[Chicago-talk] Discussion about Chicago.PM and Meetings

Doug Bell madcityzen at gmail.com
Mon Jul 2 19:56:41 PDT 2012

I've been organizing our meetings for a few months now, and so it's a good
time for me to ask some questions that have been on my mind.

-- Special Topics

We're Perl, so we've got a diverse set of use-cases. Right now, it seems
that the majority of active members of Chicago Perl are working either in
science or finance, I think we can capitalize on that a bit (as was
suggested by David Mertens). Karen Pauley brought up that Perl as a
sysadmin tool hasn't been lauded or presented as much as it could be, and
there's also the old staple of Perl as a web platform (though not many
people I've talked to at the meetings are doing Perl largely for web stuff).

Do we want to focus ourselves on a narrower range of topics? Or if we have
a specific topic we want to spend some time on, should we add special
meetings/presentations about it?

-- Group Project

Andy Lester brought up the idea of a project night as a way to encourage
new users and get some code written. David has offered a project up based
on PDL (a nice GUI REPL for visualizing and manipulating data), and I've
got a desire to see ACT (YAPC::NA's conference management software) used
for Perl Monger groups. Of course, bringing your own code to work on would
be encouraged (there are plenty of CPAN module authors in the crowd).

Would a regular project night be interesting? Would it replace a meeting or
be an additional meeting?

-- Organization Management

I've set up a public Trello board (
https://trello.com/board/chicago-pm/4fb68e495c09cea2411ea3ff) for the ideas
I've had for Chicago.PM. It's open to anyone to post and comment, so please
do. My main focuses for now are getting a website up, and keeping the
presentation/meetings going (and I want to thank all of our past and
scheduled presenters for helping me with that).

-- Marketing

Does anyone know who holds the copyright on the logo used by Chicago.PM at
the Chicago YAPC::NA in 2008? I'd like to use that to get cards printed up
by The Game Crafter (both poker and business).

Otherwise, I've been thinking that cross-marketing with other Chicago user
groups will be our most effective method of marketing. Meetup will get us
users if there's an interesting topic, and I've been talking with our
active members enough to know there are plenty of interesting topics we can
talk about. More ideas I've had for marketing are on the Trello, and feel
free to add any ideas you have.

-- Venue and refreshments

Our venue is fine, Bank of America will continue to provide us with meeting
space for the foreseeable future. However, in spite of the most obvious
benefit (it's absolutely free), there are a couple drawbacks:

1) There's no public Internet provided.
2) The doors are locked around 6:00p-6:30p, requiring people to enter at
the Madison St. entrance, and knock to get the security guards' attention.

(1) could be solved by bringing tethering devices, the 4G signal is
excellent in those rooms for some reason. (2) could be solved by having the
meetings at 6, with presentation starting at 6:10-ish, but I'm wary about
pushing the time up before 7, due to transit and work hours and other

We could also go a different route, to one of the co-working places:

coworkchicago.com has rentals for private meeting space (though ours would
be public). No price on the website.

I've been to Tech Nexus and it's quite nice (but they don't have a price
for user group meetings and their regular prices seem out of our range).
They also have security, but the doors are open at least.

enerspacechicago.com seems new, and would be $70/mo if we kept our 2-hour
meetings, $20 for 1-hr meetings.

The drawback for those are they're not free.

We could also go a different different route, if anyone else has

As for refreshments, the tried-and-true beer and pizza is okay, but I'm
open to suggestions. Does anyone want soda? What kind? A specific beer from
a location very near 540 W Madison? A different kind of delivered food?

Doug Bell
madcityzen at gmail.com
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