2013/11/12

Changes To NEW NET Meetings And The Weekly NEW NET List

It's time to make changes to the NEW NET meetings and the weekly NEW NET list of technology articles and posts.

The goal of the changes we make to NEW NET is to make the meetings more valuable to NEW NET meeting participants. Since NEW NET meetings commenced in 2005, we've used various NEW NET weekly list formats and different meeting locations. We've had a large number of interesting NEW NET meeting participants and have tried to keep the meetings interesting for whoever showed up each week.

The world of technology has changed greatly from 2005 to 2013. Many more places in the Fox Valley now have free wifi. Desktop computer are no longer the primary or only computing device for technology enthusiasts and many consumers. Today's NEW NET weekly meeting participant may view the weekly NEW NET list on a smartphone or tablet, which no one did in 2005. Online consumer services, which were dominated eight years ago by Internet search, email and mailing lists, now include options such as collaborative online documents (like Google Docs) and free hosted file storage (like DropBox and Google Drive).

More of the technology emphasis these days seems to focus on how 'non-tech' people use tech tools, such as Facebook posts or smartphone photo sharing, rather than on geeky tech topics which are primarily of interest to a much smaller demographic of 'tech' people, such as processor speed or hard drive size increases. The much wider range of topics included in technology 'news' leads to both opportunities (the 'tech' information is potentially of interest to a much larger number of people) and challenges (discussing a wider range of topics may be of less interest to people who have a very narrow scope of interest).

One of the discussion topics at this week's NEW NET meeting will be about how to put together future weekly lists so they effectively cover topics of interest to regular participants. We'll be discussing alternative ways of generating a regular list of tech news and posts -- if that list is something seen by most NEW NET participants as a valuable component of the weekly meeting. The weekly list could also be dropped for a while to see what other meeting tools or formats seems to make for an enjoyable weekly two hour tech-focused meeting.

Let us know your thoughts about the future direction for NEW NET meetings! Send your comments to bwaldron {att} gmail [dott] com.

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