User group downturn?

Aaron Toponce aaron.toponce at gmail.com
Tue Dec 4 10:27:38 MST 2012


On Sat, Dec 01, 2012 at 04:54:56PM -0700, Dave Smith wrote:
> I've been thinking a lot lately about the downturn in user group meeting
> attendance and mailing list participation over the last few years. Today
> I graphed Plug's mailing list activity from 2005 to present (messages per
> month), and noticed a startling coincidence.

IMO, the ones who have started the groups (likely while still in college)
have moved on. They have gotten married, started a family with kids, maybe
moved out of state, and/or are employed where interestes have shifted.

The novelty hasn't worn off, even though the standard GNU/Linux operating
system is far more mature than a decade ago. New tech is coming out at such
an amazing pace, there is and always still be interest in meeting up with
people who have similar interests. Case in point, I've grown an interest in
InfiniBand with the Linux kernel, and ZFS as a GNU/Linux filesystem. These
technologies are largely unexplored in the hobbiest world.

If you were to ask me, the current LUGs as they stand will either likely
fall due to the older membership moving out, or the younger generation will
pick it back up and revive it. But the core need for people to socialize
with similar interest in person isn't dying out. It's just shifting.

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