community manager, and author of ‘the art of community’.
This 6 page spread adds a lot more substance to a previous article in the Linux Format magazine (issue 109 Sept 2008 page 14) about attracting more members to the LUG.

A LUG needs:
A place to communicate -> Mailing list

A place to collaborate -> wiki

A place to present the group on line -> website

Two pages are dedicated to implementing these three points. Then moving on to a page about project coordination and management.

I thought the following quote deserved serious attention.

“Many communities don’t take a particularly organised approach to projects, which can kill motivation. If there’s one thing that can cause a community to struggle, it’s a sense that nothing happens or gets done.”

Formalise and document projects.

*The objective
A goal or set of goals that you want to achieve. Summarised into one sentence.

*Success criteria
A clear statement to indicate how success will look when achieved.

*Required actions
The set of steps required to achieve the objective.

Regularly revisit the project documentation and check off completed items, to get an impression of progress and success.

generating some Buzz.
Finally a page about spreading the word and generating some Buzz.
Twitter, facebook and blogger get a mention along with podcasts, local radio, magazine articles, banners/buttons and posters/flyers.

This article starting on page 52 is well worth reading, and is available along with other back issues of Linux Format.

Linux Format issue 116 March 2009 (page 60)

Spice up your LUG.
This is a 4 page spread by Graham Morrison with many helpful points. Including a LUG checklist.

1 Put someone in charge of the website and keep it up to date.
2 Have a few people to make decisions and make someone the single point of contact.
3Consider meeting at the weekend.
4 Forge a relationship with a close LUG
5 Forge a relationship with a distant LUG
6 Hold an event, such as an install fest.
7 Get in touch with local IT Businesses.
8 Keep us informed of any developments.

We have ‘tackled’ all these points.

Linux Format issue 109 Sept 2008 (page 14)

“They (LUG) need a kind of open-house policy where new members can turn up without feeling intimidated. It doesn’t need to be every month either, once a year would be better than never at all”.

When PC Recycler first took over the running of the Blackpool LUG, on offer as a meeting venue was a room with ten internet connected computers.

Also available were most of the back issues of Linux format, and a Library of books.

But the ‘build it and they will come’ theory did not work in this case. After 18 months of no interest, these facilities were withdrawn and provided to another organisation who use the facilities on a regular basis.:-

But times move on, and LUG meetings restarted in a replacement computer suite which is also used by the Blackpool computer club.

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