[kwlug-disc] consider an alternative to monthly presentations ...

Robert P. J. Day rpjday at crashcourse.ca
Thu May 6 12:45:23 EDT 2010


   while there's been much discussion about how to restructure the  
monthly meetings to be as productive as possible, it strikes me that  
people are *way* too quick to address every problem with, "hey, that  
sounds like a presentation."  not everything needs to be a  
presentation.  in fact, it strikes me that, for many things, a public  
presentation is massive overkill.

   IMHO, the monthly meetings should be reserved for things for which  
there is *clear* value for everyone to be in the same place and, yes,  
there are certainly things that qualify.  but in lots of cases, it  
would be far more time-effective to simply supply the answer online  
somewhere.

   for instance, i offered to give a 20-minute spiel on how to compile  
a kernel next month.  but i'm well aware that most KWLUGers already  
know how to do this.  so why not just have me write a short piece on  
how to do it and post it in an online "library" at kwlug.org?

   there's little point in writing up a presentation, waiting up to a  
month to deliver it, then posting it at kwlug.org in the end, anyway.   
why not just start a new subsection at kwlug.org called "goodies?"   
some linux companies do this already, solely for the purpose of  
drawing eyeballs.  check out gurulabs.com:

   http://www.gurulabs.com/

note the "goodies" link, and what's at "guru guides":

   http://www.gurulabs.com/goodies/guru-guides/

granted, the quantity of goodies is not overwhelming, but you get the  
idea.  we could collectively discuss what most people want to know,  
then various people could take ownership of writing a tutorial or two,  
submitting it for the goodies page, then maintaining that page,  
expanding it as necessary and addressing reader questions.

   another possible extension is how the PHP manual is supported  
online.  here's a sample page:

   http://www.php.net/manual/en/install.unix.php

note how every page supports adding user notes, if a reader thinks  
there's something worth adding to the page.  and, on a regular basis,  
the maintainer could read the user notes, incorporate them into the  
page if it looks worthwhile, and remove the note.

   anyway, you get the idea.  thoughts?

rday




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