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Thread: Team Informational Messages

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Shoreview, Minnesota, USA
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Team Informational Messages

    Karmic reactions and introductions

    Hey everyone! Thanks to everyone who made it out to our St. Paul
    release event on Saturday - it was a blast! For those who weren't
    able to attend, we had probably 40 or so people show up throughout the
    day, some upgrading or installing, some taking a first or second look
    at Ubuntu, and some coming for support (we had a couple of driver
    questions - props to the guys who knew how to handle them). There was
    a local mirror on hand so things went quickly (it worked!), David
    Siegel of Canonical did show up (after some initial trouble getting
    there) and gave a great talk on the One Hundred Papercuts project and
    the Gnome-Do launcher, and there were donuts in the morning and pizza
    in the afternoon. I saw a number of familiar faces as well as quite a
    few new ones, which is exactly what we want, so let's continue that
    trend! I saw at least one person with a camera - feel free to share
    any photos if you have them.

    With the release of Karmic, we officially enter the period known as
    the "Lucid Development Cycle", which is the six-month period between
    Karmic release and Lucid release. Of course, the first few weeks of
    this are actually fairly focused on Karmic, and then things start to
    shift at various levels as we move along.

    This first week has two main aspects:

    1) What are your reactions to Karmic? Any favorite new features?
    How's it running on your machines? Forums, IRC channels, and mailing
    lists are usually filled with people describing their first
    impressions of the new release, and this is good, as it provides an
    opportunity to answer any questions that arise and get a sense of
    direction for where the next release should go.

    2) Ubuntu Open Week! For those who don't know, UOW is a one-week
    event consisting of a bunch of one-hour sessions given on IRC on
    various topics, intended as an opportunity to road-test the Ubuntu
    community for newcomers, offer chance to be exposed to more aspects of
    it for those who have been around a little while but haven't gotten
    very involved yet, and learn about particular topics that anyone may
    be interested in. For instance, this morning had sessions "How to be
    your neighbor's Ubuntu guru" and the "Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter".
    Coming up in a few minutes is a session on "Reporting Bugs", and at
    4:00 will be "Running a FOSS Event" - both great things for our group.
    To see these and the plans for the rest of the week, as well as
    information on how to attend a session and logs of previous ones,
    check out - see you in

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Shoreview, Minnesota, USA
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Survey Results

    As many of you know, at the two recent release events I handed out a
    survey intended to gauge people's interest areas, experience, and a few
    other things. I've read through all of those, and would now like to
    share the results with you. My thinking was that we could use this
    information to help guide the direction of this group over the coming
    months. I realize that it's not as good as it could be, since only
    people who attended an event took it and some of the questions could
    have been better, but it's a start, and gives feedback for future
    surveys as well. By all means don't consider this survey "closed" - if
    you have any thoughts / responses / reactions / input to give, this is
    precisely the time to do it. This should be a conversation provoker,
    not just a bunch of numbers.

    I'd like to start with overall observations, and then I'll have more of
    the raw data below. In terms of how people heard about the event, the
    largest single factor was word of mouth, while the largest group of ways
    was mailing lists. The vast majority thought the locations were good,
    with the remaining giving a moderate/neutral rating - nobody thought
    they were outright bad.

    Most of our group is moderate in terms of experience level. There are a
    handful of Linux professionals around, but most people are just home
    users who can do their usual tasks or a little bit more than that.
    Considering that these events probably had more technical users than a
    representative sample, it's probably safe to assume that overall we have
    even more new users than the survey reflects. Apart from skill level,
    even more people reported being new to the group, even if they weren't
    new to the software.

    Most people are not already involved in the greater Ubuntu / open source
    community ecosystem, but at the same time many would like to be, but
    just aren't sure how to get involved. Additionally, quite a few people
    aren't really sure what that means, or even what this group really is.
    We'll definitely be revisiting that point.

