[NBLUG/talk] State of the LUG 2015 talk post

Allan Cecil ac at sonic.net
Fri Apr 10 17:06:52 PDT 2015

This is a talk post for anyone who has comments or feedback about the state
of the LUG post on the announce list.  Note:  In the short time between when
I posted the State of the LUG update and now, Frank has already made
mirrors.nblug.org a CNAME to mirrors.sonic.net.

Thanks in advance for your feedback,


On 04/10/2015 10:51 AM, Allan Cecil wrote:
> Greetings,
> As President of the North Bay Linux User's Group, I would like to take an
> opportunity to send out a State of the LUG update for 2015, covering calendar
> year 2014 (you can find the 2014 update covering calendar year 2013 in the
> archives).  The goal of this E-Mail is to update all members about our current
> status in all areas of importance and to encourage further discussion about
> the future of NBLUG in the Talk list.  Here are some TL;DR numerical
> highlights about the state of NBLUG as of 2015-04-03 compared to the last
> update:
> 463 E-Mail addresses are subscribed to the NBLUG Announce list (+3)
> 261 E-Mail addresses are subscribed to the NBLUG Talk list (-12)
> 205 Talk list E-Mails (in 53 conversations) were sent in 2014 (-231)
> On average, 14 members attend each meeting as of 2015 (+2)
> 6 of 6 board seats are filled through November 2015
> http://nblug.org has been migrated to a new CMS (Pelican) 
> ~12 people are in the #nblug Freenode IRC channel at any given time (+2)
> $145.73 is in the NBLUG cashbox secured by our treasurer (unchanged)
> Important information: Please contact us at speakers at nblug.org if you know of
> someone who would be willing to present on a Linux or open-source related
> topic (more details below).  NBLUG general meetings are held on the 2nd
> Tuesday of every month at 7:00 in O'Reilly's Tarsier meeting room at 1005
> Gravenstein HW N. in Sebastopol, CA.  O'Reilly (http://oreilly.com)
> additionally sponsors NBLUG by providing two raffle books at each meeting for
> attendees as well as a free book of of a speaker's choice if they request one.
> Sonic.net (http://sonic.net) sponsors NBLUG by hosting our racked
> http://nblug.org server in their Santa Rosa datacenter.  On behalf of the
> board, I would like to publicly thank our sponsors for their continued support
> which enables us to operate without ongoing membership dues or donation
> drives.
> Mailing lists: Our mailing lists have remained fairly static for the last
> year, with around 463 people subscribed to the Announce list (at
> http://nblug.org/mailman/listinfo/announce) and around 261 people subscribed
> to the Talk list (at http://nblug.org/mailman/listinfo/talk).  Talk volume is
> down from last year, with 205 posts in 53 threads in 2014.
> General meetings: Attendance at the monthly general meetings has stayed the
> same or increased slightly since last year, averaging around 14 people per
> meeting with some meetings with poular topics or outside speakers getting into
> the 30-40 range.  I should note that the number I've presented here is a bit
> higher than what's in the logbook, because the actual logbook entries are
> typically 2-3 people short of the number of people physically present based on
> my personal headcount.  While we encourage everyone to show up early and write
> their names in the logbook to be eligible for the monthly book raffles it is
> not uncommon for a fair number of people to bypass signing in (which is
> potentially influenced by the security-minded nature of our membership, to
> whom I would encourage signing in with an X instead).
> NBLUG Board: The current board as elected during the November 2014 general
> meeting consists of Allan Cecil (President), E. Frank Ball III
> (Vice-President), Glenn Kerbein (Scribe), Matt Da Silva (Treasurer), Tom Most
> (Board Member at Large), and John Morio Sakaguchi (Board Member at Large).
> Our next scheduled elections will be during the November 2015 meetings, where
> all 6 seats will be open for nominations (all board members serve 1-year
> terms).  Glenn has indicated that he will not be seeking re-election as
> Scribe (all other board members have not indicated whether they would or would
> not seek nominations).
> NBLUG website: The official NBLUG website at http://nblug.org has been
> substantially overhauled over the last year by Tom Most with many articles
> migrated by Glenn and a few changes made by NBLUG member Zack Gold.  The new
> web site is entirely static, generated by a tool called Pelican (the same tool
> used by http://kernel.org).  The motivation for that choice was to make
> maintenance easier, since anyone who knows HTML and CSS could figure out how
> to tweak things pretty quickly, but the other advantage is that there's no
> security attack surface aside from Apache and SSH.  The site is now impossible
> to spam, unlike Drupal.
> There are a few unresolved, albeit minor, issues.  We have not yet set up
> forwarding the old NBLUG mirror folder at http://mirror.nblug.org/ to point to
> Sonic's mirrors at http://mirrors.sonic.net/.  Many old meeting notes are
> unlinked; while they exist on the server, they are impossible (literally) to
> find, but given that the sands of time have made most of these updates
> irrelevant they are of less concern.  If this is an area you'd like to see
> improved and you're willing to lend a hand, please let us know.  Overall
> traffic is similar to last year, with an average of 360 hits a day.  I have
> full statistics generated with goaccess I can share on request.
> IRC channel: NBLUG has an IRC channel at #nblug on the Freenode network
> (chat.freenode.net).  Activity has if anything incrased since 2014, with a
> dozen logins and conversation most days of the week happening at various
> points.  It should be noted that these statistics are somewhat anecdotal in
> the absence of reliable logs; at one point a webpage of statistics existed but
> it has not been reliably keeping track.  Also, our beloved bot, Erratica,
> seems to have gone AWOL again, and the channel has been a bit more quiet (and,
> might I say, less erratic) without her.
> Cash balance: The NBLUG cashbox contains exactly $145.73 as of November of
> 2014 when the balance was confirmed by our Treasurer and holder of the
> cashbox, Matt Da Silva, around the time of the elections.  There have been no
> new expenditures in recent months (or years).  Because O'Reilly generously
> sponsors NBLUG by providing us with a room to meet in and Sonic.net provides
> hosting for our website our expenditures are effectively non-existant.  There
> are currently no expenditures the board can foresee in the near future and
> thus we are not currently seeking donations, although the projector we use now
> is standard definition VGA only at 800x600 resolution and we would not turn
> down a newer projector if one came our way.
> Speakers: At the time of the previous State of the LUG, the last time a talk
> had been given by a non-member of NBLUG was on 2013-07-09 by Alison Chaiken,
> who was also the previous non-member speaker on 2011-09-13, and the last talk
> given by a non-member not named Alison was 2011-03-08 by Same Bowne.  Over the
> past several months we've been fortunate to have a couple of talks from
> outside of the group from people not named Alison.  To help this trend
> continue, please let us know about potential speakers at speakers at nblug.org
> and we will promptly follow up with them.
> Additional opinion and analysis:  I, Allan, feel that the evidence above
> points to a viable, albeit somewhat stagnant, user group.  Our best attendance
> occurs when we have outside speakrs, so for the second year in a row my one of
> my primary goals is to work with the board to seek out speakers who can
> present on topics that would interest you, the members of NBLUG.  While the
> board actively pursues this goal independently, I feel the best resource we
> have to connect with potential speakers is likely our members themselves.
> I encourage everyone to share their thoughts about this State of the LUG
> update on the talk list and I look forward to a lively discussion.  Thanks,
> Allan Cecil
> President, North Bay Linux User's Group
> A.C.
> ******
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> announce at nblug.org
> http://nblug.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/announce

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