LLG Meeting Summary 2013
This is a summary of the 2013 Annual Meeting of the members of the Logical Language Group, as conducted on the llg-members mailing list from January 19 to March 21, 2014.
The 2013 Annual Meeting was announced on January 11, 2014, to commence on January 19, 2014. The timing of the meeting had been delayed due to complications in the president's personal schedule.
Call to order
The meeting began on January 19, 2014 with a call to order by president Robert LeChevalier. The agenda was announced according to the bylaws of the LLG:
1. roll call 2. proof of notice of meeting or waiver of notice 3. reading of Minutes of preceding meeting 4. reports of Officers 5. reports of committees 6. proposal and approval of new members 7. election of Directors, if necessary 8. unfinished business 9. new business
Two new business items were forwarded for discussion:
a. discussion of plans for the preparation of 2nd edition CLL b. the longer term future of the organization (apart from the language community)
- Robert LeChevalier (lojbab)
- Arnt Richard Johansen
- Veijo Vilva (veion)
- Theodore Reed
- Timo Paulssen
- Ali Sajid Imami
- Jorge Llambías (xorxes)
- John Cowan
- Craig Daniel (.kreig.daniyl.)
- And Rosta
- Mark Shoulson
- Matt Arnold
- Pierre Abbat (.pier.)
- TommyLee Whitlock
- Paul Swift
- Nora LeChevalier
David Barton's widow, Marnie, replied that he had passed away on January 4.
Robin Lee Powell subsequently signed in.
Reading of minutes
The president requested a summary of the previous years' meeting in lieu of formal minutes, which had been deemed satisfied by the archive record of the mailing list.
My president's report will be rather limited. Firstly, I have not been all that active myself due to many distractions, including the birth of my granddaughter last October. And I had wanted to try to gather information via IRC before reporting, but without being able to focus for long or to type, it didn't happen
Other than handling correspondence and non-amazon book orders, I haven't done much.
I will focus on the books, because after all these years, it is finally time to do so.
Firstly Lightning Source reported that 68 copies of the intro book were sold last year. I don't have much to say beyond that. I've wished that we could get Nick Nicolas's intro textbook out there as well, but it hasn't happened.
CLL was published in 1997 with an edition of 1500 hardbound books. Around 300-400 of those turned out to be defective. In 17 years we have been slowly selling the rest of them by word of mouth, with no real advertising. We paid of my loan for printing costs several years ago, and all sales since have gone into the LLG common fund.
Last year was our best sales year since the first year. We sold 72 copies of CLL via Amazon. Via paypal and snail mail orders, I sent out another 2 dozen or so (the exact number depends on whether you go by order date or shipping date).
So almost 100 CLLs were sold.
amazon.com ran out of books just before Christmas, but no one apparently noticed until I checked on the sales number as just reported. Until I can ship more books to amazon, they are listing for sale only obscure individual copies at prices of several hundred dollars. Of course I can fill orders sent to me via PayPal or snail mail, and I have 4 of those that need to be sent right now.
With my recent physical problems, I have not been able to get into the back corner of my basement where the CLLs are stored. I may try later today, since I am holding up fairly well, but the book boxes are around 50 pounds. If I can't do it, I may need to wait until someone can assist me. There are some Lojbanists in the DC area, but I haven't interacted much in recent years.
I am estimating from sight that we only have about 100 books left plus or minus a couple dozen. At the recent rate of sale, therefore, we only have about a year before we are out of copies.
We should probably try to have a second edition of CLL prepared before then, or we should decide to produce another printing of the current edition.
A 2nd edition would presumably depend on what Robin and the byfy have been able to come up with by publication time, and only Robin can speak to that. (Hence my request for a report).
We also need to decide on whether to produce a hardbound like the current book, or whether to try a paper-bound, or both.
Ideally we should produce something in the way of a dictionary at the same time. People have been printing off various copies from jbovlaste over the years, so we should be able to manage something official. Again, the question of hardbound or paper-bound or both is at issue.
We also need to decide how to publish, via Lightning Source or some other print-on-demand company, or on our own (continuing to sell via amazon and/or other online markets).
Even if my health were solid, I don't think I could manage all this myself. So we need others to step up.
So the general topic of book publishing is now open as a topic under Old Business.
-- -- -- -- --
I also plan to call for a discussion under New Business of the future of this organization.
My health is still good overall, but I clearly am not able to actually get around to DOING what I would like. With Robin's considerable help, I've minimally handled the business aspects of maintaining our existence as a legal organization. But I don't think I am doing much at leading the community. Matt Arnold, when he was president, was doing a much better job at that aspect, and I wish I were up to that sort of thing, but apparently I am not. We do need the organization to be somehow be leading.
