This group is dead, now what we gonna do?

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Vitaly Kushner

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Mar 29, 2008, 8:11:46 PM3/29/08
to Israel.rb
Lets face it: The Ruby/Rails community in Israel doesn't exist.
This Google group essentially became a local ruby related job board
and an
announcement board for meetings that no one comes to.

What happened?

The problem started from the very beginning, when there were few tens
of
people that were visiting the meetings, but there were only a handfull
that
actually did *anything*, whether its organizing the meeting or
presentating.
Time after time organizers asked for submissions for the
presentations,
but almost no one stepped up.


After almost no one showed up to the last 2 meetings (only organizers
showed up for the 1st one, and only one person apart from the
organizers showed up for the 2nd), I've put a poll to try to
understand the reasons.
Only 17 people participated in the poll.
Still, the results (some people chose multiple options):

a) wanted to come but was busy : 5
b) didn't know about the meeting: 4
c) agenda sucks: 3
d) no transportation: 3
f) too frequent: 2
g) other: 4

'a' is essentially unsolvable :)
'b' and (f) can be solved by having a regular meeting interval and
place.
'd' we might try to solve by doing some organized tramps etc (if we
decide to meet again).
'c' is the real problem. But it also have a very "easy" solution. If
you don't like the agenda, come forward and propose
the idea for presentation, or better yet, come and do the talk
yourself :)

Anyway, after those meetings, I decided to hold on with posting
anything to the group to see what happens.
If we filter out the job offers and meeting announcements, the last 2
posts relevant to this group's topic where posts by Steeve from
December 23, and from Yoni at January 23.
Nothing since then.
2 posts in 3 months!

So, what are we going to do about it, if at all?
Are there people in Israel interested in having a real Ruby/Rails
community?
Jadging from the silence in this group, I'm not sure...
Please convince me otherwise ...

Aur Saraf

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Mar 29, 2008, 8:23:25 PM3/29/08
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Hi!


I answered (a). That means it would be very hard for me to convince
you I REALLY want a community. In the meantime, I help anyone posting
to the list whenever I can and scheme to show some cool things to the
community once they're ready to be shown in public :)

-- Aur

Evgeny

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Mar 30, 2008, 3:48:41 AM3/30/08
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Do any of the Israely Rubyists have blogs that they post to?

Aur Saraf

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Mar 30, 2008, 5:32:02 AM3/30/08
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Steve has a blog at http://unirec.blogspot.com .

-- Aur

Gal

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Mar 30, 2008, 6:24:28 AM3/30/08
to Israel.rb
Hi Vitaly,

I answered B - I actually just found out about the group in the last
month or so and was planning to come to the next meeting.

Here's my $0.02...

I think the issue you describe is the result of the relatively low
number of developers doing actual RoR development in Israel. It's not
like this is a .Net group where you have literally thousands of
developers of which you can always find a few dozens that have both
the willingness & spare time to come to the meeting...

Please don't get me wrong - I think there is definitely a place for a
RoR group/community in Israel, it's just a matter of what you expect
it to do/become, in my opinion.

As I see it, the RoR group should be targeted at making RoR's
abilities & advantages "visible" to the rest of the people out there,
i.e. developers (.net, java) looking to expend their knowledge, R&D
managers looking for new technologies, etc.

I suggest to hold meetings in a specific format:

1 - RoR introduction (what is it, why it's awsome, etc...) - about 1-2
hours. this is what would attract "innocent bystanders" just wanting
to know what this Ruby thing is...
2 - Advanced subjects for the more experienced - another 2 hours. This
is aimed at more experienced developers with real-life questions...

the whole point is that each one can come to the part he wants or
both :-)



what do you think?

Thanks
Gal











On Mar 30, 12:32 pm, "Aur Saraf" <sonofli...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sun, Mar 30, 2008 at 10:48 AM, Evgeny <evgeny.zis...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > Do any of the Israely Rubyists have blogs that they post to?
>

doron

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Mar 30, 2008, 7:40:41 AM3/30/08
to Israel.rb
Is there an H - didn't know there was a poll?
I didn't see the poll or the meeting invitations, but that's probably
because I was A, too busy.