    On the question about what we could have done better in retrospect,
    answers were very much about awareness, understanding, and activity
    level. This is related to the previous point, and also something I hope
    we can address big-time.

    People like events. Many expressed interest in attending future ones,
    organizing, running, giving presentations at, etc. Additionally, word
    of mouth is powerfully present not only in getting people to these
    events, but also in what they want to do to get others there.

    - Tony Yarusso


    Now, some data:

    "How did you hear about this event? About Ubuntu Minnesota? Have you
    been to one of these before?"
    Word of Mouth: 10
    TCLUG: 9
    Penguins Unbound: 5
    LoCo ML: 3
    Google Calendar: 2
    IRC: 2
    Search Engine: 2
    Community web site: 1
    Mentioned having no prior knowledge of Ubuntu Minnesota: 4

    "What did you think of this location? Was it easy to find / get to /
    Good: 25
    Moderate/neutral: 7
    Bad: 0
    Notes: Could use an explanation / sign right at the door / front desk,
    St. Paul event was slightly inconvenient for people from SE suburbs and
    western Wisconsin.

    "Are you in / aware of any other groups in the area that may have others
    interested in Ubuntu? Which?"
    High schools
    University students
    UMN Transhumanist Club
    Elementary schools
    (For schools, teachers as well as students)

    "How would you describe your level of experience with Ubuntu / Linux in
    First time I've seen it: 1
    Just installed, getting acquainted: 2
    Reasonably familiar: 14
    I can do some advanced things: 7
    Seasoned expert: 10
    I wrote a lot of it: 0

    "What do you find most interesting about the Ubuntu community? What
    draws you to it?"
    Philosophy / open source: 9
    Sharing / helping /friendly / easy to get involved: 11
    Ease of use: 3
    Different / creative: 2
    Documentation: 3
    Technical aspects: 5

    "Are you already involved in the broader Ubuntu/FLOSS community beyond
    this LoCo? If so, how?"
    No: 15
    Slightly/unqualified: 7
    Packaging: 1
    User groups: 2
    Bug reports / triage: 2
    Documentation: 2
    IRC: 1

    "What is something you have always wanted to learn how to do with
    Ubuntu, but haven't yet because you need someone else to walk you
    through it or it would just be more fun to do with others?"
    Programming in Python
    Distro customization
    Home audio server/ / streaming / media center
    Enterprise networking
    Home server
    Google Earth
    Pulseaudio configuration
    Hardware purchasing decisions (for compatibility)
    Various individual applications
    Photo editing
    Setting up a Java development environment
    Dealing with driver issues
    Offline GMail copy

    "What's something you wish you knew more about relating to Ubuntu, Free
    software, or computers?"
    Commercial involvement / contributions to Open Source
    Future of Linux
    How to find people involved with Ubuntu, etc. - networking strategies
    PC hardware
    Inner workings, computer theory and basics
    The structure of the Ubuntu community and how it all works
    Keeping documentation up to date
    Other types of Free software - what's available?
    Java development
    Photo editing
    Audio file management / editing
    Switching from other operating systems to Linux, dealing with issues
    along the way
    Local entrepreneurial opportunities - how to get involved, is there a user group for that
    Distributed version control

    "In what ways have you wanted to help with the Ubuntu Minnesota LoCo
    team, but haven't found the time yet? What would make it easier for you
    to contribute in that way?"
    Word of Mouth advocacy
    Encouraging government support and awareness
    Social connections and opportunities awareness
    Giving presentations (many responses)
    Attending more events
    Contributing artwork
    Being able to work on my own schedule
    Need to learn things first before using / teaching them
    Knowing what others are interesting in learning about
    Having more events

    "Looking back on the last 6 months, what's something you wish we as a
    team and you personally had done differently to help the team grow
    better / faster / stronger / more absurdly awesome?"
    More events
    Regular communications (not just around release time)
    More publicity
    More awareness of the group

