[Ubuntu-US-CA] User Group Link

Grant Bowman grantbow at gmail.com
Thu Jun 25 01:07:14 UTC 2009

I have tried to emphasize what we agree on.  I think that even if we
differ in initial approaches, strategies or implementations we
strongly agree on the most fundamental Ubuntu LoCo goals. I know that
we can show humanity toward each other and work together guided by the
Ubuntu Code of Conduct. http://www.ubuntu.com/community/conduct

The link ("Local Meetings" under "Get Involved" on
https://wiki.ubuntu.com/CaliforniaTeam/Menu) was removed May 16th,
2009.  I feel a link with a different name should be put back.  A new
link will need to clearly identify to wiki visitors what is contained
in the https://wiki.ubuntu.com/CaliforniaTeam/Projects/UserGroupContacts/Groups
page while not misleading visitors into thinking "we" have local
meetings.  I think the danger of a misperception by visitors is low.
The difficulty in typing this long URL and finding this information
without a link (shown at the top of almost all CaliforniaTeam pages)
is very, very high.

Choices for the new link include "User Groups" (some groups do more
than Linux & still talk about Ubuntu) "UG Meetings" or something else.
I encourage hearing opinions both for and against restoring the link.

I hope the descriptions & links below provide some relevant context.

Grant Bowman


In California there are many, many more Ubuntu users than there are
LoCo team members.  This is a very significant factor.  The state of
California is not only geographically large but the economic activity
is hard to underestimate.  Per
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California#Economy "As of 2006,
California's GDP is larger than all but eight countries in the world."
 The number and size of Linux conferences held all over the state is
tremendous.  These include SCaLE, OSCON and many others.  Linus
Torvalds moved to our state in 1997 and lived here for many years.
Through he moved to Oregon in June 2004 this should not detract from
the important role California continues to play in the global
technology sector.

Many activities could be relevant/"in scope" depending on exactly whom
we attempt to serve with our group's actions.

If the target audience of our actions is all Ubuntu users within the
borders of our state (or even all computer users in California), then
for many people a physical meeting is much more "open" and accessible
compared to virtual meetings using IRC.  This will become increasingly
true as Linux & Ubuntu adoption by mainstream computer users increases
and the average technical skill of Ubuntu users decreases.  Many quite
technical people I meet have never used IRC or have not used it in a
many years.  As our mail list and IRC channel are the primary means of
communication, this familiarity with the tools we use can be a barrier
to entry for Ubuntu users to join us.

If the target audience for group activities is "regular IRC
participants" or "mail list contributors" or
https://launchpad.net/~ubuntu-california/+members then activities will
have a different focus.

In thinking about how LoCos might choose to work with user groups,
some links and quotes I find helpful are:

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/LoCoFAQ states "...Most importantly however,
[a LoCo Team] lets people find other Ubuntu users near them..."  Even
if we do not play a direct role or think of user groups as "part of
our group," user groups in California can and do help Ubuntu users
connect with each other.  I have seen this first hand.  Computer users
not familiar with user groups are often tremendously grateful for the
help that is available that they did not previously know about.

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/LoCoTeamHowto has a section which says:

Get your LoCo working with area LUGs

LoCo teams that get involved with their area LUG groups expand their
base and garner goodwill in the open source community. LUGs need help
and we can give it, and we can do it in a way that will further
promote Ubuntu. LUGs are non specific of distros usually, but they
have a desire to promote open source computing. They generally lack
the resources, and organizational skills of the LoCos, and that is
where we can be most effective. Co-hosting events such as release
parties and installfest allows both groups to pool their expertise for
a more effective result. Just because it's a co-hosted event doesn't
mean we can't advocate for Ubuntu, it just means we can do it better.
Some events to consider are release parties and installfest. See

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/LoCoWorkingWithOtherGroups includes many
ideas.  Among them are that LoCos can provide LUGs with:

  * Marketing support
  * Add LUG events to announcements in LoCo Team meetings, such as IRC
  * Add LUG events to a calendar of events that is available to everyone

The reasons we join together as a LoCo are identical to the reasons
user groups exist.
 https://wiki.ubuntu.com/LoCoTeams says:

Why Local Teams?

Ever since the birth of computers, enthusiasts and fans around the
world have collected together in garages, universities and pubs to
talk about their interest, learn from each other and help promote
their interest. Combine this with the huge popularity of Ubuntu, and
you have the Ubuntu LoCo project.

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