[TriZPUG] Triangle Python User Group

Curt Stump curt at curtstump.com
Sat Mar 24 03:58:54 CET 2012

Thanks Calvin, for reading all that, and responding.  I've arranged free 
speakers for events in advance, so when I say "arrange" I just mean 
schedule in advance.  Maybe for point number 5 (connecting with 
newcomers) I should say it this way: the group could benefit by creating 
a better way for newcomers to learn about members of the group and what 
they work on, etc.  I don't see a group email list as the best tool for 
that, though it does have other strengths like the straight-to-the-inbox 
feature.  Anyway, thanks for reading/commenting.


On 3/23/12 5:57 PM, Calvin Spealman wrote:
> On Fri, Mar 23, 2012 at 5:39 PM, Curt Stump <curt at curtstump.com 
> <mailto:curt at curtstump.com>> wrote:
>     Hi TriZPUG,
>     Since the group is in the process of rethinking its focus I'm
>     going to go out on a dangerous limb here and provide feedback as a
>     newcomer to the group.  I've attended only a few meetups.  Keep in
>     mind, what follows is just my /opinion/.
>     If you are interested in newcomers:
>     1) *A name change is a fantastic idea*.  I avoided coming for
>     several months initially simply because of the Zope
>     reference/focus.  I am seeking Python.
>     2) *Use the meetup website *instead of mail lists and trizpug
>     website. Benefits: A) the group looks bigger and more active to
>     newcomers [and importantly to those who are considering joining],
>     B) group communication will be easier than the
>     mixed/top/bottom/full replies that now show up in long email
>     chains.  Members would of course need to join meetup but that's
>     pretty easy.  Then to attend specific meetups you simply click
>     "attend" in an email that's sent to you.  It's a pretty easy way
>     to increase your online visibility as a group.
> I'll be doing my part to encourage meetup.com <http://meetup.com> 
> usage, and I would really like to see more people /actually/ RSVP. 
> This does make the group look more attractive to others. Seeing zero 
> or a few people listed as attending, even when more showed up, is only 
> bad PR for us, so I agree here.
> However, I don't think we will or should move from the mailing list.., 
> fact is, a mailing list is a tried and truish communication tool for 
> technical groups and a lot of us are familiar with them, and they let 
> you see whats going on without having to go out to yet another site to 
> check for updates. My email inbox is my life inbox!
>     3) *Arrange a speaker in advance* for each month.  Advantages:
>     speaker has time to prepare a good presentation, and members will
>     know about the topic in advance (and can publicize it).  Putting
>     this information on meetup also gives newcomers an idea of what to
>     expect over time.
> Speakers cannot be "arranged" when they are free, but anyone can 
> volunteer. We could, of course, encourage this sooner/louder.
> Want to present something in April? Let us know!
> One idea: maybe we could alternate lightning talk and single longer 
> talks, and on the lightning talk months we'll have time to find and 
> encourage a more prepared full talk for the next month.
>     4) *Leave plenty of time for open discussion*, lightning talks,
>     etc. (something you are already doing).  This means there is
>     always a reason to come to the meetups independent of topic.
> There is always time to discuss afterwards, too, when we go out for 
> drinks.
>     5) *Connect with newcomers*, even if this means spending a bit of
>     extra effort. What I seek from a local Python group is not just a
>     meetup once per month but people I can interact with about Python
>     in the meantime (even if briefly via twitter or any quick means). 
>     The trizpug group email list is an option for this, but I don't
>     see the list being used this way (which I think is actually a good
>     thing).  Summary on this point: existing members probably already
>     have a local Python network whereas newcomers may not.  You can
>     help them get connected, even by simply encouraging existing
>     members to reach out to new members.
> As a newcomer you are connecting right here, right now. What are you 
> working on? What are you interested in? Let us know (on a different 
> thread)!
>     6) *Ask for feedback.*  Quick feedback (even anonymous if desired)
>     is easy with a tool like Survey Monkey for example (or even
>     directly on meetup.com <http://meetup.com> for simple polls). 
>     Also, members could set up surveys to test practically any idea
>     with the group, such as identifying potential speakers, desired
>     topics, group meeting times or location preferences, etc.
>     Remember, this is just my opinion, I'm not planning to defend any
>     of those points.  Take them if they make sense for your group,
>     otherwise just leave them.  Also I'm happy to volunteer time to
>     the group in areas where I can.  Thanks for hosting the meetups --
>     I've enjoyed them so far and hope to make future ones.
>     Curt Stump
>     email: create at curtstump.com <mailto:create at curtstump.com>
>     linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/curtstump
>     <http://www.linkedin.com/in/curtstump>
>     twitter: @CurtStump
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> -- 
> Read my blog! I depend on your acceptance of my opinion! I am interesting!
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