I enjoyed the 2010-07-18 session in part because, as a group, we have now met three or four times now and the social and collaborative aspects are starting to kick in. Although we expected attendance to drop, in fact we had a good sized group which was a healthy mixture of regulars and new people.
Why don't we consider moving to a twice monthly format?
One session could continue the format we have been following, a presentation and discussion for a large group (in relative terms). The other one could be in the format of this past session, smaller in numbers and naturally breaking into smaller groups of two to four people. The latter is better suited at getting to know one and another, sharing experiences and getting one on one help.
In my case, in the small groups, I liked the fact that we could get into a topic or issue in some depth. Moreover, by just getting up and moving to another place at the table, a new conversation would start up — like a good dinner party — without the need for a host.
In fact, this kind of session would work well in a casual bar or restaurant because they're well sited to conversations.