    "Mark all of the following that you would be interested in learning
    about / participating in:" (Sorted by responses in this list)
    Talking to friends and family about Ubuntu: 13
    Providing user support: 11
    Running a release party: 10
    Talking to schools about Free software in education: 10
    Running a casual social event of Ubuntu enthusiasts: 10
    Encouraging government to support open formats, open standards, and open
    source: 8
    Running an installfest apart from a release party: 8
    Work with libraries to offer information on and/or use Free software: 8
    Reporting, triaging, and following up on bugs: 7
    Give a presentation at a LoCo event: 7
    Present / run a booth about Ubuntu at another organization's event /
    conference: 7
    Writing / proofreading documentation: 6
    Building / contributing to the team web site: 6
    Packaging software and adding it to the repositories: 6
    Communicate with other organizations, associations, and clubs about
    Ubuntu: 5
    Aid public awareness through passive visibility: 4
    Encouraging local businesses to support and/or sell Ubuntu: 4
    Contacting media outlets about Free software, giving interviews, writing
    letters: 4
    Drafting marketing / advocacy materials: 3

    "Broadly, what types of Ubuntu usage are you interested in?"
    Home desktop: 26
    Home server: 18
    Business desktop: 9
    Enterprise server: 10
    Media center: 12
    Game console: 5
    (Write-In) Netbook: 2

    "If you were the one writing this survey, what is one question you would
    add to it, and what would your answer to that question be?"
    Name & contact info (I wasn't sure if people would rather be anonymous
    or not - seems more people actually wanted to say who they are.)
    Experience with other distros / communities
    Last edited by tonyyarusso; January 26th, 2010 at 04:33 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Shoreview, Minnesota, USA
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin


    Over the last few days plane after plane has been landing in Dallas,
    TX filled with kernel hackers, usability experts, package maintainers,
    artists, security experts, community organizers, applications
    programmers, and more. Is this some new secret government project
    underway? A scientific conference to build robots to colonize Mars?
    A comic book show? No, it's the biannual Ubuntu Developer Summit!

    This is when people of all stripes from the Ubuntu community gather
    and spend a week planning and outlining the work for the next release.
    Every six months, right after a new Ubuntu release comes out (in this
    case, Karmic), work quickly starts on the next one (Lucid). For this,
    a series of "blueprints" are proposed, reviewed, discussed, revised,
    and some accepted relating to various aspects of how both the
    operating system and the community will be changed over the following
    six month period (known as a development cycle). You can view the
    schedule for what things are being discussed in Dallas this week at . For those of us who are still here
    at home rather than in Dallas, it turns out that we can still
    participate in the discussions - part of being an open community and
    having community-developed software means nobody is excluded from
    these decisions, so you can follow along and give your two cents
    worth. For that, the wiki page at explains how to
    listen in via Icecast, help edit roadmap documents with Gobby, and
    discuss on IRC.

    In addition to the Ubuntu community as a whole doing planning this
    week, it is also time for our LoCo to start discussing and planning
    out our game plan for the next six months. There is a rather
    excellent article that I would strongly encourage everyone to read
    posted on the Fridge at by Jono
    Bacon, the Ubuntu Community Manager. It outlines the basic process
    for release cycle roadmaps in a manner specific to Local Community
    Teams, and how to successfully help your team grow. As noted in that
    article, I have created a wiki page at that will serve
    as our roadmap document. Using the information from the survey I sent
    out in a past e-mail, your own preferences, knowledge, and
    opportunities, it is now everyone's time to discuss and fill in that
    roadmap so we can make this release cycle awesome for Minnesota!

    So everybody, weigh in!
    Last edited by tonyyarusso; January 26th, 2010 at 04:33 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Shoreview, Minnesota, USA
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    What is Ubuntu Minnesota?

