[Usergroups] RE: Welcome to the "Usergroups" mailing list

Alex Clark aclark at aclark.net
Tue Nov 21 21:18:37 UTC 2006


Just trying to keep this list alive. Looks like we have a fair number of 
subscribers (18) but only a handful have introduced themselves!

An organization wants to host a ZPUGDC meeting in a foreign (read: possibly 
inconvenient for some but possibly more convenient for others) location.

This is a one time deal but could lead to the location being part of 
a regular rotation of meeting places.

An extremely un-scientific poll (emails to the list or me personally)
has resulted in a 50/50 split.

I plan to ask the list for a tie-breaker, but I'm just wondering 
what other UG organizers would do.



On Mon, Nov 06, 2006 at 09:53:52AM -0500, Chris Calloway wrote:
> Chris Emery wrote:
> >What would be the next step? My Director was thinking a charter for the
> >organization. 
> 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:
> http://lists.plone.org/pipermail/usergroups/2006-November/thread.html
> 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 
> Python.
> 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
> >Group). 
> 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.
> -- 
> Sincerely,
> Chris Calloway
> http://www.seacoos.org
> office: 332 Chapman Hall   phone: (919) 962-4323
> mail: Campus Box #3300, UNC-CH, Chapel Hill, NC 27599
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Alex Clark

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