As I alluded to in my rather cheesily titled previous post, Ubuntu LoCo teams are important to me as a core way of building our incredible Ubuntu community up, and better hooking it together. Well, its been a few weeks since that post, so I figured I should fill you in on what I have been up to.
When I first started looking at the LoCo teams, it seemed we had a bunch of teams that were really keen and excited, but didn’t really talk to each other or collaborate effectively. With such an organised and tightly knit Ubuntu community, it seemed to me like we need to get people talking more, so I first tried to get the loco-contacts mailing list crunching some more traffic and getting people to share some experiences and stories with each other. While this was going on, I was particularly keen in getting the ubuntu-uk team up and running, and helping to develop that team into a really strong team, not only because I want to see a strong UK team, but also because they have a lot of potential to be a leading LoCo team. So, I have since organised a LinuxWorld booth for them, and sent a few mails out about local meetings, and we now have four proposed local meetings across the UK. I also managed to source a vendor for free Ubuntu stickers in the UK – the excellent Linux Emporium. Oh, and check out Planet Ubuntu UK.
When I started looking at the LoCo teams, it was evident that some teams are naturally much stronger than others, and as part of the effort into helping the LoCo community to communicate together better, I wanted to have certain teams mentor other teams. I was chatting to the ever delightful Melissa Draper from the Australian Team and asked if the Australian team would be interested in helping to pilot this, as the Australian team has a particularly good reputation. She was keen to get involved, and she mentioned that this pilot could be useful to help out the New Zealand Team who have been struggling a little to get going. So, after a very constructive meeting in #ubuntu-nz, the mentoring agreement was forged, and the Austrialian/New Zealand mentoring partnership is going to be an interesting trial to see how it works out. A trial really does make sense here because mentoring is not something anyone can do. It demands a very specific, outgoing, pro-active, understanding personality, and Melissa has all of these traits and a whole lot more. She really is a credit to the Ubuntu community. Melissa is maintaining a blog reporting her progress, so do keep your eyes on that.
While this has been going I have also been helping some other teams with various issues and problems, much of it pertaining to leadership, and I will be helping to develop some notes, and processes for easing leadership problems in LoCo teams. There is no singular rule for leadership, and every team is different, but I think we need to focus less on leaders and more on role models.
Finally, today I have been working to refresh the LoCo pages on the Ubuntu wiki. Information about LoCo teams was rather scattered and unorganised, so I spent some time today getting some structure in place and starting to develop some new resources. So, now see the new home page for LoCo teams, find out how to join a team, see the LoCo Team HOWTO for details of starting a team and also see the new LoCo FAQ for common questions. I am really keen in making these resources a solid library of information about getting Ubuntu LoCo teams running perfectly.
This is just a start, but its nice to see the wheels starting to turn. Various other ideas about centralising resources, identifying conflict issues, and developing additional LoCo concepts are all on the drawing board. As these resources develop, I am hoping to get more of the new teams moved to approved teams, and get everything a little more ship shape. The LoCo community have been fantastic in helping to get this in shape, and there is a real, pure enthusiasm there bubbling under the surface. It is an exciting future…