Tuesday, February 19, 2013 12:15 AM
I enjoy assisting User Groups to grow. Even if I do not get to the meetings. My belief is the "list" is the membership list, and participation at monthly face to face, is optional. There is value in both mailing lists and meetings.
It takes all types to make this world turn. Aggressive words and geeks learning it's not an 'attack' is a good thing. Being "intimidated" ... the geeks thing the aggressor is in the wrong, while the aggressor thinks the geek is weak. Is either "right?" I think that's the wrong question.
Coming from the geek side, my opinion has changed. Simply, the geek should not feel intimidated, and instead should laugh out loud, and say what's the next step to being "productive"... and perhaps now is not the best time, so let's meet today on the same topic. And walk away. I hope this helps some ... geeks. It did me.
Meetup.com does cost, I think $120 per year, with the first year free. Many groups use it only for the first free 11 months, and drop it, as one of many way to get increased public awareness of their group's meetings.
Other groups rely upon it exclusively, not realizing other free mailing lists are available.
And some use both meetup.com and another mailing list. Nothing wrong with that.
Growing a group is difficult. I've done 3. And helped start another 12. Thomas is doing just fine.
My opinion is ARM chips, Arduino, Propeller, Processing, Beagle, Raspberry Pi, is going to make any effort by Thomas to grow membership become redundant. The wave of want a bees looking for help is here. Surfing that wave is the best idea, and Thomas appears to be starting to do that.
I know moving the group's meeting focus for a year, or two, from being exclusively "robots", to include teaching ARM programming, using robots as an example, is likely the best way to take the group, but the experts in the group, will not like it very much, and their attendance will go down. This problem has never had a solution that I know of.
Growing organically, listening to both sides, newbies and experts, and more, is best. Thomas wanting to hear from existing attendees, newbies, experts, intermediates, etc, is wise.