[kwlug-disc] Summary: To be decided Monday - kwlug will meet at King & William going forward?

unsolicited unsolicited at swiz.ca
Sun Jan 3 12:08:38 EST 2010


Summary:

kwlug is looking for a new meeting location.

[1] Meeting location criteria post.

[2] New meeting location sourced.

[3] Proposal to committee to host kwlug without charge.

The committee that can approve meeting space without charge to kwlug
meets Wednesday - kwlug must decide at this Monday's meeting if it
wishes to be represented to the committee (as per [3]) and hold future
meetings at King & William.

[Messages have been variously snipped and edited.]

=====
[1] Meeting location criteria post.

unsolicited wrote, On 12/16/2009 4:58 PM:
> Received: Wednesday, December 9, 2009, 10:26 AM From: Paul Nijjar 
> To: kwlug-disc at kwlug.org Subject: [kwlug-disc] New locations 
> brainstorming As some of you know, we have likely lost the Huether 
> as a meeting location.

Speaking of (new) meeting locations, perhaps it would help if we
discussed the characteristics of what we'd like to see. Perhaps
Santa will be good to kwlug this year.

Overall I liked the Huether. I would be happy to go back there. I
parked at the Waterloo Public Library for free and walked two short
blocks. I liked not having to go anywhere to grab a bite.

Wherever we go, we're going to need to manage and meet the
expectations of whomever our hosts are, particularly if the space is
free. If the space is free I'd guess we'll have to show that we are of
interest to their other patrons - show that we are relevant to the
K-W community within which that free space sits. And kwlug will
have to change to some extent. Of course, too great a change would
be unwelcome by kwlug and the candidate site rejected.


We also need to know what sort of meeting space we'd like to see.
Which is what I'd like to open for discussion in this thread.

Some thoughts to seed the discussion:
- cost of entry must be absolutely free.
- reasonably nearby parking of sufficient size must be free.
- on a main bus route.
- big enough, for, say, 40 people, on average.
- chairs; perhaps some tables for those with laptops; projection screen
- reasonably quiet. Working Centre noise is what drove us to look
for alternative sites.
- preferable, but we seem to manage if the site doesn't have them to
hand: projector, some form of sound system (unless the space is
small and quiet enough to not need them.) Best if even Khalid
doesn't need a microphone.
   - white board? Meeting signs to direct people? One of those giant
pads of paper and stand?
- would be nice if larger alternate on-site space were available
by pre-arrangement for the better attended topics, e.g. MythTV.
- would be nice if there was space on-site to grab a bite rather
than having to go elsewhere. Such would also probably facilitate our
'ask your neighbour' recommendation. Would space, but no restaurant,
be acceptable?
- personally I'd prefer to be in K-W, and not the heck the other side
of Kitchener.
- Free internet access present. Of some reasonable speed. We have
shown that we can largely do without, at the Working Centre, but I
don't think people really want to. Too many netbooks are present
such that I think given two relatively equal choices - one with
access, one without, the internet location will be chosen hands
down. Even if only for the presenters to be able to show us the
web site of whatever they're presenting on.
- not at the Universities - aside from the cost of parking, I think
we collide with similar groups already on campus, and they have a
slightly different direction than kwlug. (Nothing prevents people
from attending both.) kwlug seems focused upon 'downtown everyman',
not post-secondary students / academia. No offense to anyone.

There's another aspect that I think we should also discuss. Manulife
would have been a fantastic place to meet, probably a really nice
setting and environment, but perhaps off-putting to some. On the
other hand, the Working Centre, given its raison d'etre, is
inherently visible and welcoming to newcomers. Not as stark as a
gymnasium but probably not as swank as Manulife. Does the kwlug
community have a preference or leaning towards one environment or the
other?


=====
[2] New meeting location sourced.

unsolicited wrote, On 12/18/2009 5:04 PM:
Dear kwlug:

I have sourced an alternate meeting site.

Directions:
http://maps.google.ca/maps/ms?source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Caroline+St+S+%26+William+St+W,+Waterloo,+Waterloo+Regional+Municipality,+Ontario&t=h&msa=0&ll=43.46171,-80.522473&spn=0.0008,0.001725&z=19&msid=117888502896854960306.00047a9014cd31c690a31

Pictures:
http://www.zooomr.com/photos/bsimageszooomr/sets/53122/view-detail/

As far as I can tell, it meets all of kwlug's meeting requirements,
and more.

The idea of a permanent 'home' for kwlug, in the sense of more space
and facilities than we could ever use, is rather exciting.


=====
[3] Proposal to committee to host kwlug without charge.

unsolicited wrote, On 12/31/2009 2:52 PM:
Dear kwlug:

Please find below a final draft of what Mike, the First United
coordinator, would propose to his committee in seeking approval for
kwlug to be granted room(s) without cost.

