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Linuxdude32 ( Jason Wallwork ) wrote us a nice long post about Linux User Groups, the quote here below is a short version of his post, containing the most essential information, you can find the full version here

QUOTE (Linuxdude32 @ June 2003)

Linux clubs are almost always known as LUG (Linux User Groups). Don't let the "user" part fool you, though, LUGs often have developers, technicians, computer science students and teachers in them. And we're not just geeks. Some of the members of my group are novices or intermediate users. What we share are our interests in learning more about Linux and learning more about how we each use Linux. LUGs can vary in the services they offer, but at a minumum, you can expect:

(1) People who will answer your questions or point you in the right direction,

(2) Presentations, probably monthly, about Linux programs or new distributions.

(3) Discounts on some Linux programs or magazines (Linux Journal offers subscription discounts),

(4) A place to get Linux CDs either downloaded for you or borrowed and,

(5) An online list where you can ask questions in between meetings.

Additionally, many LUGs have extras such as:

(5) A Linux borrowing library,

(6) Installfests, where anybody can bring their computer to get Linux installed on them for free,

(7) A newsletter and,

(8) chances at winning cool prizes.

The best feature though, that every LUG is sure to have, is the people, just like you, who can help you with your Linux questions or just to show off to when you get that great new distribution. Chances are, there is a LUG already near you. And if there isn't, why don't you start one? There's no central list of LUGs on the Internet, but you should be able to find a LUG nearby on one of them. Here's some of the ones I know of below. Check Google for more.

Linux Online
Linux User Groups Worldwide
Red Hat's User Group Program
Yahoo Directory

One of the things I can't stress enough whether you're joining a LUG or creating your own is to get involved and get everybody else involved! And the other thing is that no matter how small a group is, go to the meeting. Small groups can't become big groups until people go to it. And more people become a magnet to getting more. And the success of a LUG isn't just in how many people are in it, anyway. It's in the social aspect, the comraderie, giving people not known for being social and place to belong.

The other aspect of LUGs it activism. Promoting Linux gives the people a voice, a chance to give everyone an alternative to Windows. LUGs are one of the best ways to give choice to a public that doesn't know there is any choice. Microsoft has said a lot of wrong things about Linux, but a couple of things that it has said are true, it is viral, in that amongst experienced computers, it catches on. Microsoft also called it a toy. They're right, Linux makes computing fun again and even a child can learn how to use it. A LUG can raise awareness in a community by having public Install-fests, by giving away CDs for free, by helping out a local school by building them a cheap computer lab using Linux software. Doing all of this by yourself is pretty hard, but a LUG makes it possible.

Get involved!

Jason Wallwork
President, Peterborough Linux User Group
My Webpage

Thanks Jason, already many of our forum friends contacted their local LUG to become a member.


-- Jun 11 2003 ( Revised Dec 15 2005 ) --

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