[plug] What would encourage membership of PLUG? [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

Peter demo9 at gswd.com
Fri Feb 19 13:11:56 WST 2010

David Lloyd wrote:
> Hmmm,
> -----Original Message-----
>> Jeez we're in the second decade of the new millennium and we are still 
>> using 1990's method of communication.
> When I was a student, I used to learn German. Now I don't know if the
> German Ministry of Trade said this BUT:
> "If we want the British to buy German products, we'll speak English. If
> Britain wants us to buy British products..."
> Now, mailing list support is free. I'm providing support for free.
> People and company's pay for computer support - eg. to their local
> computer technician, to an MSCE or even a big support company.
> We're giving it AWAY.
> Is it too much to ask that they speak OUR language?
In some ways, the answer to that question is simply "yes".

I agree with you, when someone is asking for 'free' assistance, they 
should be happy with whatever is being offered, regardless of the 
language.  The reality however (in my experience) is different.  Our 
language is often incomprehensible to the 'average joe' and we are 
talking here about attracting new members to plug and promoting the use 
of Linux & open source software.

If we want to make Linux attractive (and by association make membership 
of PLUG meaningful) then we need to offer easy access to information.... 
and easy access to knowledgeable people (even if that costs us a little 
time and dare I say $$$).

I run a computer services business but often go out of my way 
(sacrificing both time and money) to assist those that are new to 
Linux.  I see it as an investment into the future where many (if not 
all) of my regular customers will hopefully be using Linux & open source 

My experience has been, if you make those first few steps as easy as 
possible, these 'babies' soon learn to walk on their own and most never 
look back (to that other OS).

One of the best ways to share meaningful information (in my view) is to 
have a comprehensive, up-to-date website (including a forum?) as a 
starting point.  The current plug website is out of date and (IMHO) 
doesn't contain a lot of useful up-to-date info.

Some of the things I would like to see on http://plug.org.au :  (some of 
these exist already but as already noted are out of date)

* An events calendar with at least three month of 'upcoming' events.  
Some of these could be other 'technology' related things in and around 
Perth.... it doesn't all have to be PLUG specific.

* An up-to-date list (with mugshots) of committee members and other 
PLUGgers with specific skills....  and a means to contact them.

* An FAQ section

* A Links Section:  links to specific distro related sites, etc. with an 
emphasis on easy-to-use distros like Ubuntu & Mint.

* A forum

* LOTS of other thing I can't think of right now........

* Etc,

* Etc,

I have no idea if anyone in particular is currently responsible for the 
website (and I apologise if stepped on any toes) but to my way of 
thinking, our website is our 'storefront'.....      Would you buy a new 
car from a dealer that keeps talking about 5 year old models and doesn't 
seem to have any idea what is current?

And thus ends my RANT!

PS.  If it'll help, I am willing to work on some of the above.....     I 
volunteer for the "Website Update Working Group".........


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> http://www.plug.org.au/mailman/listinfo/plug
> Committee e-mail: committee at plug.linux.org.au

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