Adocating for Ubuntu

I have been advocating for Ubuntu for over a year now and in that time I have organized several LoCo events at area tech conferences. In the course of doing this I have learned a few things and this post is a collection of thoughts about how to improve community efforts to advocate for Ubuntu.

Things Canonical Could Improve:

  1. Conference Pack: Currently the conference pack is a one-size-fits all item and more variation is needed
    1. Allow a choice of shirts. I can understand having the shirts be something different from what can be bought in the store, but not all conferences are a good fit for T-shirts. I would like to see a choice between a T-Shirt and a Polo. When I give presentations at Education Technology conferences a polo is minimum dress. I bought my own, before the price reduction, so that I would have the proper attire.
    2. Have a choice between ‘gizmos’; allow for the LoCo to choose pens, key fobs, lanyards, etc
    3. Allow for some ‘at-cost’ additions; LoCo groups may be willing to invest some of their own money to get higher quantities, but should not have to pay retail prices
    4. Provide a quantity of official CDs
  2. Develop a transparent and well documented process for suggesting events that Canonical should attend or participate in. While the LoCo may be able to support some shows on their own there are others that would be a better fit for Canonical. At the state-wide annual educational technology show I presented at the ‘decision makers’ would have wanted information about purchasing Canonical support if they were considering a move to Ubuntu. In addition having a presence on the vendor floor along with Dell, HP, Toshiba, Microsoft and Apple would ‘validate’ Ubuntu in the minds of some. This presence could be accomplished through ‘partners’, but it should be business oriented not just community.
  3. Assist LoCo groups in making ‘partner’ connections. Having the ability to contact a partner resource responsible for community involvement, events and advertising would be beneficial. Making contact through the ‘sales’ channel is possible, but it is not direct.
  4. Help the LoCo groups ‘recruit’ partners by making some flyers for partners. The community has a focus on Ubuntu, but in order to attract more companies to use Ubuntu it may be necessary to build a base of partners for businesses to work with. (Some of us could become those companies too!)

I am mostly involved with the Education market because I work in that industry and I would like to put forth some suggestions that are specific to those potential customers.

  1. Create a program to recognize teachers and schools that are exemplary examples of Ubuntu and FOSS adoption.
    1. Have a distinguished educator program that recognizes employees of educational institutions for their efforts.
      1. Present the awards or announce the awards through groups like ISTE and at events like NECC
      2. Create a support program for these educators that assist them with expanding their integration of Ubuntu and FOSS
      3. Create a channel for these educators to give Canonical and the Ubuntu community feedback about what is and is not working in the classroom
      4. Offer to fund or partially fund these distinguished members attendance at key educational technology events in their area in exchange for their advocating (presenting) at the conference
    2. Provide a program for recognizing schools that have successfully migrated to Ubuntu
      1. Present awards or announce the awards through groups like ISTE and at events like NECC
      2. Provide a small grant, perhaps through partnerships with hardware vendors, for technology purchases (more servers, desktops or laptops running Ubuntu)

I think there is a significant opportunity for FOSS and Ubuntu, in particular, to make headway in the Education market. With US educators currently being very focused on ISTE 21st century skills there is an openness to change that represents an open window. The items I outlined above are rough, but the present some real ideas on how to increase awareness and adoption of FOSS and Ubuntu. There is a real chance to improve the learning environment.

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5 Responses to Adocating for Ubuntu

  1. Pingback: Twitted by toorghezi

  2. Pingback: Charles Profitt: Adocating for Ubuntu | TuxWire : The Linux Blog

  3. Randall Ross says:

    I guess the question should be this:

    How should the advocacy burden be shared between Canonical and the Ubuntu community?

    The post presumes that Canonical is the driver.

    Ubuntu Vancouver Buzz Generator

    • Charles Profitt says:

      I do not see Canonical as the driver and I had not intended my ramblings to be taken that way. There are some things Canonical can do better… there are some things the community can do better. The education specific items were ‘in general’ things that could be done by Canonical, the Community or both.

  4. Pingback: Adocating for Ubuntu | Ubuntu-News - Your one stop for news about Ubuntu

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