If there is a consensus at the Jan. 4th meeting, the approving
committee meets next Wednesday (6th), and Mike will take it to them
then.

Mike will attend the Monday kwlug meeting to answer any site questions.


PLEASE KEEP IN MIND THE FOLLOWING POINTS:

- ignore any reference to hardware. It is not a condition of being
granted the space. In principle I have already addressed and solved
these hardware issues. The only point at the moment is: Does kwlug
want to take advantage of this free space, given the conditions under
which the use of the space was (will be) approved, as shown below.

- it is understood that new member time is not currently being
offered, probably for lack of attendance. (No point staffing
something when nobody shows up.) If we again offer 6:00 - 7:00 PM
(or presentation simultaneous) new member time, and nobody shows up,
there's no point to offering it. We continue using the space and the
current situation remains unchanged.

- Mike will be the conduit for his new members. Until he's told
that a new member is interested, there is no need for new member
time. He is more than happy to be the only one present for that time,
unless and until sufficient numbers show up that he needs help. (He's
there anyways, to unlock the doors for us.)

- we had new member time. I presume there is a willingness to have it
again if there is an audience.

- NOTHING, IF ANYTHING, WILL CHANGE FOR KWLUG FOR SOME TIME. And not
even then if there is no demand - kwlug will continue to operate as
it recently has. Mike expects nothing would change - kwlug would
continue to be welcome to use the space for free, new member time or
no, barring demand.

[ed. <text>] comments in the text below are mine.

-----
(Remember - these are his word to his people, explaining what the
heck a 'kwlug' is.)

Outreach Proposal: KWLUG

KWLUG is a Linux user group. They are a strong supporter of open
source software. They can no longer meet at the Working Centre or the
Huether hotel. They need a new home.

The Working Centre, having completed its renovation to their two
Queen St. buildings, introduced a public retail cafe immediately
adjacent to their meeting space (no wall between), presumably in an
attempt to defray some costs. The noise resulting from this newly
introduced commercial activity had a drastic impact upon KWLUG
meetings - it became significantly difficult to hear speakers, even
with a microphone.

Later, prior to November 2009, meetings were held at the Huether
Hotel. Some members patronized the establishment afterwards - the
weather permitted outside patio use. In December it was learned that
the November meeting patronage levels were insufficient, patronage was
down, presumably as the patio had become too cold. At the December
meeting KWLUG was unexpectedly denied its usual meeting space at
arrival - a new and different Huether representative told us that the
required patronage ratio was actually expected to be more like 90%.
KWLUG, being free, can promise nothing. Typically, perhaps a dozen
people sit and snack after meetings. Now, 20 to 30 or more people were
required, which has never happened, and can not be promised.

*Vision/Reason*:
- Computer education: kwlug uses Linux and open source and shares
their experiences.
- Help each other with computers. All need computer skills today -
kwlug has always offered a venue to the community at large,
congregation or not. (What is a presentation, if not computer help?)

A basic premise of KWLUG is free to one and all - there are no
membership fees or any monetary costs at all to participate.

This is why I'm proposing allowing them to meet here as an outreach
project, so that they can continue.

*Responsible person(s)*: Mike S., Bill S.

*Meeting space requirements*:
- First non-holiday Monday of the month: new users 6-7 PM, meeting 7-9 PM.
- Space preferred: Parlour, but could move to some other rooms.
- Access to internet via dedicated box - to be turned on only when
meeting, and stored on the church premises.
   - Possible need for network drop in parlour – need to find that out.
[Ignore hardware issues for the purposes of this kwlug thread /
decision. No drop is required, but presence would be very helpful.]

*Advantages to the church:*
- Provides premise public internet access via a dedicated piece of
equipment to interested groups in the building - could be a value add.
[Since the internet value add idea has only come up now, kwlug is not
jumping into the deep end of the pool here - at this point there isn't
even a pool. They've obviously had insufficient demand for internet
access to date.]
- Having computer expertise available would hopefully provide a
service to our groups. [i.e. perhaps a kwlug member(s), given their
expertise and now being familiar with the location, may be willing
to help out at a church function. Certainly I myself would - I would
anyways.]
- No cost computer education opportunities are important.
- Open source software, including equivalents to commercial software,
is free. Zero cost of entry means everyone can take advantage of it.
e.g. Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office equivalents. Often, older
computers gain new life.
- Presentations provide more depth to various topics.
- Frequently, having simple questions answered in an informal setting
by others who have been there and done that is all that is needed to
be away to the races. To date the problem has been: Given typical
people costs, who can I afford to ask? kwlug is a mentoring and
support presence in our community, has been for some years now, and
needs a home.

[ed. It is understood that we are a Linux group, and don't do
'Computer 101'.]




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