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Local user groups and events encounter somewhat different challenges than those organized solely online. They have to find space to meet (with wifi and outlets at a bare minimum). They have to figure out how to get the word out to group members and other potential attendees. They also may become aware of group issues that are sometimes easier to ignore online, such as diversity.
Local communities handle these issues in a variety of ways: technological ones such as mailing lists, wikis, and group blogs; and social ones such as encouraging active participation by all attendees, and ‘no assholes’ rules. Bring your questions and we’ll talk about what we’ve learned.
Audrey is a Ruby developer, community organizer, and crafty geek based in Portland, OR. She works for Elevated Rails, a software consultancy. She is also a board member for Legion of Tech, an umbrella organization for several local technology events, and an active member of the Portland Ruby Brigade, and Dorkbot PDX.
Her other activities include knitting, photography, and geeking out on the meaning of location in a highly-networked world.
Michael is an Oregon resident who moved to Latvia after leaving MandrakeSoft SA. He is a founding member of the Latvian Open Source Association (LAKA.lv) and is Program Manager of the BSD Fund, a program of the Oregon-based Linux Fund.
Sulamita Garcia is Latin America Open Source Strategist at Intel. She is responsible for creating and maintaining a comprehensive LAR Linux strategy that takes into account all aspects of the Linux environment, including key elements around the community, government, standards, and vendors. She holds major Linux certifications: LPI level 2 and RHCE. After several years ahead Linuxchix Brazil, she was elected co-coordinator of Linuxchix International. She has worked for several years in Linux integration, security and development, and wrote several technical papers about high availability, load balancing and Slackware.