From The President May 2020

David Stonier-Gibson

It’s all a little weird at the moment. We have been forced to do a complete pivot on our plans and aspirations for things like the Maker Room. I am trying to grasp the opportunities that the CV crisis presents, as well as handling the challenges.

April monthly meeting

This was conducted with Google Meet for the people “on the stage” and streaming out to YouTube for the members. Thank you to Stephen Zuluaga and Hugh Macdonald for cobbling together the technology. There were problems with the audio, so as far as I can tell much of an otherwise really good guest presentation was lost.

May monthly meeting plan

For the May meeting, I am negotiating with several fairly prominent people to have a panel discussion on something along the lines of “What long term impact this crisis could have on society”. Will there be some significant changes, re-assessments of our values, or will we simply revert to the same old, same old?

I want to extract the max possible exposure out of this event, which I intend to promote far and wide. It will be open to non-members, but if I can get everything lined up I will put out some heavy club messaging.

Online SIG meetings

Several SIGs have moved to online meetings. The committee decided to support one particular platform, Google G-Suite Meet. G-Suite is a commercial strength toolset for which we have a free not for profit (NFP) license. The Meet online meeting component is fully browser-based, no download required, and works on all hardware platforms, albeit with varying results. Our support page is at

By the way …

All SIG meetings are open to all members. While meetings are conducted online you have an opportunity to attend any meeting without having to drive halfway across town. So why not sample some of the topic-specific SIGs, or simply see how people in other regions are conducting their meetings. You may e-meet some new people and enjoy a yarn.

Special projects

I have made the first steps toward several initiatives to keep members engaged. I intend to go public with these gradually over the coming days and weeks. Some I will go outside the club with, and use short (3/6 month) memberships as prizes. That work has unfortunately taken a back seat to the Big One: ….

… The transition

As I have stated in email to all members and on our members-only forum, this is a big job that will take time, patience and understanding. While we subscribe totally to openness and transparency, we simply cannot and will not debate detailed points and concerns with individual members. It would leave no time for doing the actual job. All inputs from members are being noted, recorded and considered. Our response will be in the form of an evolving FAQ posted behind our members’ sign-on.

Do not use the transition team address for general inquiries about routine renewal notices, suspected spam. We will not reply to individual emails to that address.


I confess to being a social media addict. Maybe it’s an aspect of a personality that is also not suffering hugely due to isolation. I understand that not everyone likes social media, so some members won’t use them. But I have noticed several new names pop up in posts and likes on our members-only social platform, Yammer, since the lock-down started. I find that encouraging.

Yammer got something of a bad rap a few years ago when we had a president who, to put it mildly, was lacking in social and diplomatic skills. That is all history, and Yammer is now a safe place to hang out. During the lock-down, it offers a place to interact with fellow members either on specific topic groups or the all-encompassing “Chit Chat” group. If you are the personality type who is suffering from the isolation, Yammer could be the place to find some online socialising.

Give it a go. Have your sign-in credentials ready and go to:

You may be in isolation but you needn’t be isolated.

Special offers from printer supplier.

I received 2 or 3 emails from the company we lease our big laser printer from, with special offers to “help valued customers through the crisis”. I see them as nothing more than cynical attempts to incite people to extend their contracts in return for somewhat deferred payments.