    One of the things that became apparent in our recent survey is that
    there are a significant number of people who aren't really sure what
    "Ubuntu Minnesota" or a "LoCo" actually are, so this week I will
    attempt to clarify those points and a few others. Since this also
    involves our relationships with the greater Linux community locally,
    I'm copying the Minnesota LUGs I'm aware of on this mailing as well.

    First, what is Ubuntu Minnesota?
    In short, it is the LoCo for the state of Minnesota, which leads to:

    What the heck is a LoCo?
    LoCo is short for Local Community, a geographically-based team of
    Ubuntu users, developers, and enthusiasts for mutual support,
    collaboration, socializing, and advocacy. Worldwide these groups work
    together for things like throwing events (whether they be social
    meet-and-greets, installfests, bug jams, conferences, talks, or
    whatever), working on localization of Ubuntu for their area (language
    translation, theming, topical wallpaper, etc.), coordinating local
    advocacy and awareness and providing a point of contact for new users
    in the area looking for people who share their interest, providing
    support when the purely online global channels aren't as effective,
    and whatever other cool projects they come up with.

    How is a LoCo different from a LUG?
    First, I must stress that they are not mutually exclusive - it is
    highly encouraged to be a member of both and for the two groups to
    work together where appropriate. That said, there are two main
    differences. First, an Ubuntu LoCo is focused on a particular Linux
    distribution, Ubuntu, while a LUG is usually much broader in scope.
    This means that our members can also act as "representatives" of sorts
    for the distribution when working with a LUG - perhaps there's an
    Ubuntu expert at the LUG meeting to help with support, or someone with
    an understanding of the community who can help someone get involved.
    We're not here to "convert" anyone whose already using Linux just
    because they use a different distro, but we are here to answer
    questions and help them try Ubuntu if they're interested, and in turn
    the LUG can provide broader exposure to other things for our members,
    etc. Second, a LUG is normally organized on a city-wide basis, or
    perhaps a metropolitan area, while LoCos are broader in geographical
    scope. In most of the world LoCos are organized at the national
    level, while in the US they're on the state level. While we of course
    will be doing some things on smaller scales (in-person events for
    instance), communication and collaboration happens all-together for
    the state. Thus one LoCo will find itself working with multiple LUGs
    (I know of four, with varying activity levels). Ideally, each LUG
    would also be working with multiple things like a LoCo, for different
    distributions, but I'm not yet aware of such a thing for other distros
    within Minnesota - please let me know if you are.

    What does it mean to be a "member" of Ubuntu Minnesota?
    Essentially, just that you are a person who uses or is interested in
    Ubuntu residing in (or near) Minnesota. There is no formal
    requirements or approval process (not to be confused with Ubuntu
    "Membership", which is a recognition of contributions). All that is
    needed to be part of our team is to say you want to. That said, in
    order to do so effectively you will want to be "in the loop" with what
    we're doing, and the two steps for that are to a) add yourself to the
    Launchpad group, found at
    (remember to set your location so you can show up on the map and
    assist local planning!), and subscribe to the mailing list (which is
    where this is going - for LUG people, the info is at From there,
    just start participating in whatever way you find interesting! I hope
    in future e-mails to make more clear what channels and opportunities
    are available for those who don't know, but if there's something
    specific you want to know about, just ask!

    Another thing to keep in mind is that everyone is an equal part of
    this team. My title is "Team Contact", and on Launchpad and such,
    "administrator", but that is explicitly not "dictator" or anything
    like that. My role is to serve as a central contact point and to
    provide direction and such for the team, but YOU are the team. If you
    think there should be a social event in Northfield, organize and
    announce it! If you want an installfest in Bemidji, make it happen!
    If you want to distribute Ubuntu CDs at a local school, go ahead! You
    don't need to "ask permission" or anything to do something in this
    team - the only rules are to abide by the Ubuntu Code of Conduct
    (, which basically means
    things should be appropriate, legal, and respectful. On the other
    hand, by all means do communicate with others on the team about what
    you want to do, get others involved in your project, and ask for
    advice if you need it, etc.

