[RndTbl] Meeting ideas
high.res.mike at gmail.com
Thu Feb 12 00:44:36 CST 2009
Kelly Leveille wrote:
> Hi All,
> I had a few ideas about for the meetings I thought I'd air for others to
> comment on.
Ideas are good. Comments are free. ;-)
> Someone asked about "newbie" friendly topics, so how about a "command of
> the month"? It might be fun to have a different person each month do a
> micro presentation (10-15 mins max) on a single command. It should be
> enough to introduce the command & then provide a couple brief examples
> of usage scenarios. These presentations should be all demo (terminal)
> with no slides required. This might be a good way refresh the memories
> of the more experienced users, enlighten us "newbies" & would provide a
> not so stressful way to get more of the group members to become
> "presenters". Finally, the same command could be explored in more detail
> in the newsletter which might encourage more contribution there.
The meetings do tend toward the more advanced topics don't they... For
the most part, I'm starting to catch on. This is after eight or nine
years as a member of the group though. I don't think anybody would have
a problem with a "newbie session" every now and then. However the
majority of those actually going to the meetings aren't newbies and may
be turned off if there were no more advanced topics.
I suppose we could look at alternatives for presentation times. There
was, at one point, a second day set aside just to get together socially
and talk computers. I don't think we had more than three or four people
show up. I suspect if the group spun-off a newbie session in a similar
way the results would be the same. Maybe (if it's OK with Steve) we
could have the newbies meet at the table out in the hall at 6:30 before
the main meeting... I like your idea about micro-presentations. Maybe we
could have an advanced one and a newbie one taking place in different
rooms. The users would know in advance which one they would want to
attend. The groups would then join together for the main meeting.
On a related note, I was asked to give the MWCS a newbie level
presentation on Linux equivalents to typical Windows tasks. Stuff like
how to show a process list within a GUI, where to find the system
information, or what is the equivalent to the "My Computer" icon. If
things work out the presentation will take place at the next MWCS
meeting (a week before the MUUG meeting). If anyone wants to attend that
presentation they are more than welcome to drop by. I can even give the
same presentation to the MUUG if anyone wants.
> Second, it might be a nice change to have the presentation during the
> first half of the meeting, then take the break & finish with the round
> table. For longer presentations, we could take the break after an hour &
> resume after the break. This would allow "breathing room" for longer
> presentations as well as a an opportunity for more focussed round-table
> session following the presentation. As a side benefit, it would also
> provide the option of getting home earlier (without missing as much of
> the presentation) to anyone who was not able to stay to the end or not
> interested in the discussion that followed.
Yeah, but the door prizes are still at the end of the meeting. Right. ;-)
Seriously... I can see advantages to both ways. For example, with the
current format the discussion is not necessarily limited to the content
of the presentation. No offence to any of the presenters, however there
were times when the round table discussion was more informative than the
main presentation. I'd suggest your format if the presenter had to leave
early or if the weather was likely to turn bad. The thing is we probably
don't want too many people leaving early either because if there is
nobody left to answer questions then when will questions get answered?
We can't put the burden on the exec to stick around when everybody else
has left. Last nights demo of the Ham radio spreadsheet was a happy
bonus (I thought it was a practical application to show what can be done
with computers in general and Linux in particular), but would there have
been as many people sticking around for it if Gilberts presentation went
BTW, in my experience the "###" generally means the number is to big to
be displayed in the cell. The solution is to format the cells to display
the number in such a way as to fit the cell width. Alternatively the
column could be made wider.
> I've been a member for a few years now but don't know if this approach
> was ever tried.
I remember a couple of times when the presenter went first because they
had to leave early.
> Any comments?
Good ideas. Worth more discussion.
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