increasing attendance

Joel Fentin joel at
Wed Feb 5 11:29:09 CST 2003

> Also, I'm looking for some way to increase attendance at the meetings.
> Does anyone have any ideas?  Would hosting it at a location that serves
> food and/or alcohol help bring you to the meetings?  How about having
> some more interesting discussions than "What are the current problems and
> issues facing the group now?"  Perhaps using the group to organize a
> full project in Perl?  Let me know how you think we can create a more
> active group to learn from and share with.

1. I think we should have more structure than none. We should start on time
and have times set aside for certain things we will be doing at every

2. Somebody should teach a little something at each meeting. This could be
something short and simple. For example someone could teach when to use CGI
qw/:standard/; and when to use CGI; and why. How to use CGI::Carp qw(carpout
fatalsToBrowser);. Someone can present one trick or one troubleshooting
method per meeting. Keep it simple and keep it short, but keep it up. This
doesn't need more than 5 minutes. However teaching it in Chucky Cheese may
prove difficult.

At an early meeting I attended, Garrett spent a few minutes talking about
data types. He even passed out a sheet with examples. I still have those
examples. Another time he talked about the job board he wrote for this
group. I learned a lot about connecting to MySQL by looking at his listing.
Someone once talked about templates.

The idea here is to carve out a place for those at a low proficiency level.
Right now the burden is upon the beginner to know what he needs to know.

3. Get the webpage up. It's done and working over at Lamp Host. It has more
features than ever including a membership database with biography and photo
upload, a job board, links, and perl books. Does anyone know how to do the
DNS changes?

4. We can each invite/drive one perl programmer to the meetings. We each
know at least one perl programmer who is not attending and doesn't even know
what day nor where.

We have make it clear to the live-one that there is a space for him/her.
That this is not a clique. Once we get that person to the meeting, we should
give him a prepared sheet/card about our group. I think we should ask his
email address and we should add him to the list server group. In other
words, the initiative should be on our part.

5. Experimenting with food and alcohol (as mentioned above) sounds like a
good idea. At the VB meetings there are frequently free soft drinks.

6. Employment issues might be on the agenda. The VB group use to devote 2
minutes to permit recruiters to introduce themselves and for those searching
for work to stand up and say what they want. I added a job board to the
website. It has a place for jobs offered and one for jobs wanted. Potential
employers can be notified of its existence.

7. We are not the only ones going through this. For years the VB meetings
averaged about 75 people per meeting. There were frequently 10 recruiters
looking for programmers to sign up. The last meeting I attended had far
fewer attendees and no recruiters. Currently they are doing member outreach
and trying to decide if they should fold themselves into the .NET group.
Identity crisis.

The Macromedia/Dreamweaver seems to have folded.

There is supposedly a perl group in Tijuana. When I contacted them, I
learned they don't have enough people for a meeting.

8. For ideas you might wander over to the local VB site and look around.
It's extensive and might have items worth copying.

9. If there are local companies selling perl add-ons/add-ins, they can be
invited to a meeting to discuss what their product could do for us.

10. Go to the company. The most memorable meeting I went to was when we took
the tour of

11. We might want to have informal meetings of the executive committee to
discuss items like those raised here. This meeting can be in someone's home.
Joel Fentin    tel: 760-749-8863    FAX: 760-749-8864
email:   joel at


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