Topics for coffee meetings
Nick Randolph made an interesting point.
But first let me say that it's great that the Perth .Net group are doing this at all. It's a great move to develop a stronger community, and one that I would love to see happen in Adelaide some time. My problem with organising something like this is that I'm not in the city often enough, but I will try to encourage other people in the Adelaide user-groups to set up something like this.
Back to Nick's point though... In case you've just read through his post and are wondering what I'm talking about, he's put low numbers down to a "lack of a prepared theme". But I think this is exactly the point of these meetings. If you want a prepared theme, you go to a user-group meeting. Cafe meetings are for people to gather without talking about a specific topic. I suppose it could be argued that the main difference between a cafe meeting and a UG meeting is the opportunity to discuss, rather than be lectured to, but I think the informality and social aspect is the key - you're meeting for the sake of meeting. Sure, the conversations (please realise that's in the plural) will come around to technical points, and people will probably interrupt their own conversations to join other ones that are about topics they're interested in - but this is just a natural progression from having a gathering of technophiles (just like how the conversations at the Christian group at uni would often be about Christian stuff). There shouldn't be topics. People should meet because they like each other. I wonder if Mauricio has topics.