I think a RoR community in Israel would be great but maybe it's too
small so the amount of people who have the energy to maintain it is
approaching zero. I know I am busy with work and family and I know
some of you are also busy at building their our startups/business.
It's not San Francisco where they have houndreds or thousends of
developers and more that join the community every day.

I don't have any contructive Idea, but I am glad we at least have this
Google Group to communicate through, even if it looks like a place
holder or a job board ;)

Dov Murik

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Mar 30, 2008, 8:41:22 AM3/30/08
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Actually, I agree with Doron:

On 30/03/2008, doron <doron...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> I don't have any contructive Idea, but I am glad we at least have this
> Google Group to communicate through, even if it looks like a place
> holder or a job board ;)
>

Let's keep this mailing list. If someone has question about Rails
hosting in Israel, or problems with Hebrew localization, or just want
to know how to say Mongrel in Hebrew, I think this is the right place
(same for job offers, etc.). If this group will become very active
sometime, maybe that'll be the time to organize another meeting.

dubek.

shaig...@gmail.com

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Mar 30, 2008, 9:34:26 AM3/30/08
to Israel.rb
i second this as well. may not be a thriving community, but better
there is something than nothing at all.

On Mar 30, 3:41 pm, "Dov Murik" <dov.mu...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Actually, I agree with Doron:
>

nenorbot

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May 7, 2008, 11:23:48 AM5/7/08
to Israel.rb
Hi, I just came by this group... exciting to see there are actually
Ruby enthusiasts in Israel. If there will
be meetings in the future, I will definitely try to make it.

Adam Fine

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May 10, 2008, 11:04:51 PM5/10/08
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Hi Vitaly.

First of all, I completely understand your frustration. We all hoped
that the Dev'il group project would catch up. We all were very
disappointed when it did not. When last meeting failed, I got flakked
via email by the people who helped us with the logistics of last
meeting - and I've already left the country at that point.

However, despair and resignation are not the answer.

The group currently has 107 registered members. Think about it!
That's 107 people in Israel who want to be a part of an Israeli Ruby
community. As a manager in the group, you can see that the vast
majority of those people are subscribed the regular email. Not only
that - they actively participate! This very thread - pessimistic as
it is - attests to that. In less than 12 hours, you got 7 replies from
6 different people. 7 replies, in less than 12 hours, to one post.
Other recent threads got replies as well. In fact the only threads
left without reply are the job posts (and I'm sure you heard that
those got several private replies).

The group is very much alive, and wants to keep living.

The main thing right now is to organize more meetings, which are the
lifeblood and raison d'etre of every local Ruby community - Israeli
one included.

Good luck,

-Adam

Adam Fine

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May 10, 2008, 11:21:06 PM5/10/08
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P.S.:

Never forget that when we had meeting agendas, with interesting topics
and quality material - people did show up. The last non-Dev'il related
meeting had 12 people despite being the infamous "free agenda with
some backup" meeting. Other meetings, with organized agendas and
in-depth presentations, had 15+ attendants - even when the group had
scarcely half the subscribers it does today.

It would have been great if the project took off. But for the time
being, it does not. This reality must be accepted, and the group must
move on.

-A

Evgeny

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May 11, 2008, 2:06:07 AM5/11/08
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I for one am not too interested in meetings, but that may be just my preference.
And I am also not much interested in projects that I don't care about, like that Devil whatever.

It could be nice if there was a group of people in Israel that could do what Seattle.rb are doing, but we should just accept it that not everyone is Ryan Davis ... and not every community is Seattle.rb

There must be stuff that can be done via this very mailing list that is both interesting to most participants, and somehow contributory to the ruby communities.

At the very least, this place is the first address to go for someone in Israel who just got into ruby and/or rails and wants to find out more information about it in the local area.


-
evgeny

Vitaly Kushner

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May 11, 2008, 12:21:32 PM5/11/08
to Israel.rb - the Israeli Ruby & Rails community
I had a todo item for the last couple of weeks to write here what I
think about the future of this group,
but I was too busy with personal stuff and Astrails projects to get to
it.

I'll do it here and now though :)

* The frustration is not related to the devil project so much as to
the passivity of the participation. There are many people
that are ready to 'consume' but almost no one is ready to 'produce'

* I don't think regular meetings are practical right now. We might
pull off one or two, but the momentum
will wear off very quickly like it did the last time. Adam, I don't
have to remind you your constant
struggle with 'who will present and what to present' on each
meeting. I'd prefer to 'grow' this mailing
list first and only then get to meetings again.

