How active are your local {Linux,Free Software} User Groups?

Submitted by gwolf on Wed, 02/04/2009 - 09:15

Ted T'so wonders about the LUGs over the world, seeking to answer a conversation he recently had at the Linux Foundation. He quotes a blog posting in Lenovo, “Local User Groups - gone the way of the dinosaur?”. I think this is an interesting point to gather input from others.

In Mexico City, we did have a strong LUG several years ago, holding not-very-regular-but-good-quality-wise meetings, roughly monthly, at Instituto de Ciencias Nucleares. I was active there ~1996-2001.
By 2001, however, the group stopped acting as one - Maybe one of the main factors is that we had a very strong, unquestionable group leader and cohesion factor (Miguel), who worked at Nucleares and regularly got said auditorium. Once Miguel left to form Ximian, the group slowly disgregated.

In one of the last LUG meetings, we started working towards the National Free Software Conference (CONSOL)... Nowadays, in Mexico (as a country) we have several conferences around the year, although I'd be hard-pressed to say whether any of them really fills the needs of a LUG (and my answer would probably be negative).

Now, there are several smaller groups that have popped up in the void left by the Mexico City LUG - Mainly LUGs local to universities or faculties... And yes, a 25-million-people city is too large to have a single, functional LUG - Just the geographical size of the thing is too daunting. Besides, we are too many people, even though few of us are contributing any real work. But I also recognize that a local *users* group should care about making the users better, before focusing on making the world a better place ;-)

Anyway... My intention with this post, besides writing what I see, is to ask to other people that read me (I know this blog is syndicated at Planeta Linux Mexico, maybe even people reading in other Latin American countries through Planeta EDUSOL) to write what they see at their local communities. To make this a bit more useful, please leave a comment (in English, if possible) at this blog, so this can be used as a summary for Ted's request as well.

( categories: )
Michael Schultheiss's picture

LUG activity

I've been president of my local LUG, CINLUG, since 2001 and we've had decent activity for nearly a decade (we've been in existence since 2000 and the previous LUG was founded in 1994). We've had monthly meetings with 10-30 attendees, semi-annual training sessions, installfests and a wealth of other activity.

linxe's picture

LUGs

Well, the GLiB (Grupo Linux del Bajio - www.glib.org.mx) is still working, many members join/leave every year, but the group does not depend in institutions or schools, it offers a monthly meeting to share and have fun and supports many conferences, tutorials and talks by year.

RIVE's picture

LOCAL GUL

I live in Torreón, Coahuila, i'm member of Grupo de Usuarios de GNU/Linux en La Laguna (GULAG) http://www.gulag.org.mx, the group has a meeting every second saturday of the month, we try to give a talk about free software/Linux in every meeting.

We organice two "main" events in the year, FLISOL in April and the Group Aniversary in september, in the past year some members of the group were invited to talk about GNU/Linux in Universitary, High School and even basic education academic events.

The assistance per GUL meeting is around 15-20 people, i hope this year we can increse those numbers.

garaged's picture

SLM

In Morelos there are two groups, GRUSLIC and SLM, both of them have existed for a few years, and both of them are mostrly on "hiatus", GRUSLIC even had a annual meeting, I think you went to a couple of the (4 where made I think).

In the last years (3 or 4) the activity felt out dramatically, to the point that we no longer make meetings, last year we had some activity, but it seems that (as in all the rest of the world :) people is no longer as interested on making public movements, I can tell that there is an increasing interest on FLOSS and Linux in general, but with the "web 2.0" thing and the massive online information available, most people prefer to keep their free time for themselves and the family than to invest on the geek group of the week :)

In this days, people get together by twitter, not by FLOSS :)