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Visiting Portland Blender User Group's Shares (account name: porbug)
Standard Meeting Formats?

Do we want a structured format for each meeting?



In a standard 3-hour meeting (shorter or longer?)


<00:15> - 00:00:  Lab Prep & Volunteer Business

     The lab computers are routinely swept clean. So, Blender and any other applicable programs and files will need to be reloaded on the computers we intend to use. At the same time, volunteers might also conduct any group business that may need face-time, but does not require all participants' involvement.


00:00 - 00:15:  Newbie Orientation, Q&A, News, Discoveries &/or Reviews

     Opening w/ informative trivia should help to absorb stragglers and late-comers.  Anybody with questions can hope to find fellow attendees w/ potentially have quick answers or how to find the answers.  Whoever has learned of any 3D-related news and current affairs are encouraged to share them, such as the latest upgrade version releases, professional movies, games and similar CG-world events.  All participants' are also encouraged to shared discoveries or other Eureka! moments that they're enthused about.  The first 15 minutes might also include recapping the highlights of the previous meetings for any who missed them.


     Depending on if and how many newcomers we have at any meeting, we can adjust the scope and scale of Blender basics orientation.


00:15 - 01:25:  Project, Activity, Focus of the Month

     To be discussed at length under other Discussion Topics and selected for each meeting agenda.

01:25 - 01:35:  Quick Challenge -- 10-minute (maybe 15 minute) Refreashment break

     Those who may not need or want any/all of a break-time could get a jump on a quick Blender-related brain-teaser, puzzle or mini-project, like a simple model, or the most appealing material or texture for a given model, or the most creative application for a modifier or add-on, etc.  This Quick Challenge time might also be used to focus multiple minds to tackle any participants' hang-ups or problems that they just can't seem to overcome on their own.  Any Quick Challenge could be one of the perplexities posed by a PorBUG participant in the "Help! I've a Blender Problem" folder in the Discussions section of PorBUG's KeepAndShare site.

01:35 - 01:45:  Quick Challenge Wrap-up

     Ideally, a Quick Challenge would fit into this 10-minute slot, so that all participants have the opportunity to take a break and not miss out on a challenge they are interested in.  Others who need or want more than a 10-minute break could opt to skip these 10-minutes as well.

01:45 - 02:55:  Continued or Additional Project, Activity, Focus of the Month


02:55 - 03:00:  Next Month's Considerations

     If we can come up with the next meeting's plans by this time, introducing those plans allows participants to investigate, experiment, attempt or explore the topic on their own until the next meeting.  Then at the next meeting, all those who explored it will more likely have experiences and discoveries to share.


03:00 - 03:15:  Clean-up, Shutdown & Tie-up Any Loose Ends


     It is, of course, always appropriate behavior for guests to return facilities to their original condition. But, to show our appreciation for how exceptional Portland A.I.'s patronage is for our group, I ask that there be a couple of us, preferably not always the same ones, stay a little after to push in chairs, shut off computers, save neglected items to reunite with their owners in the future, shut off the lights and whatever else needs to be done.



     Also, if there wasn't enough time &/or early-arriving volunteers to conclude business before the meeting, they could consider doing so with the closers.

We might want several different standard formats?

Any format would, of course, be only guidelines.  The participants could organically adapt a given format to fit the prevailing mood or activities.  For example, forego a full 10-minute break and skip any Quick Challenge to continue exceptional momentum and energy on the current activity.

Creation date: Sep 15, 2012 3:42 pm     Last modified date: Oct 15, 2012 9:41 pm   Last visit date: Feb 20, 2019 4:43 am     link & embed ?...
22 / 20 posts
Oct 18, 2012  ( 3 posts )  
12:55 pm
Jennifer Bogartz (jen_b)

@Jevelyan  No problem.  I'm sorry if I upset you.  I really enjoyed seeing everyone's work and how they use their imagination.  I would love to see more from you.

10:11 am
Will Woodhull (will_w)

@Jevelyan-- That meeting structure looks pretty good to me as a starting place.


WRT what I hope to get from BUG:

  1. It is a way I can give back to the worldwide Blender community. I can't code nor do I know enough to submit a useful bug report, but user groups are important, too.
  2. I would very much like to make things easier for newbies than it was for me.
  3. I know I will pick up some better ways of doing things, just through hanging around with Blenderistas.

One of my dreams is to see Blender clubs in Portland high schools. I have been at the forefront of the word processing revolution, the email / BBS revolution (that eventually brought you the Internet), and the revolution that replaced wet photography with digital darkrooms. Blender is a big step toward The Next Big Thing.



