So far, I've encouraged would-be-evangelo-advocates to enjoy Ubuntu themselves every day, to skip Colonel and Yak-like historical comparisons, to pronounce Ubuntu in a manner respectful its origin (oo-boon-too), to be selective when choosing an advocat-ee, and to direct people towards their local community. The tip-fest continues with...
Do not compare.
Never compare Ubuntu with other operating systems, free or not. When you do, you draw people's attention away from your message and towards a competitor's (even if a friendly one). You also frame Ubuntu in their context, which is usually "just software".
Don't name competitors' names. Refer to their products only if asked specifically, and only in the general sense. And if this happens, keep steering your conversation back to Ubuntu.
If you do this, you'll be able to spend more time spreading enthusiasm about Ubuntu rather than re-hashing nightmarish experiences with other systems...
Could there possibly be more?! Check back for Tip #7 tomorrow. It will be something I've learned the hard way by trying, failing, re-thinking, and then trying again.
Be an Advocate extraordinaire! The Ubuntu Advocacy Kit awaits:
"Ubuntu Advocate" image CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 by "garak". http://www.flickr.com/photos/garak/6560558859/sizes/z/in/photostream/
Serial tips! I've presented Tip #1, Tip #2, Tip #3, and Tip #4. I've encouraged every advocate-to-be to use Ubuntu (every day), to drop references to technical minutia when talking about it, to pronounce it correctly (oo-boon-too), and to be selective when choosing where to direct your advocacy. The fun continues with...
My next tip:
Don't be a soloist.
You're not the whole Ubuntu community. The
hundreds thousands of people in your city who enjoy Ubuntu collectively have a much greater wealth of Ubuntu knowledge than yourself individually will ever have.
So, if you've found someone that you think is ready for Ubuntu, encourage them to participate in the local Ubuntu community in your city as their first step. Help them find people in your city that also enjoy Ubuntu.
There's really no substitute for a face-to-face Ubuntu community and the person you guide towards it will be richer in knowledge because you have done so.
... And, you'll be able to spend more time finding the next advocate rather than installing Ubuntu or solving tech issues!
But wait! There's more! Stay tuned for Tip #6 tomorrow. Another thing I've learned the hard way by trying, failing, re-thinking, and then trying again. (While you're waiting, don't forget to tip your waiter :P)
Be an Advo-cat! Check out the brand new community-built, full of awesome Advocacy Kit:
"Ubuntu Advo-cat" image (CC BY 2.0) by "blumblaum". http://www.flickr.com/photos/blumblaum/5005537984/sizes/l/in/photostream/
No kittens were harmed during the production of this post. Toads maybe. ;)
In our ongoing saga, Tip #1, Tip #2, Tip #3, you were encouraged to use Ubuntu yourself (every day), to drop references to technical minutia when talking about it, and to pronounce it correctly (oo-boon-too). Whew!
My next (shocking?) tip:
Choose your targets wisely.
Don't assume that everyone is ready for Ubuntu. Some aren't. Since you have limited resources and time, try to gauge whether a person is receptive to new ideas and ways of thinking, generally, before exerting your energy. Ask them some probing questions (without saying Ubuntu) that will help you understand their comfort with and readiness for change. If they seem to be open-minded, give it a shot. If not, move along. We'll come back for them later.
Longing for more? Don't fret! More of my tips for Ubuntu advocates are coming. Things I've learned the hard way by trying, failing, re-thinking, and then trying again. Stay tuned for Tip #5 tomorrow. Guaranteed to excite the Planet.
Advocates unite! Please check out the brand new Advocacy Kit:
"Ubuntu Advocate's Car" image (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) by Tris Linnell. http://www.flickr.com/photos/jonnyentropy/6112073746/sizes/z/in/photostr...
Hey! Was that the sound of toads I just heard? Rude comments cheerfully deleted ;)
Now, it's time for the next tip:
Tip #3: Pronounce "Ubuntu" correctly.
It's pronounced “Oo-boon-too”. This might sound like something trivial or pedantic, but please recognize that when you mispronounce a word, your credibility may be immediately called into question. A quick Google search for the correct pronunciation and a few minutes of practice is all it takes.
Over the coming days I'll be sharing more of my tips for Ubuntu advocates. Things I've learned the hard way by trying things myself, failing, re-thinking, and then trying again. Please stay tuned for Tip #4 tomorrow.
Are you an Advocate? Please check out the brand new Advocacy Kit:
An aside: Astute readers might look for Tip #1 dated Dec. 20th on Planet Ubuntu and won't find it. Don't fret. I've noticed its mysterious disappearance too, and I'm about as impressed as you are about our cowardly censor.
"Ubuntu Advocate" image (CC BY-NC 2.0) by John Royer. http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnroyer/4907112377/sizes/z/in/photostream/
I offered this in order to encourage people to participate in designing and making great software that respects human beings, rather than participate in "yet another blog article about who said what about whom and who is more righteous."
There were naysayers. But more importantly, there were genuinely thoughtful and marvellous idea contributors. Lots of them.
Here is a short synopsis of the discussion so far:
There's more good stuff in there, but I'll leave it as your exercise to click the link and check it out for yourself.