* And by growing I don't mean amount of users passively reading it.
It seems that a good measure of viability of meetings is the amount
of traffic on the mailing list.
I think we should concentrate first on building this traffic before
we get to the meetings.

* One source of traffic is 'relevant content'. I have a couple of
content posts for this list in the works
and will be posting them "Real Soon (tm)" :)

* Another source of traffic is Q&A. I promise that I will personally
try to answer all technical questions as soon as I see them
and I'm sure others will join me on this.
Please, if you have a question about Ruby/Rails or web development
in general (scalability, performance, deployment etc)
then just ask here, there is a very good chance you will get the
answer or at least some help with it.

/Vitaly

On May 11, 9:06 am, Evgeny <evgeny.zis...@gmail.com> wrote:
> I for one am not too interested in meetings, but that may be just my
> preference.
> And I am also not much interested in projects that I don't care about, like
> that Devil whatever.
>
> It could be nice if there was a group of people in Israel that could do what
> Seattle.rb are doing, but we should just accept it that not everyone is Ryan
> Davis ... and not every community is Seattle.rb
>
> There must be stuff that can be done via this very mailing list that is both
> interesting to most participants, and somehow contributory to the ruby
> communities.
>
> At the very least, this place is the first address to go for someone in
> Israel who just got into ruby and/or rails and wants to find out more
> information about it in the local area.
>
> -
> evgeny
>
> On Sun, May 11, 2008 at 6:21 AM, Adam Fine <a...@adamfine.net> wrote:
>
> > P.S.:
>
> > Never forget that when we had meeting agendas, with interesting topics
> > and quality material - people did show up. The last non-Dev'il related
> > meeting had 12 people despite being the infamous "free agenda with
> > some backup" meeting. Other meetings, with organized agendas and
> > in-depth presentations, had 15+ attendants - even when the group had
> > scarcely half the subscribers it does today.
>
> > It would have been great if the project took off. But for the time
> > being, it does not. This reality must be accepted, and the group must
> > move on.
>
> > -A
>

Evgeny

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May 11, 2008, 2:36:27 PM5/11/08
to isra...@googlegroups.com
And another source of traffic is exposure, so far I have seen Israel.rb on most ruby related communities, like working-with-rails. Perhaps more resources of traffic can be found, like (dont shoot me) the perl-il and linux-il mailing lists.

And maybe you guys have more ideas regarding how to build the reputation and exposure of this mailing list. Like a small nice website saying "we have a mailing list" and not much more, and a facebook group, and whatever else comes to mind.

Maybe sometime in the future there will be enough momentum to create a meeting, or maybe even a mini conference. And when any of the start of the ruby community arrives to Israel - this place is the one to know about it imho.


just my 2cc

o_O

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May 13, 2008, 3:41:54 AM5/13/08
to Israel.rb - the Israeli Ruby & Rails community
Hey --

On May 11, 7:21 pm, Vitaly Kushner <vita...@gmail.com> wrote:

> * The frustration is not related to the devil project so much as to
> the passivity of the participation. There are many people
>   that are ready to 'consume' but almost no one is ready to 'produce'
>
> * I don't think regular meetings are practical right now. We might
> pull off one or two, but the momentum
>   will wear off very quickly like it did the last time. Adam, I don't
> have to remind you your constant
>   struggle with 'who will present and what to present' on each
> meeting. I'd prefer to 'grow' this mailing
>   list first and only then get to meetings again.

I suggest that instead of holding proper meetings with all the
presentations, etc., we hold more informal networking type events. Go
out drinking and throw around ideas, see what everyone else is up to
and working on. If we build those up we can then work on getting more
formal events together by collaborating in person instead of just
posting announcements to the group.

> * And by growing I don't mean amount of users passively reading it.
>   It seems that a good measure of viability of meetings is the amount
> of traffic on the mailing list.
>   I think we should concentrate first on building this traffic before
> we get to the meetings.
>
> * One source of traffic is 'relevant content'. I have a couple of
> content posts for this list in the works
>   and will be posting them "Real Soon (tm)" :)
>
> * Another source of traffic is Q&A. I promise that I will personally
> try to answer all technical questions as soon as I see them
>   and I'm sure others will join me on this.
>   Please, if you have a question about Ruby/Rails or web development
> in general (scalability, performance, deployment etc)
>   then just ask here, there is a very good chance you will get the
> answer or at least some help with it.

