See Also: SummerSummit2005Attendees And: SummerSummit2005Notes

TO: GNHLUG activists, Chapter coordinators, board members, volunteers, past activists and interested parties

RFC: GNHLUG Summer Summit 2005

Version: 1.2, 21-June-2005

Re: Summer get-together for GNHLUG coordinators & activists

When: August 20, 2005, 0930 - 1630

Where: TBD, likely a hilltop farm in Loudon.

I've had discussions with a few of you about the possibility of getting together this summer for a day of GNHLUG planning, networking and brainstorming. I'd very much like to do that, and have had a couple of offers for space we could use, and maybe mix in a barbeque while we were there. This is an initial ping to get a sense of who is interested in giving up a Saturday or Sunday (or alternative proposals) and what we should cover, with some tentative ideas I have. Once I have some sense of the numbers, I can canvas the volunteers for locations and facilities, and then we can figure out who brings the potato salad.

The problem with any get-together like this is that we all have way too much catching up to do and any one discussion can suffer scope creep and expand into hours of bringing up the same old grudges. So I propose we plan it as an UnConference [1] (tm) - speakers but not audience, moderators to keep the talk going, recorders to preserve it for posterity, and scheduled topics to ensure our agenda gets covered. Like a Birds of a Feather, if you've participated in those.

Sessions could be 75 +/- 15 minutes with plenty of time for schmoozing, networking and calls of nature in between. Attendees are asked to pay attention and participate, or go elsewhere to engage in conversation, surfing or horseshoes. All session proposals can be batted around in the forum and consensus (and ultimately, a Fearless Leader or Benevolent Dictator) will decide which get picked. If demand is complex enough, we can plan early-morning or late-evening sessions for the fringe topics.

Date/Location flexible and will depend on number of participants, available facilities and phase of the moon.


Please respond to the email, anything from "What a dumb idea" to "Yes! I want to participate and here's my idea for a topic..."

Neutral volunteers to run the sessions would be appreciated. Partisans are encouraged to participate but not moderate.

Ideally, you should join the GNHLUG -org mailing list (very low volume, at least until now) - links listed below - and participate in the discussion.

gnhlug-org mailing list gnhlug-org@mail*REMOVE*

This is a Request for Comments. Please do. The idea may be screwy, you might have better ideas for sessions, let us all know.


1. The Admiral James Stockdale memorial networking hour ("Who the Heck am I and what am I doing here?") or "Practice the elevator pitch", 0930 - 1045

We all have a reason for attending meetings and participating in the group. Many know each other's names from the mailing lists or faces from past events. Share your agendas, hidden and overt. Talk about your pet projects, what you want to learn, commercial venture or dream project and network with others sharing the same. Every participant has five minutes to pitch an idea, give your biography (abridged) or alienate the group.

2. "We're the Huckawee!" or "What GNHLUG Wants To Be When it Grows Up" 1100-1215

Many organizers have done some soul searching about what the group is, should be, or could be. Let's toss around some ideas and see if we can define what we'd like to claim the group is, suitable for publishing in a brochure or engraving as a Mission Statement. Should we be advocates? To whom? Of what?

Lunch break Speaker over lunch: "How to Talk Good" or "Slides don't kill people; speakers kill people" 1230-1330 Ted Roche has given over 75 presentations at 30 professional conferences and uncountable user group presentations. Some of them were pretty good. Here's his twenty-minute pitch on one way to do a presentation: a quick list of do's and don'ts. Handy if you get called into present FOSS to the school board or a potential client. Warning: this is the first time Ted has tried this while his audience had food to throw at him. It could be his last.

3. Getting your DotOrg organized - Is 501(c)3 the future for GNHLUG? Why or Why Not?, 1330 - 1445

We've gotten along just fine with the chaotic informality of being nothing, owning nothing and reporting to no one. It appeals to the hacker spirit. But it may limit our access to some opportunities. Let's discuss what a formal organization could do, and how the structure of the GNHLUG-and-chapters could work out.

4. "How to Mess Up A User Group" (title stolen from a great set of notes by Whil Hentzen [2] ), 1500-1615

Brainstorming the best use of our limited resources: email lists, wiki, announcements, speakers, locations. Kick around ideas for quarterly meetings, greater public presence. Share resources for listing GNHLUG activities, getting discounts, contacts.

[1]: Unconference:

[2] While this one refers to "Microsoft" and "Visual FoxPro" specifically, most of the ideas apply to any computer user group, I think:


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Topic revision: r6 - 2023-12-15 - BenScott

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