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?

Ubuntu 11.10: Oneiric Ocelot Party in Kitchener!

[The Oneiric Ocelot] Ubuntu 11.10–the Oneiric Ocelot–is set to release this week. As usual, we’re hosting a release party at Kwartzlab to celebrate.

Join us Saturday, October 15th at 4pm (till late) and celebrate the latest and greatest release of Ubuntu! Release parties are a fantastic opportunity to meet other Ubuntu users face to face. And, hey, it’s a good excuse for a party.

We’ll have cake, devilled eggs, commemorative collector’s CDs and a fast repository proxy to help with upgrades!

For any other Canadian Ubuntu users reading this, if you’re not in Kitchener-Waterloo (or Toronto) and there’s no party in your area, you should host one! Join the Ubuntu Canada mailing list and let us know where and when your party is. Tell your friends and post on local message boards. We’ll help do what we can to announce it to the Canadian Ubuntu community.

If you are in KW and want to help publicize the event, please print out some posters and paste them up around town.

Ubuntu Global Jam in Kitchener-Waterloo

Kwartzlab is hosting Ubuntu Waterloo‘s Global Jam a week from Saturday (Sept. 2).

{ first jam / premier bœuf }

Along with the usual upgrade and install testing, bug triage, documentation work and so on, Ralph has a project idea. We’re going to run a hackathon to build a new GUI packaging tool, starting with the relatively straight-forward process of upgrading an existing package to the latest version.

So if you’re interested in learning about packaging, GUI development in Qt or Ubuntu development in general, be sure to come by!

If development isn’t your thing, we still need lots of people trying out Oneiric Ocelot on their hardware and submitting any bugs they might find.

Come out and see how you can contribute to make Ubuntu better!

Hi, Planet!

[ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED: Ubuntu Membership]As of last night, I am an Ubuntu Member. Which means I have a bunch of new readers on Planet Ubuntu.

Hey, guys. :D

I’m one of the LoCo contacts for Ubuntu Canada (along with Ralph. I live in the lovely and exciting city of Waterloo, Ontario and I’m president of Kwartzlab the local hackerspace. I throw awesome, nerdy Ubuntu release parties, complete with cake. Because all parties need cake.

[Me at our Karmic release party. With cake]

You can read more about the stuff I’ve done on my wiki page.

As for what I’m doing, tomorrow I leave for Montreal, and I’m looking forward to meeting Fabián, Eric and other folks from Ubuntu Quebec. If you’re in Montreal, you should come too!

And we’re only two weeks away from the Ubuntu Global Jam. If you’re in KW or the surrounding area, you should join us at Kwartzlab, Saturday, September 3. We have a development project idea which, if we’re successful will help package maintainers with future Ubuntu upgrades. And, of course, we’ll have the usual testing and triaging if coding up packaging tools isn’t your thing.

So stay tuned! And, Planet, it’s a pleasure meeting you at last.

Ubuntu Global Jam, April 2

[I'm going to Ubuntu Global Jam!]Ubuntu Waterloo is hosting our third Ubuntu Global Jam, Saturday, April 2 at Kwartzlab.

The Global Jam is a worldwide event to make Ubuntu better. Ubuntu 11.04, the Natty Narwhal will be released in a little over a month and the Global Jam give the community (that’s us) a chance to help find bugs, triage them and fix them.

Starting at 2pm, we’ll have an informal open space conference on the theme of contributing to Ubuntu (and open source in general) in the afternoon. If you have experience or questions, please bring them. In the evening, we can embark on whatever exciting project we were inspired to do in the afternoon.

Join us and help make Ubuntu better!