[Usergroups] RE: Welcome to the "Usergroups" mailing list
cbc at unc.edu
Mon Nov 6 14:53:52 UTC 2006
Chris Emery wrote:
> What would be the next step? My Director was thinking a charter for the
Do you need a charter to meet? If not, I would recommend against it. The
looser your organization, the better. Chartering your group could tie it
to CPCC rather than Charlotte. And why charter a group which hasn't met
yet to solicit the input of the people who would participate.
Take a look at the archived of this group for this month:
and see my post about "Shotgun Rules for BAD Meetings."
The less hierarchical and formalized your group is, the more people will
feel inclined that their participation is required rather than
controlled. Also, spending time on charters, officers, elections, blah,
blah is not what you really want to spend your time on. You want to
spend it on Python and meeting other Python people.
People have to feel empowered to participate. If someone has to ask
herself, "Does the charter allow me to organize a boot camp?," or "Would
the board give me permission to present at this meeting?," or "Would the
secretary publish my weekend sprint announcement?," then there is too
much permission getting and not enough acting like adults going on.
I think a best next step is start making a list of all the people you
can find who are interested. You can find these people on the IT email
lists of CPCC, UNCC, and other local user groups, especially the local
Linux user group, sysadmins group, webcritters lists, etc.. Call up
every IT consulting firm in town. Create a listserv. Get those people on
it. Get them to refer other people they know. Grow the list of participants.
Then pick a meeting time and place and announce it on your listserv. Ask
key people to make ten minute presentations on what they are doing with
Be sure and take lots of pictures at your first meeting. Also, escrow
the presentation slides if any with a USB key. Because your next step
will be a Plone site. But you can worry about that later if you'd like.
> Also, I am still having an internal debate about whether Plone should be
> a primary focus or not (Python Users Group vs. Python-Plone Users
This is just my personal opinion. I know in certain geographic places,
people have good or historical reasons to feel differently. But it
always puzzled me to see community divided into separate Plone and
Python user groups in the same geographic area. If you are a Plonista,
you need a Python Users Group. Pythoneers may not necessarily need
Plone, however. But meeting should never be so monolithic that one
presentation dominates. Meetings should have lots of little
presentations on what several people are doing. Four or five ten minute
talks does a meeting good. Some about Python, some about Plone, some
about Zope, some about whatever people are doing with Python.
I think the "ZPUG" model from DC and the Triangle (Zope and Python Users
Group) works really well for including as many people as possible. Even
some of the non-Ploners in my group have been inspired by all the Plone
activity to show what they are doing with Twisted, Django, and
TurboGears. This has benefitted all of us because it puts WSGI on our
mutual radar. The cross-fertilization has been good.
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