As you may have noticed we have slipped a bit at the moment from the original aim of producing this newsletter every other month.
The main reason for this is one of inertia in getting the group membership up to a critical mass. The first two newsletters contained a lot of content by me - a level of output that I simply cannot sustain unless you are content with me repeating myself or vaguely waffling on about things I have not really had the time to look into.
Of any usergroup only a small percentage of the membership make a really active contribution - most people are willing to remain passive consumers.
I would hope that the dynamic, 'do it yourself' nature of Linux will attract a higher proportion of active participants than most groups.
Our core membership - those who have actualy paid the membership fees that make newsletter production possible, is still quite small (although growing quickly). As we don't pay for articles it is only members that are going to feel enough comittment to the group to devote a few hours to write and informative or entertaining article about some Linux related subject.
There was a similar problem in the early days of the ACCU - or the C Users Group (UK) as it was then known. Before membership grew to several hundred only a small handful of people ever submitted anything to the CVu newsletter. With a membership in the thousands now things are thankfully different. Francis, the editor of CVu now has the ability to pick and choose the content of each issue from a good surplus of contributions.
As editor of Linux@UK I would like to be in the same position. I need people comitted to write about subjects that they know, or even subjects that they are just discovering for themselves. Material from a beginners viewpoint is urgentley needed. With the fast changing world of linux everyone is a beginner with some aspect or other of Linux computing. People willing to write a continuous tutorial/news series about major parts of the Linux software would be most welcome. Remember that you retain the copyright to the articles so a good series of articles could form the guts of a definitive book about the subject. Linux seems to be the next big thing with book publishers at the moment now that the Internet seems to be done to death.
The way to get a bigger base of available writers is not just to enthuse yourself into doing it but to get anyone else that you know that uses Linux to also join the group. Although the linux community is a sort of Anarchy people who want to share software in the Linux way should have a collective voice. There are important issues comming up that affect us all: the 'Information Super Highway'.
Linux is BIG news - we need to organise to spread it. Not with slick and expensive advertising but with word of mouth, organising events on a local level and any other forms of free or low cost publicity.
Anyone who wants to see a computer industry that is fair and open for anyone to compete should rally round the Linux flag! Next competition Design a Flag? ;)