This is a bit of a rambling rant; I may revise it if my own thoughts become clearer, but for the moment I’d like to get it out of my head so I can move on to doing something more productive.
And so: on the LRUG mailing list this week, we’ve been voting on a logo.
As I understand it, the backstory is
that we (that's the notional entity that is [LRUG]) have been asked to do something for [London Web Week], and the organisers asked for a logo to put up on their site that Skills Matter, the training company that hosts our meetings, came up with a suggested logo (see comments). Now we’ve done without an “official logo” for around three years now, so much that when pressed to produce one for RailsConf in 2006, we got away with this nonsense. But, since that was a joke and everything, it was deemed that the question of “what is the LRUG logo” ought to be answered once and for all.
Here are the submissions that made it in before the voting cutoff. And without doing a proper count before the final count (this Monday lunchtime), it seems fairly clear that the majority of LRUG mailing list members are voting for this one:
Since the vote started, I’ve been trying to fathom why this vote irks me so. Please do take a look at them all. It really shouldn’t; after all, the first logo I made was silly. I helped instigate LRUG Nights and all the graphical and conceptual nonsense around that. “El Rug” isn’t even the silliest option (I’d say that honour falls to the magazine+floor covering combo), or the least aesthetic (the pseudo-communist Skills Matter logo tops my personal least-visually-appealing chart). And this logo isn’t even for us. We’re not going to get it printed on t-shirts or caps; it’s just to give other people, to put on their sites when they ask for a graphic that represents the London Ruby User Group.
I think, for what it’s worth, that it’s the collective silliness of the votes itself that’s getting to me. The slightly-anarchic “lets just vote for the funniest joke” aspect of it. Maybe even the thought that LRUG itself, as a collection of people, cannot achieve anything beyond the internet equivalent of giggling for an hour because somebody farted. This observed internet behaviour is not new, of course. It’s everywhere, and everyone participates to some degree in its continuation. And life isn’t all seriousness, after all.
But there’s something about this that makes me feel less good about LRUG in general. Could it be true that a large proportion of the attendees contribute not by volunteering time and energy in the form of presentations or meeting ideas, but simply by making the bar more difficult to get to afterwards, and voting on this thread in the least useful way possible? But then, there are people who voted for “El Rug” who do contribute to the Ruby community, and have given talks at LRUG. So it’s not just that; I must be missing something.
I realise, and this is the most annoying aspect of the whole thing, that there’s no good reason for this to bother me in the way that it does. I must be taking it too seriously. But still - interblah.net is my party, and I’ll cry if I want to.