User group downturn?

Daniel Fussell dfussell at
Mon Dec 3 15:38:47 MST 2012

On 12/01/2012 08:12 PM, Michael Torrie 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 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.
That trend has only strengthened since you left.  I blame Web 2.0 (with 
maybe a hint of iPhone/smartphone).  It has changed the course of those 
who would have become thoughtful, introverted geeks, and made them into 
superficial, narcissistic dweebs instead by providing the false sense of 
a social life.

Or it could just be that the Linux and Open Source movements have become 
so successful, that the young are trained and employed long before they 
hit college.  I doubt this is the case though, as a long-time friend of 
mine from the BBS days recently told me his best programming candidates 
take one look at the company's programming litmus test and say, "I just 
google till I find an answer, and then copy and paste it."

"Won't that be grand? Computers and the programs will start thinking and 
the people will stop."

;-Daniel Fussell

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