    Hopefully that answers a few questions about what this group is all
    about, but I'm sure there are more, so bring 'em on!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Shoreview, Minnesota, USA
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    What is the current state of this LoCo?

    So now that we know what a LoCo is, and that we have one, where do
    things stand for Ubuntu Minnesota? What are the available resources,
    past/present activities, membership levels, etc.?

    First off, this group is a little over two years old, having been
    started in August of 2007. Things have gone in fits and starts since
    then, but are only now settling into a more regular pattern. It's up
    to you to keep that momentum going! In terms of on-paper numbers,
    there are currently 127 people subscribed to this mailing list, 76
    members on the Launchpad team, and we hover around 15 people on the
    IRC channel. For comparison, that Launchpad number is similar to
    Wisconsin, a little under half that of Illinois and Michigan, and 5
    times that of South Dakota.

    Events so far have consisted entirely of release parties every six
    months, which have been held for quite some time in the Twin Cities,
    and the first one outstate happening for Karmic in Duluth/Superior.
    While this is nice, once every six months and only in part of the
    state isn't really enough to foster community among us, so there are
    three goals for the upcoming months:

    1) Regular IRC (online) meetings/gatherings. These are handy as they
    give us a specific time for everyone to come together and chat in a
    way that transcends all of our geographical limitations. Some of the
    time will be discussing projects and goals, while the rest of the time
    will be getting to know each other and talking about what people find
    interesting that draws us together in Ubuntu. Successful teams have
    IRC meetings on a regular basis, usually once per month. I am
    therefore proposing that we start such a schedule, with the initial
    plan being to shoot for the first Monday of the month (and seeing how
    that works for people), at 7:00 PM Central Time. That makes the first
    such meeting NEXT WEEK, on Monday December 7th, from 7:00 - 8:00 PM in
    #ubuntu-us-mn on Freenode. You can participate through your favorite
    client or just by visiting[..]&channels=ubuntu-us-mn&prompt=1
    in your web browser.

    2) In-person events outside of the usual April/October release
    events. These don't need to be big and formal - just tell people
    you'd like to hang out, and pick a time and place. I'll be offering
    some more suggestions for such things in future e-mails, but go ahead
    and just start planning your own whenever you can! Someone on IRC
    suggested that going bowling would be fun, and that should be easy to
    pull together in any part of the state. I'd totally be in for that

    3) When Lucid release comes around in April, I'd love to see at least
    5 release events - one for each part of the state: East Metro, West
    Metro, Northeast, Northwest, and South. Start thinking about whether
    you could help organize one for your region now, and we'll revisit
    this in a future thread as well.

    For available resources and fora, we have just about everything, but
    they are admittedly a bit scattered. One of the major goals of our
    under-construction web site ( is to
    centralize a list of these and make stuff easier to find. Let myself
    or Caleb (Takyoji) know if you'd be interested in helping with that
    project. In the meantime, here's a list of everything available to
    This mailing list -
    The Launchpad team -
    The Launchpad project - (for Blueprints,
    Bazaar branches, and other stuff we'll cover more later)
    The wiki section -
    The forums -
    The IRC channel - #ubuntu-us-mn on Freenode /[..]&channels=ubuntu-us-mn&prompt=1
    Our Roadmap document -
    Our Google Calendar -

    I know that list is a bit overwhelming, so please ask about any of
    those that you're not sure what they're for - it gets a bit murky at

    As far as general activity, you can see from your inboxes that this
    list doesn't have a great deal of traffic yet. The IRC channel is
    similar. What will really help this team to get off the ground and
    become awesome like some others is for our community to start
    *communing* - that is, talk! Write an e-mail, come on IRC, or post to
    the forums! These things aren't just for support problems or planning
    and announcements - they're for you to interact with your fellow
    Ubuntu users in the state of Minnesota, and enjoy all that that


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