Tip #1 for Ubuntu Evangelists (and Advocates)

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:

Ubuntu AdvocateUbuntu Advocate
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:


"Ubuntu Advocate" image (CC BY-SA 2.0) by arrayexception. http://www.flickr.com/photos/arrayexception/


Why is everybody so butthurt over the image? It's a portrait photography for frak sake, get over it...


We need to read things in context. I actually quite like the series of pics posted, and I appreciate that you've given credit to the image sources. If the only pic in the whole series of tips is this sultry looking woman, I would be a bit concerned. But if one looks at the variety of pics for all the postings, it's not clear at all that this is problematic. In fact, it seems to show that Ubuntu can appeal to a variety of folks. (I do notice that people didn't voice concerns over the guy with the tatoos.) As a woman and self-proclaimed feminist, this still seems fine to me, especially given the wider context of the whole series. If I had the tatoo, I would have sent in my own pic to show how Ubuntu can appeal to all types and genders! :)


Was it really necessary to use this image? There are plenty images of this kind (just search google for 'ubuntu wallpaper girl', yours is one of the first), and while I understand that some 15 year old boys might like them, I don't think it's a good idea to use them to promote Ubuntu.


The photo is in good taste and I'm sorry that you disagree.


A sensible first step, I'll look forward to see more tips




I don't think you can simply use/share the photo showing Katie Holmes with the Ubuntu sign.


I have no idea who's in the photo, and the source is licensed as indicated.


This tip is redundant, and also kind of bad advice. The people who want to advocate Ubuntu by and large already use it, and if they don't use it 100 percent of the time it's because their needs dictate that they use other OSes, such as Android on a mobile device or Windows on a separate partition for gaming. This is a very common use case scenario, and teaching Ubuntu newbs to exemplify an exceptional use case scenario -- and give people the impression that it's the ideal, or even the only one possible -- is not conducive to speading Ubuntu.

What might be better is showing people how they can do things like:

1) Sync their Android phone's music library with Rhythmbox (or even Google Music) and set up Ubuntu One in Android, plus Ubuntu web apps for common Android apps like Evernote and Astrid.

2) Use WINE to use many common Windows games and apps.

3) Set up dual-booting safely, thus showing them that they don't have to give anything up and they can play their games and things whenever they like.


First, I take exception to the derogatory word "newb". Do we really need to belittle people?

Secondly, my article is not directed at people who are new to Ubuntu. It is directed at Advocates and Evangelists. These are the people that are totally immersed in Ubuntu already and want to introduce others.

Thirdly, I've met people that try to advocate one thing but use another. As soon as that's discovered the advocacy fails. It's a credibility thing.


"Newb" is not a derogatory term, as I understand it. It is short for "newbie," and indicates a person who is new to a field. "Noob" is the term you are thinking of.

A person doesn't have to be "totally immersed in Ubuntu already" in order to want to introduce others to it. Many people use another OS at their workplace, many use another for gaming, and nearly everyone who has a mobile device uses a non-Ubuntu OS on it. None of these factors necessarily mitigate a person's enthusiasm for what Ubuntu does help them with, and the ways it improves their lives.

A credibility issue may arise if I tell you "Ubuntu is great for PC gaming" while I'm playing BioShock in Windows. But you appear to be assuming that the one and only advocacy scenario is telling someone "Ubuntu will do everything you need it to," and that the only way to credibly tell someone this is to have it do everything you need it to.

What would be more credible is to be aware of your needs and the needs of others (and how they differ), show them the ways that Ubuntu could help meet their needs, acknowledge the ways it cannot yet, and help them find workarounds such as dual-booting or playing nicely with other devices. This is also more effective, since the subset of the population which would enjoy using Ubuntu but can't use it for everything is greater than the subset which can.


Newb = noob = a divisive term. The term is rooted in 1337 culture, which I will not support. Instead I prefer to use inclusive language. How about "someone who has just discovered Ubuntu?". Sounds more welcoming to me.

Sure, if one is using other OS'es then one ought to be able to explain with very credible reasons why that is the case. I've seen people fall on that sword too many times though. Usually it increases the doubt factor.

Thank you for your thoughtful comments.


Is an image where someone stuck an Ubuntu logo on Katie Holmes in a sultry pose really the best way to advocate Ubuntu? While the image might say it's CC By-SA 2.0, I am guessing the author doesn't have rights to use the photograph of her in the image, or to use her likeness to advertise Ubuntu.


Hi Rodney, I have no idea who's in the photo and the original is licensed as indicated.


Just because the license is listed on Flickr as such, does not mean that it is the "original work" or that the license is correct.

Lack of understanding about how licenses work is a major problem in software (and in general), and concern for it needs to be taken. What good is advocating Ubuntu, if at the same time, we're subconcsiouly advocating the violation of the rights of others and their works? Trusting a random uploader on the Internet to have picked the correct license, is probably not a good idea. The "artist" in question on Flickr where you pulled the image from, in fact has no other pictures of this person at all, nor other wallpapers or anything to indicate that his choice of licensing for this image, or that it is properly used by him.

In advocating Ubuntu, we should take care to ensure that the creations of others are appropriate for doing so. I've flagged the image on Flickr, because I believe it is in violation of the rights of the original photographer, as well as the rights of the model.


Thanks for your feedback. I have no issue swapping out the photo if the license is indeed incorrect. I'll even swap it out for something you provide, if you want :)

Do you have a CC-BY-SA image that shows a person so fond of Ubuntu that they are willing to alter their body appearance for it?


I don't have a CC-By-SA image of the sort, no. However, this person has not altered her appearance for Ubuntu. The image was photoshopped. Searching for copies of the image in fact, show a bunch of results of the same picture, with the FCB (Barcelona) club logo photoshopped on the shoulder.

See http://is.gd/UkFKCp for the results.

If you're looking of photos of people who modified their appearance for Ubuntu, it might do to start with a little bit of basic scrutiny for the images you do find. There are many photos of women that have been copied and modified without permission, to have Linux/Debian/Ubuntu/other logos placed on their bodies. This one is no exception.


Thank you for your comment and for sharing the search. I'm leaving the post up with the existing photo. If you'd like to send an alternate photo though, I'll consider it.


I don't see why you need such an image for your post at all. It has nothing to do with people modifying their person (or images of other people) to include an Ubuntu logo.

Why not simply use the Ubuntu logo instead, as an image? Or one of the millions of screenshots of Ubuntu? Is it Ubuntu you are advocating, or Katie Holmes, or the logo being placed in places that have nothing to do with Ubuntu itself?


I'm advocating showing off the logo in a personal way. And how some people make Ubuntu part of their everyday existence, most of which is not about computers. Screenshots are boring tech. Ubuntu is more personal than that ;)


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