Finally, is the approach that is in the current Dash search the best in can be? Likely not. But, "code is law". And unless we (the Community) are prepared to help out with better code, the law shall stand.
Go ahead. Add your "code."
Note: You will need to login with your Ubuntu SSO account, and also be a member of the ubuntu-etherpad team on Launchpad. Join it here: https://launchpad.net/~ubuntu-etherpad
Note: Comments to the effect of "you are wasting your time Canonical is evil and we are all doomed" are not considered code. If you have opted out (or given up) this isn't the place to say so.
In our last episode, (post), I encouraged you to use Ubuntu yourself, every day. Moving along, here is:
Tip #2: Don't assume people have ever heard of Ubuntu.
Pretend it's brand new to them. Introduce Ubuntu simply as Ubuntu, and skip the references to arcane systems of days gone by, and also skip the computer science minutia. Most people don't care and will tend to tune out if you try to impress them with jargon or recount a technical history lesson.
Over the coming days I'll be sharing more of my tips for Ubuntu advocates. Things I've learned the hard way by trying things myself, failing, re-thinking, and then trying again. Please stay tuned for Tip #3 tomorrow.
Are you an Advocate? Please check out the brand new Advocacy Kit:
"Ubuntu Advocate" image (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Jeff Kubina. http://www.flickr.com/photos/kubina/913588072/sizes/z/in/photostream/
In our last episode, (post), I "warned" you that I would be presenting some tips to help advocate Ubuntu. So, without further fanfare, here is:
Tip #1: Use Ubuntu yourself. Every day.
Make it your sole operating system and immerse yourself in it. After all, if you're not confident enough to do so, why should anyone else be?
As Mahatma Gandhi once said, “You must be the change you want to see in the world.”
Over the next few days I'll be sharing more of my tips for Ubuntu advocates. Things I've learned the hard way by trying things myself, failing, re-thinking, and then trying again. Please stay tuned for Tip #2 tomorrow.
Are you an Advocate? Want to help others advocate too? Please check out the brand new Advocacy Kit:
In a prior post, I introduced you to a wee little project that I kicked off at UDS-R. There I hosted a session to discuss how we might begin to change the tone (and the content) of the discussion about Ubuntu. In short, I want to create a process whereby we can all "Amplify the Signal."
In the time since my session, Jono and his marvellous team of Community People (who are both inside and outside Canonical), have serendipitously created a resource that I think is going to really help in this quest: an Advocacy Kit, a highly curated collection of tools to help those of us who want Ubuntu to spread as far, as wide, and as quickly as possible. It's in its early stages but a document framework is in place. I decided to dive right in to see where I could help.
One area that I noticed I could add immediate horsepower was in providing tips for the would-be advocate. That's right up my alley. That's what an Ubuntu Evangelist does. S/he equips people with tools to be effective. S/he gets people excited about advocating for Ubuntu.
Over the next few days I'll be sharing my tips for Ubuntu advocates. Things I've learned the hard way by trying things myself, failing, re-thinking, and then trying again.
Please stay tuned to this "channel" for Tip #1 tomorrow.
Want to get involved in the advocacy kit too? I highly recommend it! Please check out Jono's post here and think about what you can do to help:
Soon people all over the world will be celebrating holidays, and for many that means shopping and gift-giving. I'm here from the "school of hard knocks" to give you some important advice:
If you are looking to buy (or ask for) a computer system that runs Ubuntu flawlessly (and who isn't, right?) then there are 3 places that you can (and should) check before you make that purchase:
Ubuntu-Certified systems: http://www.ubuntu.com/certification/desktop/ <-- any of these are excellent choices for Ubuntu. Be sure to check the current Ubuntu version though.
Ubuntu Friendly systems: https://friendly.ubuntu.com/ <-- look for 4 stars or more.
Ubuntu pre-loaded. System76 is a great choice and they are all about Ubuntu! http://system76.com <-- just be aware that they are located in the USA which means you'll likely pay for shipping and some extra fees to get your system past the border mafia in your country.
If you are expecting to recieve an Ubuntu-ready computer, I strongly recommend that you pass this advice along to your loving gift-giver-to-be. And, encourage them to get a gift receipt for the purchase, just in case ;)
Enjoy Ubuntu in style, hassle-free, and without the pain that people experience on other platforms. 
 20 years in IT and 6 years supporting Ubuntu. Hundreds of people asking me "How do I get my (graphics card|wifi|suspend| function keys|hockey stick) working with Ubuntu. Years of reading blog posts and bug reports about how the latest Ubuntu release "broke my (uncertified) system."
 You can share this gift too. Do you have system that works flawlessly (i.e. with not even one minor issue) with Ubuntu but is not on the lists above? Please tell me about it in the comments.
(Original image by asenat29, CC-BY-2.0, http://www.flickr.com/photos/72153088@N08/)
Today, Thursday Dec 13th, with your help, we're going to make Ubuntu even more awesome by adding a strong dose of community.
Head on over to:
on the Freenode IRC network.
Create fresh, interesting, and exciting content for www.ubuntu.com/community.