Report of Activities - Sydney Linux Users Group - 2011
SLUG runs a meeting on the last Friday of every month, hosted at the Google offices in Pyrmont, Sydney.
The biggest change over the last 6 months has been the transition from a separate legal entity to a Linux Australia sub-committee. To people outside the committee actual changes where minimal with just the removal of membership fees.
The SLUG committee has the following aims:
- To increase the participation level of those members attending SLUG meetings.
- To increase access to meetings and presentations for those who do not or cannot attend meetings.
- Change and enhance the SLUG website to accommodate these aims.
To achieve these aims, the following was undertaken:
- Implementation of a live video stream of the SLUG meetings to allow those not attending to view the proceedings in real time, including provision of an IRC channel parallel to the video streaming so those not attending could participate.
- Upload all video of presentations immediately after the meeting to allow to allow interested parties to view the proceedings as soon as possible.
One of the central interests of the committee members was to take steps to enhance the degree of community participation at meetings. To achieve this, the structure of meetings was experimented with, the current formula is:
- A series of short talks lasting approximately 5 minutes (entitled Lightning Talks)
- Presentations or discussions which were approximately 30 minutes (including question time)
Additionally, committee members engaged in direct encouragement of participation by personally approaching members, discussing their interests and assisting them to overcome any issues which inhibited their participation in giving short or longer talks.
Attendance has approximated 25-30 persons per meeting, with a significant number of new attendees.
Lightning talks have included regular spots from four members.
A greater number of attending members have participated in giving talks than in recent years. Talks have ranged from desktop application use to ‘under-the-bonnet’ type presentations.
The live broadcasts participation is small but will probably grows as people become more used to the ideas.
- Female participation levels though steady are still limited in numbers. This is an issue which requires further, more concerted effort.
- SLUG did not participate directly in any community activities during 2011. For instance, SLUG had no presence on International Software Freedom Day, nor at the Education Expo. Nor were their any Install Days or community projects involvement.
- The SLUG website is currently still needs work.
During 2012 the SLUG committee is hoping to increase the LUGs community participation and engagement and a number of proposals have been put forward (eg. a permanent monthly presence at the North Rocks Computer Market)