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Ubuntu Community Week Collector Card #3

Ubuntu Community Week is coming and we've got cards! More of them every day. You've already seen two of our Ubuntu community stars and I hope you've had fun collecting them. I'm planning to print one at random soon to give to a total stranger on the street...

Moving right along, our third UCW collector card features someone who needs little introduction to many of you. He's a prolific Ubuntu contributor. Meet Ubuntu Massachusetts' own Paul Tagliamonte.

Paul is one of the amazing people out in local Ubuntu communities spreading Ubuntu, guiding teams, and ensuring that our favourite project includes the most lively communities from all over the world.

Leading up to Ubuntu Community Week, I will be releasing a card a day* for you to collect and to share with your manager that is not running Ubuntu (but should). Imagine the fun!

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Ubuntu Community Week takes place from Mon 18 July to Fri 22 July, 2011 and our Ubuntu Community Week wiki page is here.

Please mark your calendars and plan to attend.

* UCW Collector Cards are issued in purely random order.

Ubuntu Community Week Collector Card #2

Yesterday you saw our first Ubuntu community star. Continuing the lead up to Ubuntu Community Week, I'm happy to introduce the second. (By the way, these are in purely random order, so don't read too deeply into the sequence that I'm releasing cards for you to collect.)

Our second UCW collector card is none other than Ubuntu Vancouver's own Charlene Tessier.

Charlene is one of the amazing people out in local Ubuntu communities spreading Ubuntu, presenting, and organizing marketing events. She habitually startles people with the message that "You can use Ubuntu and be fashionable in the process!"

Leading up to Ubuntu Community Week, I will be releasing a card a day for you to collect and to give to your favourite aunt or uncle that is not running Ubuntu. Won't they be surprised?

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Ubuntu Community Week takes place from Mon 18 July to Fri 22 July, 2011 and our Ubuntu Community Week wiki page is here.

Please mark your calendars and plan to attend.

Vancouver's Natty U-Party! (Part 4)

This is part of an ongoing series about Ubuntu Vancouver's U-Party "A Celebration of Ubuntu and Unity", held on June 17th 2011. (Part 1) (Part 2) (Part 3)

Ubuntu Vancouver aims to create events that get noticed by people that have never heard of Ubuntu. True to the ethos of Ubuntu we desire to reach outward and embrace our fellow humans. Successful parties help us cross the chasm.

So, how does one create an event that is both celebrating inward and advertising outward at the same time? We have a few strategies, and I'll share some photos to illustrate.

First, we partied at a central location, in this case (and preferably) store-front space with lots of foot traffic. We've not always partied this way. We used to party in hacker labs and warehouse districts in the city. Though the spaces were functional, we were constantly battling obscurity. People didn't stumble upon parties there, and some people felt uncomfortable in some of the lesser-traveled parts of town and in spaces that looked like computer labs. Instant party killer.

Second, we wrapped the outside of the venue with Ubuntu Vancouver's Megabanner. Here's a photo of Whal Crew members Roscoe and Mark carefully taping it to the window, in preparation for a more "permanent" installation.

While we partied, hundreds of vehicles and pedestrians passed by wondering "What is that all about?" "What is this Ubuntu thing?" and, "Why wasn't I invited?" Megabanner is always pretty hard to miss.

We also hung a translucent screen against the window and projected interesting Narwhal and Ubuntu-themed videos. This created visual appeal inside the party and also added to the mystery on the street.

The video loop that we projected onto the screen during the party contained images that were designed to help people find us. Here's an example: a QR code that pointed to our website (projected backwards) for all who would pass by with "smart" phones.

We also projected some *not so* subliminal messages about Ubuntu, just for fun... What would you project onto the street if you were us?

I will be sharing some more highlights of our U-Party in upcoming posts. Thanks for reading.

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Screen photos courtesy of Mark Cariaga. Banner photos courtesy of Charlene Tessier. CC-BY-SA.

Ubuntu Community Week Collector Card #1

Growing up, we used to collect hockey cards. They had all the stats and little tidbits that made the players seem more personal even if we could never meet them. One of the fun challenges we had as children was to see if we could get the cards of all of our favourite players, and if we were really lucky maybe even the whole team.

With that in mind, I thought it would be a fun way to showcase our UCW stars by assembling a set of limited edition UCW collector cards.

Our first UCW collector card is none other than Paolo Sammicheli.

Paolo is one of the amazing people out in local Ubuntu communities spreading the word, organizing events, and helping to nurture stronger teams. When you tune into Paolo's presentation at Ubuntu Community Week, please be sure to ask him to sign your card. (And don't worry, the bullets he's referring to are those that appear in nearly every presentation you've ever yawned through.)

Leading up to Ubuntu Community Week, I will be releasing a card a day for you to collect and to cherish, and to maybe even one day to hand down to your children ;)

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Ubuntu Community Week takes place from Mon 18 July to Fri 22 July, 2011 and our Ubuntu Community Week wiki page is here.

Please mark your calendars and plan to attend.

Ubuntu Community Week: Meet The Team (Part 1)

In my previous (UCW) post, I announced that we were gathering a stellar cast of presenters from some of the farthest reaches of our Ubuntu communities.

I know what you're thinking. "Who are these people?" Well, I'm glad you asked ;)

Over the next few weeks leading up to Ubuntu Community Week, I will be introducing the movers and shakers in the Ubuntu community. These fine folks are the people out in local Ubuntu communities spreading the word, organizing events, and helping nurture stronger teams.

Here are the first four. See if you recognize them.

