NoEnd Who, What ,When, Where, Why, and How
Why do we exist?
To humanize the technology we work all with. We are not about money, or jobs, or deals, or selling, those are just great byproducts that we've found naturally appear in great abundance if not focused on directly. We exist as a group simply to relax and bring the pace of the Net down a few notches by sharing human experiences and information with real people. We also just like to get together, sip a bear, and have fun!
Why do we like to have each person speak at meetings?
To humanize the sterile techno bathed environment of working on the Web. NoEnd meetings have always included a time for each person to say their name and how their week was. NOT what they do (except the first time), where they work, or what they are selling, but what the king sumo FEELING was during their week. This is often the most exciting and educational part of the meetings.
It is also the most subtle part of the NoEnd group and the most
important. People who may not naturally speak up in groups often come up with the most interesting ideas and observations. Artists from different fields get exposed to different point's of view and expertise. Everyone gets a chance to contribute, instead of allowing more aggressive speakers to dominate the meetings and it keeps anyone from just being an observer.
As the group grows this tradition becomes more difficult. We have had to reduce the time to about a minute per person; and instead of pursuing in-depth group discussion of each person's "minute", the group breaks up at the end of the meeting to talk in smaller groups about focused topics that were brought up during the "minutes".
This activity is the manifestation of why we meet: to do things humans can do that computers can't (yet), such as share a person's excitement about a finished project, or support someone who is discouraged, or just laugh and applaud someone quitting a job you knew they hated.
Why do we meet in person?
The concept behind the meetings is to do what we can't do online or on mailing lists- interact with smelly, hairy, talkin', high res, bizillion's of colors real live people who understand Netspeak! The byproduct is networking in a relaxed and extremely effective environment. We've found that networking is much more successful as a byproduct then if we actually focused on it.
You need not be a Web developer, nor anything else but curious to come to a meeting. We've found that everyone has something to offer.