[kwlug-disc] On lowering new member hurdles & comment cards.

unsolicited unsolicited at swiz.ca
Thu May 6 19:51:01 EDT 2010

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you're saying "Yes.", here?

There is already the sheet that gets passed around for name, new, 
e-mail. None, except for maybe 'new', need be on the survey. Unless 
the person wants it to be. Perhaps for someone to send an e-mail with 
links to the web site and list information?

Shane wrote, On 05/06/2010 7:15 PM:
> Right back to before.  A sheet for first name, contact (preferably
> email), level of experience, distro(s)?, is there anything you'd
> like to find out/talk about?
> This is data.  How many new?  How many from MS?  From Apple? From
> Commodore/Radio Shack/who knows.  where?  What do they want to
> know?  What do they know that they would like to talk about?
> Now that you have data you can make plans using it.  Social
> evenings are good, even for geeks.  People are more interactive
> with a friendly group than a bunch of strangers.  You really have
> no real idea why many will be there.  Social?  Technical?  What
> mix?  It will likely not happen in a hurry but you could attract,
> or even develop, some very good resources.
> ================It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the
> size of the fight in the dog.
> -----Original Message----- From: unsolicited <unsolicited at swiz.ca> 
> Date: Thu, 06 May 2010 18:53:39 To:
> Kwlug-Disc<kwlug-disc at kwlug.org> Subject: [kwlug-disc] On lowering
> new member hurdles & comment cards.
> This will ramble about, so please bear with me. I'm just throwing 
> stuff out here to see what, if anything, sticks. Apologies for the
> length.
> kwlug is member driven. Understandably and rightly so. But what I 
> really mean is, kwlug members create their own content, for 
> themselves. The content presented reflects that. Again, all rightly
> so.
> So, content reflects those whom are members, not those who might be
> or could be members, or new members. There is a sensitivity to some
>  extent to the desires of such, but content largely reflects those
> who are members, or, more accurately - those who are willing to
> step up. [And thank you all, by the way, for stepping up.]
> The topics presented consist of material the members themselves are
>  willing to step up and produce. And so reflect the interests and 
> content those producing members are passionate about. Again, all 
> rightly so.
> A sticking point with being able to be new member friendly seems to
> be to get them onto the communication pathways that already exist.
> I've never, for example, seen anything but "Hail fellow, well met!"
> and "The only stupid question is the one not asked!" on the list.
> But it seems to be chicken and egg to get them on the list (or have
> them be comfortable / not overwhelmed with it). [Sorry, nature of
> the beast, deal.] They don't use the list because they don't know
> about the list, and they don't know about the list because ...
> On a side note: I very much liked an idea put forth on the list
> some time ago, I don't remember by whom, sorry, of a page on the
> site composed basically of links to "Reference links local kwlug
> people have found to be useful." (i.e. Well, I expect most of us
> know how frustrating the web can be some times.) Especially if some
> links can point to Bob's offer to author / edit / host articles on
> material local kwlug'ers have group collaborated on to produce, for
> lack of 'good' www material found. (Particularly that match Bob's
> standards - which are of a particularly excellent nature, not found
> often enough in today's technical literature.) [RouterStation Pro,
> anyone, yet?]
> There has been some recent list discussion with respect to the
> nature or the complexity of the material available (be it meeting,
>  presentation, web site, or list), both with respect to 'what it
> should be' or 'targeted towards', and to what might be more
> friendly to new users.
> It seems to me that you cannot hit a target when you don't know
> where that target is. So, hadn't we better find out where that
> target is?
> And the only way I can think of to collect such data is to ask -
> say by meeting comment cards (a la wwitpro) or surveys.
> There are two targets here: where, on average, are the current
> members at, and where are those new to kwlug at.
> So, if there is consensus that meeting surveys are appropriate and
>  would be useful, I'll volunteer to run with it.
> I think, however, we would also need to accumulate (anonymous)
> member profiles. Bear with me a moment, the idea is not as
> offensive as it may sound. The difference between a meeting survey
> and a user profile is that a user profile likely wouldn't change
> significantly, so don't ask them about it every time. And don't
> create a need to track submissions to track / remove duplicates.
> We talk about whether we are presenting the right material for the
>  members. Well, the only way to know that is if we know the nature
> of our members. So, elements of the profile might be:
> - what sort of user are you? Casual, internet & e-mail only, 
> programmer, office suite, administrator (and type: system, network,
>  security) - how 'comfortable' are you with computers? New to
> computers, new to Linux, short/long time Windows user, short/long
> time Linux user? - current distro? (Could be interesting! And
> probably startling.) - distros ever tried? - current Windowing
> system (Also interesting!) [Plus level, e.g. KDE4 users vs. KDE3 -
> it was quite a step, that one was!] - what do you do / interested
> in / enthusiastic about - programming (What/'Language'?), web
> creation, database, mail merge, systems, photography, graphic
> design, ???
> The point is, this is largely unchanging information, and the
> average 'complexity' of the users would largely drive the
> complexity of the presentations. But there can be only one record
> per member, and it must be presented in an anonymous aggregate.
> We're merely looking to find out where this complexity target is.
> Question: How to not intimidate new members?
> I have absolutely no idea how to accomplish this. I could see
> someone with appropriate expertise creating a web form, and
> attaching it to user profiles, but as soon as I consider how to
> require complete and unique records, how to anonymously aggregate
> it, and how to present it, I have no idea as to the specific
> technical steps required.
> Then there's a meeting survey. That I know I can do - arrive at a
> form everyone can live with, print them out, get the host to hand
> them out / collect them, get them to me, and I accumulate them into
> a monthly 'report'. Everything would be anonymous.
> First: *Absolutely nothing* on the form would discuss the quality
> of the presentation. If you have any problems - get off your heinie
> and present, yourself, already.
> Otherwise, it might have such things as: - On a scale of 1 to 10,
> how was the complexity of the topic for you: 1 being too simple, 5
> being just right, 10 being too advanced. - what would you like to
> see presentations on? - what would you like to see the floss fund
> donate to? - are you a member of the list? - what would you like to
> see kwlug do? - what might you like to contribute, if you were more
> comfortable or knew how? - Comments / Suggestions / anything you
> can think of to say?
> Which is all to say, without having to put your hand up and expose
>  yourself, do you know how to get help (list), how did you feel
> about *this* meeting, but most importantly - provide a (potential?)
> new member with a mechanism they understand and have to hand as to
> how to have their say / communicate. (vs. the list that they may
> not know about, or be a member of, yet.) [Yes, some of this,
> presentation request and floss fund nominees, have current
> mechanisms,  but I don't believe entries are being populated at
> quite the rate desired.]
> So, is there any consensus as to whether, or not, such profiles and
>  surveys are appropriate, useful, or desirable?
> If profiles are desired, will someone volunteer to run with
> effecting it?
> If either profiles or comment cards / surveys are desired, what
> should be on them?
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