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Some thought to provoke discussion.

We can trundle along as is, I have no issues with that. I like the idea
of just a simple za-pm mailing list. Dealing with local folk is
preferable to dealing with others who get shirty at a stupid question &
there are enough 'RTFM' groups around anyway. We do have a pleasant if
small and quiet group.

But maybe we should aim for more?

So, for first thing, what do we want out of our website. As is, it is
pretty basic. We don't actually have need of anything too complex, do
we? What do people want on there any way?

If we get the equivalent of a Linux 2010 ZA conference then I can add
that - or anything else that is relevant - onto there. So if there is
any special news that warrants a mention on the site, mention it to me
on this list and I'll add it in in the current format. Would it be
appropriate to add in potted perl biographies of za-pm members?

The Mail Archive that I set up is nice and makes for easy reading of
our posts, so I don't see the need for za-pm equivalents of social
networking sites - but hey, maybe someone wants to run za-pm on
facebook for us!

We could have something smarter, but this may involve one of you
doing a stint as webmaster. There may be offers available for generic or
nearly-so web designs for perl groups at no cost, but they would have
to be hosted elsewhere (no fancy Catalyst stuff on for
security reasons - does that say something or does it not?) which in
itself is a problem perhaps since unless someone is offering free
server space this has to be paid for.

Since we are a group well spread out we have issues not apparent to,
say, the Cincinatti perl group who have enough interested people to
host meetings, barbeques, etc. Geographically we are even in ZA
alone diverse, and since many of us are members of the greater
za-diaspora living in Europe, the Americas, or Australasia, then we are
not going to get together this weekend or even the next for social
occasions, so count that idea out.

Some groups have enough active members to work on some collaborative
project. Do we? These things are meant to be fun, not a drag, and with
too few people trying to do too much it does become a drag. If any one
has ideas in this direction, speak up.

As it happens, for my two-pennyworth, I organised an online vote for a
professional society recently. I found only one online site that was set
up for small people such as families, clubs & societies - and I dug
deep into the pages of google hits. Lots of big commercial operations,
but essentially zilch for a 30 member outfit to choose a new committee
for the year. Interesting I would think, and since we paid up $25 for
needing features not available for free, then profitable even! A perl
setup for that as open source could be a project. But then I am sure
that you have more vision on the needs of the perl community than I do.

So over to you.

As noted, I did add a new line or two to the website. I am going to ask
on the pm-groups if there is any way that we can spread the word to the
za-diaspora for more members. Other than that there is little I can do
on my own.

If something is really necessary and wanted, then speak up. If we are
just going to carry on with no major goal, leaving that to the bigger
guys, then that is fine by me too since I would now be sitting on a
desert island with my laptop and an inexhaustable supply of batteries if
I had a choice.

I'm not pushing, just asking.


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