To the question "Is there a reason you are not a member of Linux Australia" (multiple reasons allowed, hence percentages will add up to more than 100), only 254 answered and of these nearly half said they had not heard of the organisation. Thirty percent said they did not understand what the organisation does. And 41 percent said they saw no reason to be a member.
I have been dealing with the organisation for nearly a decade and the answers do not surprise me. There was an upward trend in engagement with the outside world in the years that Melbourne's Jonathan Oxer was president but for the next two years - 2008 and 2009 - Linux Australia literally went missing.
Turnbull, in the first half of 2010, and now Ferlito are trying to reverse that trend but it looks like a long, hard climb lies ahead.
Other replies that should push the organisation in the direction of publicising itself more came in response to the query "What would most make you consider becoming a Linux Australia member?" Though less than half the respondents (221) answered, 42 percent wanted to see the organisation provide more support for the adoption of Linux and open source software in Australia.
Another set of responses which tell the organisation it should make itself better-known came from the query "What would you like Linux Australia to offer?" There were 443 responses and 231 said the organisation should indulge in more advocacy on Linux and open source software issues.
That means putting out statements when issues around free software and open source software surface, getting one's statements and face in the media and as the well-known security guru Bruce Schneier once told me, being a media slut.
Others wanted discounts for LA events, including the LCA, training or professional development, certification and more coordination of the activities of user groups around the country.