I guess the honors fall to me to christen this fine new ship!
Let us pretend that I can afford an incredibly rare and expensive bottle of champagne, then let us pretend that I have just smashed it against the bow of our ship.
I christen thee "Indiana LoCo Team"!
Alright. Cheers! If you choose, you can pretend that there is your drink of choice available with which to celebrate.
Perhaps someday soon we may celebrate with less pretending and more face-to-face.
It is my hope that this marks the beginning of a grand journey. It is my belief that Ubuntu is destined to lead the pack in fixing Bug #1. (For those who don't catch the reference, you can check out the official bug report at https://launchpad.net/ubuntu/+bug/1 which is the first bug reported in the Launchpad system by Mark Shuttleworth in August 2004.) Of course this won't happen on it's own, it's the sort of thing that will take lots of people lots of work to accomplish, but I believe a world dominated by Free and Open Source Software is worth the work.
I was rather excited when the US Teams project (https://wiki.ubuntu.com/USTeams) announced that they'd made it their goal to have an approved LoCo team in every US State by 2008. I sat back and waited for someone to create an IndianaTeam, and I waited...and waited...I then came to the conclusion that if it was so important to me that an IndianaTeam exist, and noone else was doing it, that I might as well get off my lazy (and busy) backside and make it happen.
My plan looks a little something like this:
Step 1: Get people to join the new LoCo Team
Step 2: ...
Step 3: World Domination!
Well, then, to be completely honest, I am not sure what Step 2 is; I was hoping you all might be able to help with that.
I'd like to know what you would like to accomplish with the Local Community Team. Since we're brand new, we don't have a previously existing structure to restrict what we want to do...on the the other hand we also don't have a previously existing structure to guide what it is we should be doing. For these reasons, it's important that we get your input. What direction do we want to take?
The usual LoCo Team activities are things like "Promote, Advocate for, and Support Ubuntu", which is fine and dandy...and vague.
We've got Support pretty much covered. There's already plenty of great people here who can handle supporting newcomers. We're plugged into the web in such a way that people new to Ubuntu looking for help in the Indiana area have a pretty good chance of finding us either on the mailing list, the forum, or on IRC. We just have to wait for them. I suppose one thing we could think about, regarding Support, is: how do we make it easier for people in Indiana who need us to find us?
We've already done a little bit in the way of Promoting/Advocacy simply by existing. I was contacted in order to find a speaker for IPFW (Indiana University Purdue University of Fort Wayne) because I'd announced my intention to start this Team, even before we got our mailing list up and running, and was able to pass that along to people who could handle it (Hi Vern!). So some promotion/advocacy opportunities will just sort of find their way to us by virtue of our existance. Some will come to us because we'll all have our eyes open for these opportunities. Some we may even create ourselves.
The mere fact that we exist will bring opportunities to us, heck people on ubuntuforums came to our forum and were posting before I even had a chance to check it for the first time, much less advertise it. But what can we do to sort of facilitate these opportunities coming to us? What can do to create some of these opportunities?
When we become an Official, Approved, Team--and I have no doubt that we will--we'll get the opportunity to receive and distribute those spiffy CDs of every release (After the release of Dapper Drake, it was decided that only the LTS releases would be available to the general public, that if people wanted free CDs of the latest not LTS version, distribution of those would be handled by Approved LoCo Teams), and we'll be able to get marketing materials shipped to us from Canonical (when I spoke on behalf of Canonical at CINLUG, they sent me CDs, stickers, brochures, and even some T-shirts to give away).
Of course, we sort of have to act as a team for a while so that we can show that we can work well together in the spirit of Ubuntu (check out the Code of Conduct at http://www.ubuntu.com/community/conduct , or "Experience ubuntu.ogg" in your ~/Examples directory in Ubuntu if you have questions about "the spirit of Ubuntu") before we get "Approved".
It's been suggested that we meet regularly, which I'd like to get your ideas on. I realize it may not be feasible to meet face-to-face on a regular basis, but I think it'd be kind of cool to do so from time to time. It may be more feasible to meet online on IRC at specified times, what do you all think? I know a lot of people don't use IRC much.
At the moment we've got people from Bloomington, Martinsville, Indianapolis, and Fort Wayne involved (at least on the Mailing List), maybe more, so for any real life meetings, it'd probably be best to figure out a location in Indianapolis or thereabouts to be as convenient to everyone as possible.
Anyhow, this premier post is meant mostly to stir up conversation, and get this Team started up.
It's a pleasure to have you all participating in whatever form you desire to do so, I greatly appreciate it.
By no means a pre-requisite for participation, I encourage people to add themselves to the members list on https://wiki.ubuntu.com/IndianaTeam and/or to the launchpad team (if you have or desire to get a launchpad account--useful, I've found, for requesting CDs, posting Bugs, doing translation work, etc. in Ubuntu) at https://launchpad.net/~ubuntu-us-indiana because the longer those lists gets, the warmer and fuzzier the feeling I get from looking at it becomes.
Anyhow, I'm going to stop here. Again, thank you for your participation. Now, DISCUSS!
I hope this finds you all having a beautiful day!