[PLUG] Mailing list issues - Quick vote

Praveen A pravi.a at gmail.com
Mon Jan 21 20:22:38 IST 2013

2013/1/9 Sankarshan Mukhopadhyay <sankarshan.mukhopadhyay at gmail.com>:
> I have been reading this thread for a while. And, not just this
> iteration. There are a couple of things which leave me a bit upset.
> One, the original email from Sudhanwa left more issues un-addressed
> than it did by way of explanation. The exposition was more
> (admittedly, paraphrasing) "certain issues compel things to be the way
> they are, persons unnamed (due to safety in anonymity) are discussing
> and changes may happen". Unfortunately, most of the traffic on the
> list subsequently has been about "the issue". The expected nature of
> traffic on an UserGroup list is never always limited to "let's dissect
> what is wrong with the mailman settings for this list". Because that
> approach defines an oddly practised form of tautology.
> I've been lurking on this list for a while now. And, while the genesis
> of the crisis - lack of traffic - may have been due to settings, the
> lack of traffic itself is very upsetting. There could be a number of
> reasons for that - specialized groups and forums are available to
> discuss everything under the sun, newbies may not be facing any issues
> while installation (Paradise Regained - every single piece of new
> hardware just works !), or, that there is simply nothing to discuss.
> Whatever may the reason be - that should be thought about. On a side
> note, this isn't unique - most of the major LUG lists are seeing
> dwindling traffic. The difference in this case is that it is sharply
> approached zero.

We have to change the narrative now. There definitely are problems
that needs to be solved, but the barrier to cross them is higher, so
we need more mentors. I think, we have to build a community that can
solve it. Probably we need to mentor new people in the community, give
them opportunities, allow them to make mistakes, challenge them to
take it further, have a continued dialogue.

I look at it as an opportunity too as we have crossed the stage of
being able to solve our problems ourselves by little fiddling. Now we
need to build a community of hackers to solve our problems. Even if we
could solve them ourselves, there are so many of them to solve it

Also, I think this means there is now more upstream contributions
happening than activity in the lugs. If you look at debian, fedora,
kde etc we have active and thriving communities. I think the role of
user groups would be to connect new people, especially students to the
larger upstream communities.

But there is always scope for a lug to reach out to new campuses with
linux install fests. That is the starting point of being part of the
community. Even though the people who are already in lug might know
how to install GNU/Linux, there are many out there who have not got a
chance to enter this community.

So I see the role of lugs as,

1. Reach out to new people.
2. Mentor them and connect with the wider community.

Note: This is clearly looking at contribution as a a goal and this is
my personal goal. Other people might have different ideas on it.

> Pune has its flagship event in GNUnify - that the LUG list doesn't see
> much activity is probably something of an oddity. I am old school and
> while forums like G+ are always welcome (and, I'm happy that
> individuals have decided to come together to create the community
> page) in terms of outreach and conversations, a mailing list is more
> than that. Tooling that measures the vibrancy and activity of
> communities still use mailman archives to generate graphs.

പ്രവീണ്‍ അരിമ്പ്രത്തൊടിയില്‍
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they follow the rules: laws and constitution.

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