First, all I can do is echo the
great supportive feedback from everyone else.
Last, I love the sound of
complaints, it's the sweet sound of volunteers voices we are
Cheers and much continued success-
a grateful newbie to all this!
Sent: Thursday, August 05,[masked]:36 PM
Subject: Re: [MontanaCoders] important please
Thanks so much for raising this topic, polling the
members, and most of all being the spearhead and the gardener that has been
keeping the community thriving. Despite any complaints you might be hearing -
I'm sure most people are much happier that it is here than if it weren't, even
if they're not always happy with any specific topic that gets chosen - but
choices have to be made!
As a strong advocate for self-organization, I'm
really glad that Meetup.com is built to make it easy for people to propose their
own meetups. If anyone has complaints - I suggest they just organize their own
mini-meet. I'm glad that the proposed meetups can get right onto the calendar
such as the Drupal sessions, the Joomla sessions, etc. But I know that these
specialized meetups would not be as healthy were it not for the umbrella group -
and for the healthy attendance at the main meetings.
I think you've been
doing a great job, and I echo what others have been saying. Kudos to you for the
Montana Programmers - thank you for keeping the fire burning. And please forgive
me and other members who don't make it to every meeting - it's not always easy
balancing all the choices. May you have a great barbecue event next week - I
wish I could be there.
On 8/5/10 12:53 PM, Ian Merwin wrote:
I posted this on the discussion board:
member has sent me an email with a totally valid concern they have. The
concern is based on content of meetings/topics/etc.
I just wanted to
let everyone know that we have had discussions on meeting topics regularly.
And, I felt it's probably time to take a moment and make a statement -- to
bring some facts to light of the complexity of the MTP group.
the challenges of having a successful group is the strength in numbers
concept. Unfortunately a 'tech group' in Montana is never going to have
strength in numbers if it limited to a specific focus -- say 'Ruby' or 'PHP'
or 'C#' -- there would be like 2 people at the meeting.
Seattle?Tacoma?Bellevue, WA Metropolitan Statistical Area, with an estimated
population of 3,344,813 is well over 3 times the entire population of the
STATE of Montana. My guess is that they have some STRONG/Well attended .NET,
C#, VB, MSSQL (specific) meetings there. (Just as an example) Point being you
could probably get a Commodore 64 meeting with 50 members in Seattle... and
maybe 2 in the State of MT.
Another challenge is keeping everyone
satisfied with meeting content and applicable content. We have always tried to
keep the topics rolling and changing so that at any given meeting - one can be
satisfied learning something new and somehow applicable - if for nothing else
the exposure to the technology.
This is why we have monthly meetings
and STRONGLY encourage feedback and discussions as to topics / etc. This is,
after all, your group. You decide. AND, this is why we encourage 'mini-meets'
in each area. As an example, we have VERY successful DRUPAL meetings going on
Missoula each and every month. Andy Laken has done an awesome job heading that
Finally, MTP is simply a gathering place. Fertile soil for seeds of
knowledge to be planted, watered, nurtured and to grow. It as good as all of
you make it. Our goal for the 'MAIN' meetings has always been the
1) Have a time of food/drink/conversation. This is to get to
know others. Maybe find others interests and how you can help them - or maybe
who to stand beside and listen to - to learn something.
2) To get away from
the 'cave' as many of us semi-affectionately call it. To get out and see the
light of day.
3) To give someone in the group an opportunity to share on a
topic that they are passionate about - which 100% of the time there are others
that are at least interested in (at the minimum) being exposed to the
4) To provide a time to further the discussions, ask questions,
change the subject.. whatever.. again - relationship and knowledge
Our goal for 'mini meets' has been to:
1) Provide a more
casual environment - for spontaneous discussions.
2) Provide a time/place
to gather again and talk about specific (and random) issues.
3) A time
where Mentors can DIRECTLY mentor on whatever....
4) A time where you can
go and say "I need help with JQuery" or "anyone know anything about..." for
5) A time to further friendships, better ourselves,
give/receive, and build the tech community.
So I have to ask your
patience for the meetings when a topic doesn't pertain - please don't give up
on us. In addition to that I have to ask your continued participation in the
meetings - regardless of whether you like the 'main topic' or not - you never
know when/where you're going to learn - or who you may be able to help. Even
if the topic doesn't pertain every time - the other 2/3 of the meeting should
pertain as to meeting others, asking questions, giving answers. It will be
worth your time to suffer through the presentation to be able to hang out and
ask around to find others with similar 'focus' -- then, maybe you can post
mini-meets for that topic in your area Like the Joomla and Drupal groups in
I'm here to promote tech/entrepreneur/business in Montana.
I'm here to increase all of our skill-sets and opportunities. My goal is to
mentor and be mentored and to build relationships. I will help you get a group
started wherever/whenever -- just ping me anytime. I think that realizing and
working within our parameters here in MT (with patience and grace) we can
build an effective tech
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