Tip #2 for Ubuntu Evangelists (and Advocates)

In our last episode, (post), I encouraged you to use Ubuntu yourself, every day. Moving along, here is:

Ubuntu AdvocateUbuntu Advocate

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/


So there I am, making good espresso for this customer when this customer who is leaving my shop sees an Ubuntu Vancouver Loco poster near our door. He kind of interrupts my conversation with my customer to say:
"Where'd you get this?" *holding up Ubuntu pamphlet*
"I'm part of the Ubuntu Community." I say
"Oh! You committ?" He asks me.
"What?" I asked him?
"You committ code?" He asks me.
"Dude. What are you talking about?" I asked him.
"You're a programmer?" He asks me.
"No. I'm a barista, man! I said I'm part of the Ubuntu Community." I respond.
"Oh! So you're just a user?" He says.
"No. I'm not JUST a user - I"m a member of the Ubuntu Community I said!!"

At this point I completely ignore this guy. Why? Because he's EXACTLY the kind of guy that turns people off of Ubuntu. How do I know? There was a guy sitting there during this sad dialogue whom I have been 'working on' for years. He is not a 'user' of Ubuntu but he has come to appreciate all of us 'Ubuntu People' around Vancouver and has even hung out with us. I went up to him and said 'See that guy? Don't worry. He won't likely be joining our Ubuntu Community.' He was relieved to hear that.


Interesting story. Thanks for sharing.

I find this one statement works pretty well in jarring people out of the mental model they have for Ubuntu:

"Ubuntu is not just software."


If someone asks me why I use Ubuntu I say I like it better than Windows. That I find it better organized and more comfortable. That's about it. If someone asks me if I hate Microsoft I say that I happen not to like using Windows. That I find that the interface doesn't behave as nicely resulting a some minor annoyances that make me enjoy using my computer less.


It's somewhat situational but generally, I just tell them that I like a system that respects me, is clean, and one that I can help shape. That is what Ubuntu is.

I tune out any questions that I might receive about other systems (even other libre ones) by saying "I really don't follow that." I find this keeps the focus on Ubuntu itself and not on slippery-slope comparisons.

Thanks for your comment.


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