I received these two emails via Launchpad as I would assume any of you reading this have as well. I've re-posted them here in order to respond to them in a way that everyone can partake of the discussion. I feel this communication channel is more effective within the group than a series of un-threaded or unrelated emails.
Mon, Oct 18, 2010 at 8:20 PM from JWDinKC <firstname.lastname@example.org>:
I propose the we identify one or a few points of focus. I've always
been a good salesman at heart. There's nothing more inspiring than a
product one can believe in. Ubuntu is that and more. If its not
against the GNU/GPL license I think we should aid each other in
proliferating Ubuntu. If we should do installs, set up, and maintenance
I do believe it's OK to charge for our time. We could support each
other in this endeavor for one. So, I guess that point of focus would
be proliferation. At least on an individual level. If the expertise of
the group requires industrial/commercial accounts - maybe us salesmen
could contribute to your cause,,,which may be on a whole other scale of
proliferation from what I'm talking about. Anyway, aside from
proliferation does anyone else have any focus points to consider? Once
we identify these maybe we can map out whether they interrelate and are
in the purview of Locoteams etc...
p.s. I'm in KCMO. How about you?
Tue, Oct 19, 2010 at 2:12 PM from JWDinKC <email@example.com>:
So far I've gotten a reply from six out of one hundred and six members.
I'm going to add each of you to my contact list in my e-mail client as
you reply. On Friday (10.22.10) I'll consider those in my list to be
willing and active participants for now. Once we get an active head
count we should be able to start rolling out ideas. Sound good? I
don't want to step on anyones toes here.
Believe it or not, I have one whole paragraph of a letter/forum post that I've been trying to formulate (as a Tomboy Note) that is in the same vein as what you're saying here. Really, I do. It's been there for over a month. I have thoughts on these matters, but have been struggling with how to say them in a constructive, cohesive way. I've also been a little apprehensive to "start something" because presently my young family and responsibilities have kept me from contributing in a way that I can participate to the extent that I would choose. So there it is, I want to run with the big dogs, but can't get off the porch, oh and I like to bark a lot. It sounds like you have the charisma and the drive to rally the group. I think this is excellent. Here's some of what I have to say. It may sound negative, but that is not my intention. Take my criticisms lightly, I'm not attacking anyone. You've encouraged me to blurt this out...
I agree completely with picking a target for our zeal. We all want to be involved in the Ubuntu movement at a local level. The LoCo needs a reason to exist more than "Hi. I like Ubuntu too". I feel this lack of a mission is part of the reason the group has remained stagnant. Of course everyone is busy with their jobs, school, family, this is a given. Another reason maybe be the wide distance over which we are spread. I don't completely agree with MLM68's subsequent email:
Is this true? Are MOST of the Ubuntu Missouri members in KC? I fail to prove him wrong, the map at http://www.flippinsweetdude.com/maps/index.php has been taken down. I know there were covens in Springfield, Columbia, and St. Louis, not to mention the rest of us lonely souls spread throughout the "backwoods" portions of the state. I'm not saying that you should bring the meetings to me in Park Hills, but if you're going to hold flesh and blood meetings in KC all the time then call it what it is: The Kansas City Missouri Local Community Team. I'm OK with that, but I wouldn't have bothered to join the KC LoCo knowing that there is no way I was ever going to be a part of the group. Please do not alienate everyone else in the group based on their location. There can still be some kind of peripheral movement that will involve those not fortunate enough to live in close proximity to other Ubuntu zealots. Have the Christmas party, just please don't collapse all MOLoCo business down to one geographic region. It would prove self defeating.im glad to c some new blood in the group just due a shout to the mebers
list or u can email me directly and ill try to get back to u or someone
will its been kind of quiet but they due respond i found out just a
little slow but i know there busy in rl like we should be i want a BBQ
sometyime or a christmas party i think would be neat if we could work
something out i know most are in kc area
The Open Source business models do allow for money to change hands for services and software covered by the GPL, in fact I believe that's the point of a business model. I have never seen anything to say that the LoCo cannot profit from such ventures. I would rely on our benevolent LoCo Administrators for clarification and guidance on this. Matthew, Joe, Kent, one or all have already researched what it takes to be a LoCo. As long as your goal is to raise funds for the purposes of forwarding the goals of the group (which is to raise funds for the purposes of forwarding the goals...) I think this is necessary. Either that, or one of us is going to have to marry into money. If you want to do this for personal profit then I think the LoCo will be a good place for you to network with business partners and clients as well as gain leads, but it is not the place to try to start a business.
Several things seem promising as opportunities to raise capital and visibility for the group. Mythbuntu home media server/DVR construction and sales (or similar). Asterix based phone systems/voice response units, OpenBravo or LemonPOS Point of Sale "cash register" implementations (especially for small businesses). Education, seminars, such as how to use Open Office; Gimp image editor for photo manipulation, Pitivi for video editing, Audacity or Jokosher (someday) for podcasting or home recording, Scribus for desktop publishing. (I need not list anymore, you all know them by heart.) You don't have to hold a degree or a certificate, you just have to be adept and be able to explain it to other people. Many of these programs are available cross platform, which means that you can draw people in for a specific application to learn to do a specific task that they want to accomplish on their Windows PC. They'll pay you because it doesn't cost a lot for that, and the program is free. You might even sell them a DVD to take home for future reference. While you've got them there (and they start asking if you can help them get the Botnet on their laptop to stop stealing their bandwidth) you can show them other Open Source applications, maybe even Ubuntu or Linux Mint. The seminar concept is at least one that will require the minimum amount of collateral albeit requiring a fair amount of time. Time to script, plan, prepare, advertise, and speak at the engagement. This might provide money for the purchase of demo hardware or proof of concept setups. What about building professional grade head mouse/head tracking rigs for people with physical disabilities using Dasher, Ubuntu, and a commodity Wii controller? Others are working on this right now, http://www.neatorama.com/2009/02/05/...sabled-people/ and if we can build and sell a rig that will do the job of a $1000 commercial unit for less than that, you'd be providing a service and a product.
This is trickle up, not trickle down, propagation. Let these empowered people take their new found skills and programs and share them with their co-workers, friends, family, and church groups. Instead of evangelizing about how great Open Source is and getting blank stares and opposition, simply show them how to make "it" do what they want "it" to do, using Ubuntu and Open Source tools.
OK. So I rolled out a few ideas before roll was called. I might have gotten a little ahead of things there, but it felt good to post this and get it "out there". I can't wait to see what other opinions there are on these things. I posted this here in the hopes of it becoming a full fledged discussion. Don't forget to cross post links to the Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/g...gid=4101034122(Kent, you still haven't added the logo to the Facebook group‽ It's our colors Spr0k3t, we gotta fly the colors!) and I know you said you're a natural born salesman and creating artificial urgency through arbitrary deadlines might be second nature, but giving 100 people less than 18 hours in the middle of the night to respond to an email might be pushing a little hard. It's been pretty slow in here, it might take people a while to realize that there's movement in the club house. Hopefully the the 5 day deadline Friday will turn up a few more results.