[nSLUG] Encouraging participation and reaching out into the community

Michael Gillie mikegpc at gmail.com
Wed Jul 17 14:29:02 ADT 2013

I agree with you Ben. I decided to follow the twitter side of things. I
don't tweet a whole lot, so I am looking forward to seeing things from a
different point of view...


On Wednesday, July 17, 2013, Ben Armstrong wrote:

> Jack,
> Thanks for your thoughtful contribution to the discussion.
> On 07/17/2013 12:50 PM, Jack Warkentin wrote:
> > I have two concerns over having a twitter account.
> Those are valid concerns. I hope to perhaps diminish your anxiety a bit
> by explaining how to address each of them.
> > First: I enjoy *all* of the posts to the email list, and making the
> > occasional posting myself. If I don't participate in the new twitter
> > account, I am concerned that I will miss out on something that might
> > *really* interest me.
> You might. But you might also be already missing out on what happens on
> irc, and we've had an irc channel for a very long time. Plus, people who
> don't show up for our monthly meetings miss out on that ... I'm afraid
> the only way to guarantee you do *not* miss out is to show up. :)
> That being said, if there are significant goings on in Twitter that any
> of us who follow it think would interest others on the list, we'll try
> to remember to post it there as well.
> > Second: If we start using some communication device other than the email
> > list, then next might come a facebook account,
> Indeed, why not? I agree, that probably would be the next logical step.
> > a linkedin (I think
> > that's how it is spelled) account, and who knows what else. That could
> > split the group into subgroups among which intersubgroup communication
> > is significantly reduced. I think the group is small enough as it is
> > that such splitting would be undesirable.
> If it really did diminish the size of our community every time one of
> these new "back-channels" emerged, I would agree. Fragmentation*** of
> our already rather small community would not be a good thing. But that
> has not been my experience so far. People who are only on irc and don't
> participate on the list probably prefer weren't going to participate on
> the list to begin with, and just enjoy having that contact with us.
> People who are on both irc and the list enjoy doing both, and being on
> one doesn't diminish use of the other. I anticipate Twitter will be very
> much the same in its impact.
> > On the other hand, I know that people who have jobs, or would like to
> > have jobs, are pretty well compelled to have presences on social media.
> > As a 75-year old old fogy, I guess it is a luxury for me not to have to
> > have such a presence. I just hope that my above concerns fail to
> > materialize.
> I predict they won't. Meanwhile, you may reserve the right to say "I
> told you so" later, if they do. :)  But seriously, let's wait and see
> how beginning to use social media with the group has an impact on our
> community and several months to a year from now, we can assess how it
> went, and if anything needs to change. Like you, I truly don't want to
> see any harm come to our community and would not be encouraging us to go
> down this road if I hadn't thought it through and deemed the risk to be
> very slight.
> Ben
> *** I would assert that in Linux communities since the beginning of
> history there has always been a concern about fragmentation. But over
> time what has happened is, each time a new "splinter community" emerges,
> it tends to add to existing communities rather than bleeding away people
> from the old. So today we have a marvelously diverse set of communities
> around free software that reflects all of our different desires and
> needs, and a lot of crossover of membership between them.
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Have a great day,

Michael C. Gillie

Skype: hemmysoft
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