[svlug] State of the speaker program, and venues: not good

kevin dankwardt kevin.dankwardt at gmail.com
Thu Mar 17 10:11:33 PST 2016


I very much appreciate all of your many efforts and your time and energy. I
am sorry that I haven't been doing more lately. If I were going to be in
town I would be happy to volunteer to give some kind of talk on April 6th.
Since I can't I will try to find a speaker that I can submit.

I completely agree with Rick that is *very* hard to find a venue and that
Symantec is a wonderful host and facility. Losing it would be a big


On Fri, Mar 11, 2016 at 3:51 PM, Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com> wrote:

> SVLUG's meeting and lecture series, active for 28 years, is in real
> danger.
> As I implied on svlug-announce, Symantec vCafe is impossible to get back
> and easy for a group to lose.  And I think people here don't understand
> what a rare win it is, in 2016.  Ample seating, good overhead projector,
> no need for every attendee to individually show ID and do sign-in with a
> corporate rent-a-cop at the door (main reason we left Cisco Systems).
> If this were still 1998, good places to meet in Silicon Valley would be
> more plentiful.  Times have changed, and they're rare.  Being rare, the
> remaining places to meet tend to be already reserved by other groups, or
> they cost serious money, or both.
> Bottom line:  Don't assume finding a new place to meet would be easy.
> In the past, it's taken some creative scouting by SVLUG leaders, and
> working of inside contacts.
> Here's something people seem to keep refusing to register:  I never
> agreed to run SVLUG.
> I already run a Linux user group (in Menlo Park).  So, I've consistently
> declined to serve as an SVLUG officer, my dance card being full already.
> I've just done my best to keep things going, because I like SVLUG and
> want it to survive and thrive.
> Because I've consistently refused to be an SVLUG officer, I have zero
> experience finding new meeting venues.  If SVLUG screws up its
> reservation at Symantec vCafe, I'm very unlikely to be able to save
> y'all's asses and fix that.
> And the other part of SVLUG's meeting program that's in danger is
> finding speakers.  On February 8th, just as I was about to get on a
> month-long cruise across the South Pacific, I heard our March 2nd
> speaker was obliged to cancel, and put out an urgent appeal for _any_
> SVLUG volunteer to step up to the plate and find a replacement talk.
> http://lists.svlug.org/archives/svlug/2016-February/061727.html
> A month later, after flying back from Sydney, I learned that fsck all
> had been even attempted.  Apparently, nobody even tried to contact a
> _single_ speaker prospect.  At the last minute, I tried to find one:
> http://lists.svlug.org/archives/volunteers/2016q1/004720.html
> (Note that last-minute bookings are improbable; speakers seldom can
> fill in on short notice.)
> I did find a speaker for May 4th, but not one for either March 2nd or
> April 6th:
> http://lists.svlug.org/archives/volunteers/2016q1/004719.html
> Anyway, SVLUG's speaker / meeting program is going to die on grounds of
> apathy if interested volunteers don't step up to the plate _very_ soon.
> About that, any of the following is appreciated but is only
> around _10%_ helpful:
> o  'You could meet at [place the suggester hasn't actually made
>     sure is suitable and available].'
> o  'You should ask [person who may or may not have a talk, and who
>    may or may not even be in the Bay Area] to talk.
> o  'You should find someone to do a talk about [suggester's hobbyhorse].'
> Essentially, armchair suggestions for work to be performed by others,
> albeit well-intended, seldom help much and tend to be just time-sinks.
> But if you can do only that much, it's appreciated.
> Anyway, looks to me like SVLUG's 28-year tradition of speaker
> presentations is in peril and will die if nobody pitches in.
> February's example makes me pessimistic about anyone bothering.
> Please prove me wrong.  I'll be delighted to say I was dead-wrong in
> public and bake you a pie.
> (No pie-baking this week, though, as I have the flu.)
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> svlug at lists.svlug.org
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