But the organization is itself becoming ineffective, even moribund. Online meetings by mailing list has made having those annual meetings much easier, and included more people from around the world, but nothing much happens organizationally outside of the meetings (the exception being Ali's effort to put together the 25th anniversary celebration).
We've had almost no new members added in the last several years, and several of the old members have become inactive. And older.
Dave Barton's recent death brings this home to me rather strongly. He was a year younger than me when he died. I have no health issues that imply that I won't be around for several more years, but we need to think about the possibility. We need to get new people involved in maintaining the organization, and we need to ensure that the organization is prepared for a time when I no longer can do even the limited amount I have been doing. (filling book orders, maintaining our legal existence as a Virginia non-profit organization, conducting these meetings, and ideally leading the community).
I have lots of thoughts on the matter, but nothing worthy of being a conclusion. So I am throwing this topic out for discussion under new business.
Robin Lee Powell, secretary/treasurer, reported LLG's 2013 Q4 finances.
Robin Lee Powell, chair of BPFK, reported having nothing to report.
Ali Sajid Imami reported on the Lojban 25th Anniversary celebration:
The Lojban 25th Anniversary was held on 3rd to 5th January 2013 at lojbab's residence, in Fairfax, VA. The attendees included:
- Bob LeChevalier - Nora LeChevalier - Robin Lee Powell - Mark Shoulson - Pierre Abbat - Tommy Lee Whitlock - Ali Sajid Imami - Michael Turnianski (gejyspa) - Zearen - latro`a - Brian Eubanks - John Parks-Clifford
(I'm missing a couple names since I lost my notes, sadly.)
The celebrations began with a meet-and-greet on the evening of 3rd January 2013 at lojbab's residence. Most people arrived and settled on lojbab's couches.
The ceremony started on the morning of 4th January 2013. It started with a general session in which everyone was introduced and everyone talked about their experiences with lojban in the morning. This was followed by lunch. In the evening, the ceremonial cupcake was cut to celebrate the 25 years of lojban. This was followed by a general session of festivities.
The closing session was on the morning of 5th January 2013 which included a closing photo session of the founders and goodbyes.
A report was also requested from Pierre on behalf of the LBCK language proficiency committee, and John Cowan was asked to weigh in on TLI activities and the prospect of future relations.
Election of new members
There were no proposals for new members.
Removal of old members
The president requested the list of members on the web site be updated to reflect the current membership of 17 voting members.
Election of the Board
No nominations for the Board were submitted and no current Board members stepped down. The current slate of directors was submitted for re-election to a short term, with the next elections expected in summer 2014.
- LeChevalier, Robert
- Vilva, Veijo
- Powell, Robin Lee
- Johansen, Arnt Richard
- Paulssen, Timo
With no objections, the slate was re-elected.
Old and new business
lojbab clarified that there are about 130 copies of CLL left, which he estimated may suffice for as long as a year and a half. He solicited clarification on the current state of CLL 1.1 with respect to readiness for publication. Robin estimated a couple hundred hours of work are needed, and that no one else has contributed to the effort for years, despite his investment of something on the order of 1,000 hours.
Ali raised the question of how to build an international lojban community out of disparate communities around the world. He described the significant communities of lojban speakers and enthusiasts in Japan and Russia, and cited Gleki Arxokuna as a liaison to the Russian community, which is said to number about twenty active learners. The existence of small German, French-speaking Lojban interest communities was also discussed, as well as communities in Pakistan and India.
TommyLee suggested the use of social media, especially Facebook, to expand lojban's international presence, counting 1,259 members in the largest lojban Facebook group.
.kreig.daniyl. said Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest should also be considered, with all posts bilingual in lojban and English in order to reach a wider segment of learners.
Ali solicited opinions on an awareness and/or promotional campaign in conjunction with or preceding the publication of the next version of CLL and the dictionary. lojbab affirmed the need for a dictionary in addition to the CLL, as well as a way for learners to get timely responses to questions, preferably in several languages.
Given that the complete attendance enabled it possible to amend the bylaws by a unanimous vote, Matt asked if might be worth considering amending the bylaws to make them easier to amend.
lojbab raised the need for a news feed on the home page, given that the last entries at the time of the meeting dated back to June 2012.
lojbab advised his intention to call the 2014 meeting in late summer, and asked that members consider the future of LLG at such a time when he may not be able to play such an active role.
The meeting was adjourned by the president on March 21, 2014.
- Previous meeting: 2012 annual meeting
- Following meeting: TBA