Ok. I'll give you a hint. One drinks Ubuntinis and was not in Star Wars ;)

Over the coming weeks leading up to our event, please stay tuned for real introductions to our presenters, and more. I think you'll find them interesting. Perhaps you'll even discover one of our presenters is part of a team near you.

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Ubuntu Community Week takes place from Mon 18 July to Fri 22 July, 2011 and our Ubuntu Community Week wiki page is here.

Please mark your calendars and plan to attend.

Vancouver's Natty U-Party! (Part 3)

This is part of an ongoing series about Ubuntu Vancouver's U-Party "A Celebration of Ubuntu and Unity", held on June 17th 2011. (Part 1) (Part 2)

Some interesting feedback came in regarding our computer ban at U-Parties. I'll digress into a bit of philosophy and background before I continue with today's installment.

Ubuntu Vancouver aims to create events that everyone can enjoy, true to the ethos of Ubuntu, and true to the theme of Unity. So, while there is a very strict (and posted) computer ban at parties and purely social events, we do have many many other events where computers are present, welcomed, embraced, hugged, and sometimes even rescued. And we find that strategy works very well. Parties are lively and social as a result and our other events stay focused.

We also find that parties without computers are less intimidating for the people (that other 99%) that don't use Ubuntu. They join us and discover how friendly our community is, without having to wade through "an introduction to GNU, open source, free software, kernel-speak, whether Gnome is better than Plasma, and why wifi didn't work in Dapper Drake alpha 2." Frankly, they don't care. Read that last sentence three times please.

With computers safely left at home, what's the next step to making a U-Party an inviting and exciting place? The first thing I'd like to talk about is atmosphere. A party space should have a feeling of magic, almost "other-worldly." One can achieve that in many ways, though in Vancouver we use a combination of simple lighting and visuals.

Here is the view that party goers saw as they entered the venue:

Purple, orange, black: The colours of Ubuntu. Balloons and lights. These are very easy ways to achieve mood. We asked crew members to donate lights and projectors. We wrapped parts of the venue with purple and orange plastic cloth. We printed Ubuntu Vancouver signage

and we spread our 11.04 CD's (thanks Canonical!) around the venue. We kept the lights dim.

It was a shoe-string budget (isn't it always?) but I think the result exceeded the means.

One thing that worked quite well was the projection of our UVLC party logo on the wall. We'll have to include even more projectors next time ;)

I will be sharing some more highlights of our U-Party in upcoming posts. Thanks for reading.

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Photos courtesy of Mark Cariaga. CC-BY-SA. Please give attribution to Mark who is an awesome supporter of Ubuntu and an all around great guy!

Vancouver's Natty U-Party! (Part 2)

This is part of an ongoing series about Ubuntu Vancouver's U-Party "A Celebration of Ubuntu and Unity", held on June 17th 2011. (Part 1)

We call our parties "U-Party" to appeal to everyone, not just Ubuntu users (1). We do something else unique too. We forbid computers.

Have you ever been to a party that's humming along, lots of interesting conversation, great times, then someone turns on a TV? If you have, you'll appreciate why we party without our computers. Nine out of ten narwhals agree that there is no more effective way to kill a party than by introducing computer mediation.

Computer-mediated partying harms the oceans.

Help prevent a U-Party near you from going sideways. Steal our idea. Steal our sign. (2)

I will be sharing some more highlights of our U-Party in upcoming posts. Thanks for reading.

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(1) 99% of the world's humans do not run Ubuntu, but many of them like parties.
(2) Sign CC-BY-SA. Please give attribution to UVLC, whale by Kirby.WA.

Ubuntu is...

It's summer time, and that can mean but one thing in Vancouver Canada: street festivals! As Ubuntu Vancouver travels from festival to festival this summer we will talk to thousands of people. Over 90% of them have never heard of Ubuntu. I consider this to be Bug #1 in my city (and maybe even yours). We aim to fix that, starting at home.

So, what do you tell someone about Ubuntu when all you have is 10 seconds or less of their scarce attention? What is the most startling, compelling, truthful, and interesting way to complete this sentence?

"Ubuntu is ______________________ ."

The goal is to make them want to become part of Ubuntu's diverse and lively community.

We have some ideas, but we'd love to hear yours and tap the wisdom of crowds. Please share your thoughts in the comments.

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Google is unhelpful in this regard. Try googling "Ubuntu is" and see what I mean.

Vancouver's Natty U-Party!

Last Friday evening, Vancouver (the city in Canada that really gets Ubuntu) threw a party in celebration of Ubuntu and Unity. We call our parties "U-Party" to appeal to everyone(1), not just Ubuntu users.

Over the course of the next few days I will be sharing some of the highlights (at least the ones that I'm allowed to share). I will also share some of the ideas that helped make this party special.

Here's a start. This was the party logo we projected for the world to see! The logo was animated to spin during the party, which actually was an even more interesting thing after an Ubuntini or two :) I am told that the logo looks like this... http://ubuntuone.com/p/10iV/

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(1) Remember, 99% of the world uses other OS'es (that don't respect freedom), and we want to bring fun into their lives too! We are all human.

The World Needs To Hear You

Ubuntu Community Week is your chance to learn about how Ubuntu communities and LoCo teams work. It's also your chance to showcase the great work your Ubuntu group is doing to help people find Ubuntu, to grow your community, and to make events even more awesome!

We have a few slots lefts for presenters, but not many! So, if you have a good Ubuntu story to tell please head on over to the UCW wiki page and nominate yourself to spread your wisdom.

The world needs to hear you!

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