[nSLUG] Encouraging participation and reaching out into the community

Kenneth kenneth.evoy at gmail.com
Tue Jul 16 08:41:32 ADT 2013

On 07/16/2013 07:49 AM, Ben Armstrong wrote:
> I think we need a bit of perspective on what Mike has done by setting up
> a twitter account for the group:
> This group has always encouraged its members to exercise their freedom
> to take initiative and make their own contributions in whatever way they
> see fit. And by times that initiative has taken shape in "reaching out"
> kinds of activity (remember the installfests?) So, nothing new here.
> Also, keep in mind that we did meet and discuss already about Mike's
> technical talks idea, so this is really just a means to an end: to carry
> that off successfully, he needed some means to a) solicit help and b)
> get the word out. Arguably, the former could be done entirely on the
> mailing list, but we'd potentially miss out on help from the very same
> new people Mike hopes we can reach through this event. As for the
> latter, in this modern age of social media, I think it's shortsighted of
> us if we ignore this powerful platform for reaching people.
> On 15/07/13 11:52 PM, Michael Gillie wrote:
>> Let some of the younger generation expand the currently limited
>> horizon of the NSLUG mailing list. Note that i say expand, not
>> replace.
> That's the crux of the matter. Whatever distaste some members may
> express about social media, it is not a threat to what we have going
> here on the mailing list. All substantial conversation will still happen
> on the list. The social media channels are just convenient ways of
> reaching out and getting information to people who might not otherwise
> see it.
>> If it will upset some key members like Jack and Frank, maybe the
>> best thing to do is not involve twitter at all....
> And then you go and contradict yourself, Michael. Don't do that. :)
> First of all, although I'm sure they appreciate the flattery of being
> called "key" members, aren't we all "key" members, all of us who spend
> any time at all participating? We're all peers with an equal voice in
> how we run the group and equal opportunity to jump in and get things
> started. Second, I didn't see anyone get truly upset over this. I don't
> think it's a big enough issue to warrant any drastic action.
> We've heard from some who won't be participating. No problem.
> Participation is not mandatory. Objectors can opt out. We've also heard
> from those same people that they prefer conversations be "kept on the
> mailing list". No problem there, either.
> Maybe those opting out just need a bit of an idea exactly what this is
> for? Then you can, I hope, reevaluate the value to the group.  Here is
> what Mike has posted so far (most recent first, as is usual with twitter):
> NS Linux Users Group ‏@NSLUG 20h
> Anyone want to volunteer to make us some posters to advertise our next
> meeting, and/or flyers to advertise NSLUG? #Halifax
> NS Linux Users Group ‏@NSLUG 14 Jul
> @mosaichfx: NSLUG is having an evening of technical talks Aug 12 at
> 5:30pm. Would folks from your group want to join us? Give a talk?
> NS Linux Users Group ‏@NSLUG 12 Jul
> Want to help, but not interested in speaking at our next meeting? We
> still need people to make posters etc. Tweet to @mikedoherty_ca
> NS Linux Users Group ‏@NSLUG 12 Jul
> Want to show off your cool open-source side-project? Tweet us your pitch
> and you could be our next speaker on Aug 12. #Halifax #linux
> NS Linux Users Group ‏@NSLUG 11 Jul
> We're putting on an evening of technical talks Monday August 12, 5:30pm
> at @dalfcs. More info: http://nslug.ns.ca/mailman/listinfo/nslug> #linux #Halifax
> Now, there's nothing particularly new here. Mike already mentioned the
> planned technical talks on the list and solicited help there. Except for
> a few mundane details of getting the event organized (re. posters,
> flyers) Mike's post substantially covered all of the above.
> I'll stress again: this is outreach. Each of those hash-tags above
> (#linux, #Halifax, etc.) will ensure those tweets get seen by people who
> search for them, and each time some other twitter account is mentioned
> (@mosaicfs, @dalfcs) the messages reach not only the owners of those
> accounts, but also people following them.
> To sum up: I saw some mild objections in this thread to twitter, and I
> feel I've addressed them above. The account is out there now and Mike is
> actively posting to it. I think it is a net positive for the group. Now,
> my opinion should carry no more weight than any other's here, but I
> don't see anything happening here that's going to harm the community
> we've established on the list, and see nothing but the positives on the
> other side of the argument: Mike's initiative is rewarded, more people
> learn about our little group and join in, and we all learn to get along
> a bit better.
> If, after all this, there are those who strongly feel the new twitter
> account is bad for the group, please make your case for it. But I think
> at this point, we would need to hear a pretty compelling reason to take
> any action against it, so make your point well.
> Cheers,
> Ben
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> nSLUG at nslug.ns.ca
> http://nslug.ns.ca/mailman/listinfo/nslug

All good points.  This may be the most discussion a Twitter account with 11 followers has ever had!

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