Wow. That is the only way of describing how we all feel in the LugRadio team regarding the response to Monday’s news that we are wrapping up LugRadio. I have been, in a word, stunned at the incredibly generous and kind comments that we have been receiving. It was incredible to see so many comments on that blog entry, as well as Aq’s write-up, the LugRadio forums thread that announced the news, and the mountain of email to the show email address.
I have read every one of those comments, posts and emails and I am stunned at the incredibly kind things people have been saying. Some of the things that people have said have really made us all feel incredibly proud of the show. I love the fact that many of you said that LugRadio helped you get enthused about free software and the community, and many of you said that you feel part of something with LugRadio. A long time ago, Bruno, a LugRadio community regular said “LugRadio is my LUG“; it seems he is not alone in that sentiment based on many of the messages we have received.
So with all the thanks we have received and well-wishes for the future, I want to use this as an opportunity to say thanks to every one of you too. As some of you will know, I am rather fond of communities, and I am incredibly proud of the LugRadio community. It has demonstrated all the traits of a good community; it is a friendly, welcoming environment, and one that has never been short of people enthusiastic about getting involved. Heck, the foundation of LugRadio is a testament to this, with every single show being mirrored by a large number of contributors – this was a conscious decision that we made from day one to help make the show possible, and low-and-behold the community once again stood up and helped. Not only that, but had community contributions with sys-admin work, the planet, the facts database, the clan, the forums, the IRC channel, at LugRadio Live, with ideas for the show, emails and more.
There is though one little story though which I would like to share with you that really demonstrated to me what the LugRadio community is capable of. Back when we were organising LugRadio Live 2006, we spent months preparing for the event. It was twice the size of 2005, two days instead of one, three stages instead of two with more talk slots, had far more activities and events going on and involved a lot more coordination, sponsorship and more. We worked our respective arses off to get everything in shape, and the community was psyched up about it. People had booked flights from all over the world to attend, hotels were reserved and we were a few weeks away from the big weekend. Then, one evening while doing some recording, I logged onto the LugRadio Forums from my studio computer and noticed a comment that a rail strike was scheduled for the weekend of LugRadio Live. Crap. I can safely say that in 28 years of being on this planet, I have never been so angry as I was in that moment, and was fuming at not only the incompetence of the people who run the rail network but also the union deciding to throw their toys out the proverbial pram. Who the hell did they think they were? Did they not consider other people who rely on the rail network? Were they aware of how disruptive this was going to be? I stood there and envisaged all of our hard work slowly going down the drain as people could not get to LugRadio Live.
In all the commotion, the LugRadio community…unasked…and unprompted, jumped right into action and started organising car sharing, investigating alternatives and getting a plan in place. Discussions happened, wiki pages were created, capacity was developed. We even had someone volunteer to pay or a nationwide coach service out of his own pocket. When I went to work at OpenAdvantage the following day with a black cloud hovering over my head, I was touched by just how much the community had pulled together. In my mind, this is the definition of what this is all about – we are all coming together to not only do incredibly cool things with technology, culture and new perspectives, but there is a noticeable atmosphere of people looking out for each other. The greatest communities in the world are not just places where you feel empowered, they are places in which other people empower you.
…oh and for the curious, the conclusion of this tale was that when I got into OpenAdvantage that day I called the rail network officials and the union and gave them equal doses of my derision. Fortunately, said strike was called off and everyone lived happily ever after. I even shaved off that insane beard at that LugRadio Live. Retrospectively, that was a deeply wise move.
So in conclusion, thanks everyone for everything you have been saying to us, we really do appreciate it.
Come to LugRadio Live UK 2008 for one last shindig
So everyone, with the show wrapping up, you absolutely, utterly have to come along to LugRadio Live UK 2008 on the 19th and 20th July 2008 for our farewell LugRadio Live. Of course, its not just our last recording of a show – there will be three stages of speakers, a full exhibition, parties and other fun for the weekend. Its only a few weeks away, so get booked into a hotel and come and join us.