[ubuntu-uk] RE: Support points

Mark Van den Borre mvdborre at gmail.com
Thu Jun 15 10:38:31 BST 2006

Hi all,

My name is Mark Van den Borre. I'm the Dutch speaking project lead for

> I do think a map would be cool, tho in the thread with Matthew East
> earlier I realised that a list would be more "accessible" than a map
> (https://lists.ubuntu.com/archives/ubuntu-uk/2006-June/000478.html).
> Matt pointed out that the official Ubuntu support page
> (http://www.ubuntu.com/support/marketplace) they're doing just fine
> with a list.  But yes, I think a map would be a cool extra.  That
> said, do we really need a map "off-site" when everything else is on
> the wiki?
> In other words, I'm not sure with this one!  See what other people think?
I'm not entirely sure what ubuntu-uk.org wants to be, but I guess I
can summarise it as follows:

Gatekeeper: "What is your quest?"
Arthur, King of the Britons: "To seek the Holy G^^^to convert my
people to Ubuntu!"

The target audience of the ubuntu-be.org support points map:
* a majority of so called 80 % users: people who want to safely do
common things like surfing, mailing, word processing, spreadsheet,
presentation and net banking on their computers (important subgroup:
education, teachers!)
* a minority of technical users: developers, engineers, ...

What does the ubuntu-be.org support points map offer potential converts:
* One unambiguous offer:
  Only Ubuntu, no mention of Kubuntu or Xubuntu. We are not Gnome
fanboys or KDE bashers, but we realise a potential convert needs an
unambiguous first step.

* familiarity and trust:
  More than 90% of people in Belgium have a support point within 5 km,
a happy Ubuntu user so enthousiastic that he wants to share it with
everybody. Both having an enthousiastic user in the neighbourhood, and
the realisation that this is the same for the entire country are very
comforting. A map makes both very obvious to end users. Add a few
Ubuntu promotion photos from volunteers at famous locations in your
city adds extra familiarity.

* Free Installation sets, demonstrations on demand, first installation
help. This is interesting, but the number of requests is somewhat
secondary to the _trust and familiarity_ created.

The real test for a successful campaign towards end users is press
coverage. If you get general non-technical press coverage, you know
your message has been packaged the right way. The Ubuntu-be.org launch
got, amongst others,  press coverage from one of the biggest
newspapers in the country...

Probably the greatest advantage, and my stealth reason for creating
map.ubuntu-be.org, is the critical mass of volunteers it helps create.
Think of it as bootstrapping.
Right now, there are a _lot_ of people willing to help Ubuntu succeed.
They just don't know how to help. The ubuntu-be.org map filled that
gap: a well defined volunteer job, in their neighbourhoud, renewable
time limited commitment. You would be amazed how many people you can
convince to participate if you communicate it well!

If it works for Belgium, why wouldn't it work for the UK?


Mark Van den Borre
ubuntu-be.org NL_BE project lead
Mark Van den Borre
Noormannenstraat 113
3000 Leuven, België
+32 486 961726

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