7:57 am
Nate Sullivan (irishspacemonk)

What I'm looking at getting from the Blender User Group:

1. Expand my general knowledge of Blender by sharing and learning from others

2. Meet other Blender Users and encourage new people to give Blender a try

3. Collaborate on projects


And I like the idea of perhaps an annual NW Blender Conference - sort of a SeaBug/PorBug mixup.



Oct 17, 2012  ( 2 posts )  
10:50 pm
Philip Modin (philmaker)

I think your enthusiasm and the way you understand the potential of this group is what makes you such a great leader. I totally support you because you are confident and I agree with the way you do things, but that may differ with other members.


An established facilitator is probably essential for our group, otherwise we might get nothing accomplished in the anarchy.


I was commenting on the intensity of the expression and desperation of needs. The rest of us might just be too soft spoken (look who's talking). I don't think you can be too assertive in this group, we'd let you know ;)


Now I'll express some opinion..

I was interested in attending SeaBUG before this group was formed, but I was not sure it would be worth it. I knew I'd probably learn something, but I wasn't sure if it would make me want to come back the next time. PDXBUG (or what else was propsed as a name) must be worth attending for us to last beyond 2012 and to get something accomplished. For me that means: an opportunity to see if there are any people interested in the same Blender things I am, being able to get some solid Blender knowledge from others, and to share what I have learned to assist others.


Maybe we should list the things we are looking to give/gain from this group to be able to form a clear group goal.

Here's a quick list of mine in order of priority:

1. Gain solid Blender knowledge.

2. Share my knowledge/ideas.

3. Collaboration.

4. Socializing.


The way I see it, we could have a mini Blender conference every so often.

9:52 pm
Multiversal Empires Collaboration Project (jenuvyel)

[After very long consideration, I felt it necessary to publicize this rather than send a private email.]


jen_b, I am sincerely sorry for appearing so intense.  I did not intend to intimidate or offend you.


I could attempt to excuse myself by pointing back to my prefaced caveat about web flames.  Yet that still failed, since at least two others still perceived my comments as intense.  So, I apologize.


Looking back over all so far, I assume maybe some contribution for misconstruing my intensity might be my assertiveness at our meetings?  Even if this assumption is wrong, I still apologize... to everyone.  I may have let my enthusiasm for what I envision as this group's potential get the better of me.


I do not want to lead or dominate the group.  I should not.  No one should.  Rather than just say this though, I will take a lesser role in facilitating meetings from now on to allow all others to facilitate as much if not more... don't everyone try to do so all at once though. :)


I also assume maybe the volume of my typing, suggestions and activities might be overwhelming and contribute to my intensity.  Instead of apologizing for this, I hope all of you will strive to be as active, if not more so, in your own ways.


Everyone should suggest, contribute and criticize uninhibited and without reservations, just as jen_b did, just as I did.  I guess I just have to figure out how to tone it down.


… but I still want more than a social club.

Oct 15, 2012  ( 3 posts )  
10:54 pm
Multiversal Empires Collaboration Project (jenuvyel)

irishspacemonk writes:  "Learning to teach other's is a great way to learn your craft even more."


Oh!  So true.  In my college degree, all students were required to "teach" their term paper topics to the entire class and answer all peer questions relating to it... and we were graded on how well we fielded those questions.


I also learned as much if not more from producing all my own course syllibi and class materials for my Peace Corps work.

9:34 pm
Multiversal Empires Collaboration Project (jenuvyel)

I am truly sorry that I came off intensely. I made a deliberate effort not to be.

1:05 am
Philip Modin (philmaker)

Man, it's getting intense. :D


Somewhere Jenuvyel once or twice mentioned that the face to face time we have is limited and precious, therefore we must use it wisely. I agree.

In my opinion, having an open workshop is ok, but we can do some of that at home and it does not address the needs of many people.

I'd say that the best use of the time we have is to help those who are struggling with Blender first of all, then move on to more advanced things.

Of course it would be neccessary not to bore the people who wish to come for some workshop time or learn some advanced things since people can also follow tutorials at home.


So here's what I came up with:

The Mac lab has an instructor's screen, and the inside rows are arranged for optimal viewing of that screen while the outer rows face away from the screen. So the room can be divided to have an instructional session as well as an open workshop time where the inner row seats are reserved for those who want to listen to the lesson, and the outer rows become open for those who aren't as interested.

To meet needs of both beginners and of those who are more advanced we could have a beginners lesson first and a more advanced lesson afterwards. Then open the floor to anyone who wants to share anything else or receive feedback on something they've been working on.


I wouldn't mind if my proposal would be mixed with some of those below. I like the idea of 15 minute social breaks mentioned by irishspacemonk.

Oct 14, 2012  ( 6 posts )  
Oct 13, 2012  ( 4 posts )  
Sep 30, 2012  ( 2 posts )  
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