[opensource] The Future of Open Source Club & Spring Workshops

Alexander J. Lingo lingo.13 at osu.edu
Thu Mar 29 22:34:09 EDT 2007

Hello all,

Spring Quarter is here, and Open Source Club is still alive. But, I am
unsure how long. Nothing threatens us immediately; but there is a threat
that I have felt -- stagnation.

Our format has generally been to have someone give a presentation on a topic
that they either know about or are interested in learning about. These
presentations are a great learning experience, both as a presenter and as an
attendee. But there is a factor working against us: We have a small
meeting-going membership, with few new faces. This tends to mean the same
awesome people are always presenting equally awesome things.

I am not sure that this format is sustainable. We do not advertise our
presence to the outside university. We offer few outward-reaching
services/events. The only way we can grow is through word-of-mouth, which
sadly is not enough to reach all those who could be interested in Open

Computer software is something that most people interact with on a daily
basis. Students today grew up alongside the personal computer. Very few
computer users know about open source and the awesome operating systems and
applications that are readily available to them. We are an organization that
is too inward-facing. Student organizations are supposed to work for
students and other interested parties, and I believe we are not giving back
to the OSU community as much as we could and should.

I think that we should work to advertise, explain, and showcase the open
source offerings to the students of Ohio State. For the most part, we have
been preaching to the choir -- those who know what open source is and what
possibilities it offers.

We've made an outreach before, with the Open Source Workshops of last Spring
Quarter. We had a moderate attendance at those meetings. This quarter, we
should work to offer another series of workshops. Last quarter we thought
that workshops revolving around OpenOffice.org/media creation would be a
good idea.

So, I'm asking, what ideas do you have for club format, outreach, and Spring
Workshops do you have?

It could be as simple as us standing on the Oval handing out Ubuntu CD's.
I'd love to hear everyone's ideas.

-- alex
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