Ubuntu LoCo Teams and the 200 Million

During Jono’s video Q&A a couple weeks ago, Jono was asked what ordinary users and enthusiasts could do to help Ubuntu reach its goal of getting 200 million users in 4 years. This was his response:

“The most important thing folks like you can do to help Ubuntu get to 200 million users is join your LoCo team. LoCo teams are critical to the future growth of Ubuntu.”

I was scheduled to give a talk about Ubuntu Canada at the Free Software and Open Source Symposium on Saturday. That comment made me change my focus a bit.

The reason is I don’t think the things that we as a LoCo team do will make any sort of dent in that 200 million target. That’s not to say I’m not very proud of what we do. I think we do a great job of supporting and energizing the community that’s already here. Ubuntu Hours, Global Jams and release parties are fantastic opportunities to meet, work with and get to know other Ubuntu users. But besides perhaps making the community more vibrant and thus more attractive, I don’t think they do much to recruit new users.

So I put the challenge out to the people at the conference: what should Ubuntu Canada be doing to help us meet the ambitious 200 million goal?

There were a few suggestions:

  • Raise money for marketing campaigns and advertisements
  • Develop and discuss concrete ways Ubuntu solves specific problems real people have
  • Encourage entrepreneurs to start businesses to support Ubuntu
  • Do more to make people aware that commercial support is available from Canonical
  • Work with groups like GOSLING to help get Ubuntu into Canadian governments
  • Work with the universities (particularly in my town of Waterloo) to promote Ubuntu there
  • Provide training seminars in libraries and community centres
  • Get involved in local events like the multicultural festival

And all those ideas are great, but it seems to me it’s still scratching the surface.

If LoCo teams are going to be a significant force in recruiting 200 million Ubuntu users, we have to become a movement. Something that permeates the culture.

I don’t have a lot of experience starting movements. Who’s with me? What should LoCo teams be doing to make Ubuntu a household name?

One thought on “Ubuntu LoCo Teams and the 200 Million”

  1. All of the above? I think a little bit of everything would work a whole lot. Encouraging entrepreneurs is one thing but providing them the support they need upfront is probably a lot more useful (installation and configuration). After that how they use it can be learned, improved, and worked on but installation and configuration is usually not an area Ent. and local businesses are enthusiastic about.

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