User group downturn?

Brad Midgley bmidgley at
Sat Dec 1 20:26:52 MST 2012

The other groups I attend are drawing more people, but they're also focused
on some of the new challenges. The ruby group regularly tackles tough
topics that I can learn from like scaling or integration. The google dev
group touches on web dev and android programming. I work with many Linux
vms every day but the pain points for me there are things like database
server optimization or glue between components using ruby for example. I'm
not often concerned with the Linux core directly.

Are there other groups you guys attend more often? Why do you go?

On Sat, Dec 1, 2012 at 8:12 PM, Michael Torrie <torriem at> wrote:

> On 12/01/2012 04:54 PM, 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.
> >
> > Is this causal or merely correlated? Did other groups see a similar
> downturn in mailing list usage?
> I've seen a downturn on a lot of lists I'm on.  This is for several
> reasons:
> - Linux is mature now, and things just work, so there's less of a
> novelty in running Linux, and possibly less help needed.
> - Windows and OS X aren't too bad, so serious Linux hobby usership is in
> decline
> - People are moving to other mediums.  Such as web forums, IRC, Twitter.
> As for the meeting attendance, I think many of us on the list no longer
> live in Utah, and the list helps us keep in touch a bit.
> Back when I started using Linux, Mac OS was really weak, and Windows,
> well, it was horrible.  And they were all quirky and hard to use.  I
> remember OS/2 config.sys (shudder).  So Linux wasn't really that hard to
> master, and it provided a stability that none of the other systems could
> match.  Now, Windows actually works for most people, and Mac OS is
> extremely popular.  In fact many of us on this list have switch to Mac,
> while using the Unixy aspect of Mac OS, to satisfy our needs.
> I also noticed towards the end of my time at BYU that finding good
> student help for system administration was virtually impossible.  Even
> finding decent web developers was a challenge.  I don't know why, and
> don't know if it's related to your group participation downturn.
> /*
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> */

Brad Midgley

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