The problem that I see with this group is that there is no real draw
for people to be posting the type of content you are describing. If
someone has a problem they are going to naturally go to the ruby-lang
list or #ruby-lang where there is already much more activity. This
group needs to have a draw that you won't find elsewhere. One idea
would be to make it hebrew-centric. Get non-english speakers involved
and this becomes their only resource for help/information.

I like the idea of 'quality posting' but how much action can that
bring realistically? This group needs some hook that it does not
presently have or ever had.

>      /Vitaly

jonah

Adam Fine

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May 13, 2008, 10:09:52 PM5/13/08
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I think it's essential that the group would meet.

As I said above, and as Jonah just also agreed, the raison d'etre of any local group is physical meetings.

If the group is only virtual, why should one post here in particular?  Since the beginning, we established that all posting here is in English by convention. That attracts quality content, but it also means that anyone posting here could just as well post to global Ruby lists.

Sure, it's nice that the group now has 108 members, and for little Israel that's certainly an achievement, but if the group is only virtual, then its competing on equal basis against other purely-virtual groups: the global Ruby discussion forums, with their thousands of active subscribers from all over the world. If the group exists only in cyberspace, and one has some quality content in English to share, he would go ahead and publish and discuss it at Ruby talk. Why waste any time here, lacking any external (i.e. real-world) reason to do so?

I'm not arguing that the virtual part isn't important: it very much is. I would never have managed to found such a group so quickly without the substantial help of cyberspace. And we definitely wouldn't have grown to such size so fast without our virtual presence. Israel.rb's virtual presence has and will be crucial, but meetings are very important as well.

The group used to meet more, and it could meet again. I agree with Jonah that one of the major ways is to speak to people personally and get their RSVP. We used to do that a lot a few months ago, and I feel that I'm partly guilty about not doing it for the last 2 meetings due to lack of time (was already very much tied in my relocation).

In fact, I'm even more optimistic than Jonah: for several months, we've had 12-15 people on pretty much every meeting. This could happen again.

This is my honest assessment of the situation. I have nothing to gain or lose by whatever you, the group, decide to do. Israel.rb has made my last year in Israel more fun and meaningful; right now I'm not physically a member, and everything the group has given me back is already in the past. Still, I wish very much for the group to keep breathing, and further promote technical excellence in Israel. There's a lot of untapped potential there and I truly believe that organizing meetings, presentations, and - hopefully in the future - projects, is a key part of unleashing it.

-Adam

Arik Fraimovich - www.arikfr.com

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May 14, 2008, 1:25:17 PM5/14/08
to Israel.rb - the Israeli Ruby & Rails community
I totally agree with Jonah that if not possible doing formal meetings,
unformal meeting can be cool too.
It always fun meeting with bunch of geeks and discussing good ideas.

Arik

Steve

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May 14, 2008, 1:50:43 PM5/14/08
to Israel.rb - the Israeli Ruby & Rails community
I agree as well. Announce the events publicly through the Facebook
group and/or Meetup group, and post happy photos to the sites. This
will be good for evangelism, networking, and for potentially creating
consensus on more substantive or informative events down the road.

Steve


On May 14, 10:25 am, "Arik Fraimovich - www.arikfr.com"

Shlomi Fish

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May 14, 2008, 1:52:58 PM5/14/08
to isra...@googlegroups.com, Steve
On Wednesday 14 May 2008, Steve wrote:
> I agree as well. Announce the events publicly through the Facebook
> group and/or Meetup group, and post happy photos to the sites. This
> will be good for evangelism, networking, and for potentially creating
> consensus on more substantive or informative events down the road.
>

Hi!

Please also use email and RSS, and possibly publicise on whatsup.org.il,
linmagazine.co.il, Linux-IL, etc. Not everyone is on Facebook and not
everyone likes it (as is the case for me).

Regards,

Shlomi Fish

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http://www.shlomifish.org/humour/ways_to_do_it.html

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