SPUG: Future of SPUG?

Ken Meyer kmeyer at blarg.net
Thu Oct 20 09:02:27 PDT 2005

This is a rampant disease of late, afflicting SLUG, the Unix Group; SeaBUG,
the BSD group; TacLUG, the Tacoma Linux group; and it will be GSLUG too,
when I get up the nerve to make good my threat to pull the plug.  I have
attended three "future of the order" meetings for the aforementioned groups
in the recent past, and it appears likely that I will have the opportunity
to do so for SPUG as well.

When I spend a good deal of effort to create a questionnaire for GSLUG, in
an attempt to address any improvements the group would advocate, and then
only three people out of 30 return them filled-out, and when offers of help
come with disclaimers that "I can do <whatever> next month, but can't [read;
I don't want to] commit to ongoing help" -- as if they were doing ME a
personal favor, rather than supporting the community of the art for their
own benefit as well as all others, I contemplate pulling the plug sooner
rather than later.  In fact, solitary organizers everywhere will probably
agree that it is more effort to educate a one-shot wonder than to do the job
oneself, and then some significant things will probably fall through the
cracks in one's absence -- boy, let me tell you.  I mention the travails of
these other groups because I think that there is a lot in common between
them, including with SPUG as well.

As for meetings during the day, lunch-time gatherings have flared-up from
time to time, including some pleasant ones instigated by Mr. Maher, and most
recently a downtown meeting of GSLUG types (including a 10-minute
presentation), but they have all petered-out for some reason.

I hate it when there is a request for suggestions and anyone who has the
temerity to offer one is immediately pressed to take on the responsibility
him or herself -- kind of kills the incentive for dialog.  However, given
that SPUG and GSLUG function as communes that have no elected officers or
resources from dues, it is necessary that people do more than make
suggestions that they apparently expect other people to implement.

It is puzzling to me why this lack of support is evidenced just when OSS
seems to be getting real traction; maybe it's that the major protagonists
are now too busy doing the work.  Dunno.

Ken M.

-----Original Message-----

From: spug-list-bounces+kmeyer=blarg.net at pm.org
[mailto:spug-list-bounces+kmeyer=blarg.net at pm.org]On Behalf Of Tim Maher
Sent: Thursday, October 20, 2005 7:40 AM
To: spug-list at pm.org

Subject: SPUG: Future of SPUG?

Fellow SPUGsters,

For the first time in its 8.5 year history, SPUG has skipped two
monthly technical meetings in a row. To put this statistic in
perspective, there was a time when SPUG averaged two technical
meetings /per month/!

It's a lot easier to keep a patient alive than it is to bring one
back from the dead, so before this patient dies altogether, it
would be prudent for interested parties to notice the disturbing
trends in its vital signs, and take corrective action.

When the previous SPUG leader retired (who was that guy?), there
was a lot of spirited talk about "one-man despotic leadership
regimes" being bad, and "committee-based leadership" and "voting"
being good, but as it happened, the leadership role ultimately
just sort of fell onto Andy's shoulders, leading to another one-
man leadership structure, which can place a heavy burden on that

I'm glad Andy was willing to take on the SPUGsponsibility, during
a difficult time when we didn't even have a regular meeting
space. But maybe Andy's shoulders are getting tired now, and
would like some help carrying the load?

Whatever's wrong with this patient, I think we should strive
to diagnose it quickly, and stabilize the vital signs ASAP,
before SPUG ends up dead--or even worse--in a persistent
vegetative state.

| Tim Maher, PhD     (206) 781-UNIX      (866) DOC-PERL     (866) DOC-UNIX |
| tim(AT)Consultix-Inc.Com  http://TeachMePerl.Com  http://TeachMeUnix.Com |
| CLASSES: Perl and CGI Programming, 11/14-18    UNIX Fundamentals: 12/6-9 |
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