Local Meetups online?

Hello everyone!

So, the issue of English not being the native language of most of our users has recently been at the forefront of discussion within the community.

The biggest problem is that many of our users struggle to add to discussions, because English is not their mother tongue.

How this is handled right now, is that people will either chime in on the discussion in their native language and others try to translate for them - or just say nothing at all because they’re uncomfortable with this practice. And to be honest, it’s not how we would like it to be either.

A major issue is that we do not have the resources to run multiple events or sub-events for all languages without one having overall poor support and quality. To put it more eloquently: We don’t have the resources, so one language would be half-assed.

We do have a German background, but we made the decision a while ago to stick to English to accommodate everyone. We want to improve our English and communication with everyone in our community. However, this does not mean that we will turn a blind eye to our members closer to home, and thus we have a proposition.

Our proposal: local meetups

As the title would suggest, we are putting forth a proposal for virtual “local” meetups where people can speak their native language. This way you can exchange ideas, have discussions and communicate comfortably.

We suggest having a shared organisation on those topics, so people who are interested would organise those meetups together with us.

We offer our tools and to promote the meetups on our official channels and we’d work together on the format of the meetup, so it turns out just the way you’d like it to be :slight_smile:

So, what do you think?

Would you attend/organise such an event?

Do you have any other ideas?

What are your thoughts on the matter?


Basically, I think the idea is great and certainly gives the community a lot of courage to deal with language barriers.
This requires a stable structure and appropriate tools for implementation.
There should be clear roles and moderators in these meeting and the topics should be structured in advance.


it’s a good idea, Especially if the local meetups do not take place. But in our case I don’t want to anticipate our organizers like @twidhalm how we will handle this the next time.

About english: If I don’t know or remember a word: Google and some dictionaries are my friends. :grin:

About the tools: here is the question if we have to install something or we need special configurations. E.g. we have in our company strict security guidelines and special workflows for that. If we need something like that, then this should be announced in advance.
I also don’t want to install something on my private PC if it is not necessary :wink:

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Good morning!
I was thinking that I don’t want to impose any rules beforehand for all meetups.
Reason for that is mostly, that the local meetup groups all have a certain dynamic by themselves already.

From what I understand, there are quite a few groups already that know each other pretty well already and I think someone from that group would then work together with us to organise the meetup and think up what we should do :slight_smile:

Plus, the local meetup groups would probably also be significantly smaller, so maybe the rules can be a bit more lax :slight_smile:

Thanks for your input, I’d be happy to discuss more ideas on what those rules could look like though!

Have a nice day!

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Hello there!

It may be just a feeling, but local meetups became rarer anyway as of late, even before this whole ‘stay inside’ mess happened - not sure if you can confirm that?

I think the issue is also less, that people don’t know a word here and there, but more a lack of language feel. Speaking is a whole different manner - and you can hardly look up words while you’re talking :wink:

Toolwise, I evaluated some tools and it’s difficult to find one that works…

  1. Jitsi is my personal favourite for small groups.
    Pros: self hosting, browser based and open source
    Cons: It is sadly very lacking for bigger groups. The issue here is also not easily solvable, since the problem is not the server not being able to handle it, but the clients giving out. I have heard that the issue is less bad, if none of the participants use firefox and rely on chromium based browsers, but I didn’t test that yet.

  2. Zoom is my go-to for bigger groups
    Pros: It’s stable, has a good background blur feature, and …just works? (At least I didn’t run into any issues yet). And the client is Linux compatible.
    Cons: Who needs privacy, am I right? ( /s ) It requires a client, which is suboptimal for exactly those reasons you mentioned. And you need to buy a license for proper usage.

  3. Goto (-meeting, -webinar, -training) is alright for the most part.
    Pros: It’s also fairly stable, has a huge feature set, and for its specific purposes pretty optimised (I use GotoTraining for online trainings.
    Cons: Windows/OSX only client. The interface is really clunky. It costs quite a bit too.

Those are just the ones I tried out. I know there are others out there as well, and I am totally up for suggestions!


Hi Feu,

thanks for the answer and the list. I can check this. But if we have to pay a licence, it won’t be possible. Let’s see what our bosses or security colleagues says or ideas they have.

You’re right, but you have the same “problem” at your conferences as well :wink:
Wee need the Universal translator from Star Trek :sweat_smile:

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We would offer to host the meetups with our licenses that we have used for our meetups :slight_smile:


I could think of two sorts of online meetups.

  • The regular ones aiming for the usual group of users advertised as usual over the usual channels. Only just online for now
  • A new sort of Meetup not targeted on a geographical location but to a “language family”

I’d say, everyones welcome in all of these meetings. If someone from Berlin or Stuttgart wants to join the Austrian/Salzburg Meetup we won’t stop them from doing so - it’s more the other way round, you’re very welcome! We had guests from all over German speaking countries in the past and it was great. I just wanted to say that we’re aiming to keep up the Austrian group so we can go back to meeting in person after the lockdown is over and I think it could help to keep up the more specific groups.

After the lockdown I’m hoping for two kinds of Meetups: The local ones where people meet in person and can actually :clinking_glasses: on one hand. And on the other hand a new way of “Online Meetup” aiming at people speaking a common language no matter where they are living or where they are at the moment.