A few weeks ago at the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Mountain View we had many interesting discussions around Ubuntu LoCo Teams. We have so much potential with our LoCo community, and much of the discussions were based around improving our current roster of teams and how they work together.

Today we have 67 Approved and 112 New teams and these teams span the entire planet. LoCo teams participate in a range of activities including advocacy, support, organising events and get-togethers and much more. They are our eyes and ears. They are our troops on the ground helping to spread the word of Ubuntu. In my travels I met a number of LoCo Teams and the energy is always electrifying, whatever the size, location or experience.

In 2009 I want to help improve our LoCo Teams story. Although we have this incredible backbone of teams, we have some challenges to face in making the most of our teams. I see three primary challenges as the center-point of our focus:

  • Teams List – today we have a big list of LoCo teams available on this page. It is essentially a wiki table with one team per row. This method of listing our teams is suboptimal: we really need to store our teams in a database and make use of the data in a web application. This opens up all kinds of opportunities when it comes to data mining, keeping a current perspective on the LoCo community and making it easier for new members to find their nearest team to join. At UDS we discussed this problem and the conclusion was to build a database and make it open enough to allow our community to build a number of mash-up applications to explore what we can do with the database. Rich Johnson (nixternal) has started on the database and I am going to schedule a call with him soon to discuss progress and to get this ball rolling.
  • Education – we need to improve how great teams can better educate new teams. We have so much great experience, insight and best practise available in our community, and we need to figure out how to better channel it. An idea proposed at UDS was to have an Open Week style event in a number of concurrent languages. This is something I am keen for us to organise in this cycle. At UDS we had buy-in from the French, Romanian, German, Spanish and Italian teams, so there is some real potential here.
  • Better Messaging – right now the primary avenue in which LoCo teams get in touch with each other is the loco-contacts list. I am keen for us to bring more focus to this list. It is an ideal platform in which we can all share experience and perspective and to help each other succeed. But messaging is not just about using a mailing list: it is about the wider picture of LoCo Teams. We need to share more stories, more experiences and more tips on making our respective teams rock and roll. This needs to happen on blogs, in articles, on YouTube and anywhere else we can attract eyeballs.

For us to achieve these goals we are going to need to work together and share our ideas and efforts to make progress. I am really keen to hear from existing LoCo leaders and members to hear about where you would like to see our LoCo Community move forward. Expect some follow up posts soon as some of this work kicks off.

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