS users at the Waikato or even in NZ from other platforms -
regardless of *BSD, Linux, Mac or Windows. Perhaps it is only by
combining these sparse forces that could increase the odds to sustain
the FLOSS community at Waikato or in NZ in the long run.
Regarding the finances, I felt some expenses had not been necessary
nor worth the outcomes. Software Freedom Day this year was actually
not really successful as people really do not want to be disturbed in
the middle of their shopping by someone proposing FLOSS. As for the
Internet usage/cost, I think Internet is also not necessary in the
Saturday workshops as the workshop shouldn't be a free Internet cafe
(another reason is that downloading in NZ is by nature not favourable
due to the restriction in the monthly Internet usage policy in NZ). To
help visitors install FLOSS/ISOs these could have been prepared on
disks in advance rather than repeatedly downloaded during the
Another thing I felt WLUG needs to improve is communication within the
user group member as well as with the public. Take eDay2010 for
example, some people was told by the user group that he would be
assigned the time and tasks by email before eDay whereas ultimately he
didn't get any contact from the user group. Communication within the
user group needs to be organised and improved. As for the
communication with the public, this has largely to do with
advertisement. Not many people know about WLUG and the activities the
user group has been holding. There are actually many low-cost or even
free yet more effective ways to advertise WLUG activities... for
instance Facebook, Tweet, or "chain-email" through friends of friends
Just my two cents.
To:?Waikato Linux Users Group<wlug(a)list.waikato.ac.nz>
Date:?Wed, 10 Nov 2010 08:24:12 +1300
Subject:?Wake-up call. Where to next for WLUG?
Hi WLUG members
Most members of the committee are retiring or leaving. Nobody has
definitely indicated they are willing to stand again...
What do you want WLUG to do in the future?
What activities should we focus on? What else should we be doing? What
will get your support and continued membership?
Should we concentrate mainly on technical skills, or promoting
FOSS/Linux to a wider audience, or both?
The membership has dwindled somewhat, as have our
finances, due to
reduced membership and to Software Freedom Day expenses being higher
than planned (liability insurance etc).
Should we continue as an incorporated society or
become an informal
group with shared interests or disband altogether? Unless we get
enough people coming forward to hold? office and continue membership
we will have no choice but to disband.
For a quorum we need 50% of the membership or 15
members to attend, so
come to the AGM which will decide these matters. Let us know what you
what you want WLUG to do and what you can do to contribute to the
future of WLUG.
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