Good People. Great Teams.

A while back I asked you to all re-connect with the Ubuntu ethos. I asked for your stories of how you define your Ubuntu ethos, and there were some wonderful responses. Thank you everyone.

Ethos is important. Critical in fact. It is the glue that will bind us through the turbulent years ahead as we continue to grow and step up to the status quo, demanding change. We are going to face all manner of challenges in the coming months: both technical and social. The competition are going to be on our case almost constantly, but we will be there at every step of the way to nail our colours to the board. Ubuntu has made huge progress in recent years. We have managed to capture some real mindshare. We now need to get out there finish the job.

The next level of the game is going to require many skills. Diversity is going to be the key to us flourishing. We are going to need great packaging, software development and bug-fixing. We are going to need rocking documentation and translations, more and more testing and lots of feedback. We will need training, we need to support our new and existing users, and we need to focus our energy positively. On one hand diversity can be read as the things that make us different. On the other hand it can be read as the many different varieties of arse that we are going to kick in the coming year, united in our shared ethos.

Ubuntu is all about people. In response to my post on ethos, regular jb@h poster ethana2 summarised his vision of Ubuntu as “I am what Ubuntu means to me. I don’t just use it, I contribute to it, I personalize it, I spread it, I support it“. He hit the nail on the head. Ubuntu, and the wider Open Source and Free Software ethos is all about people working together, uniting behind an opportunity to make their own world better. Fortunately making your own world better often means making someone else’s world better too.

The way we are going to win is to enable good people to do great work. Good people is what drives our community forward. Daviey Walker touched on this in his response:

Why is the community full of ‘good’ people? Does Ubuntu only attract ‘good’ people? Is there, in actual fact, good in everyone? Does Ubuntu bring out the ‘good’ in everybody? Do only ‘good’ people want to get involved in the community?

There are many, many examples of good people and great stories in our community. One really touched me recently.

In response to my last post about open learning, Dan Trevino from the Florida LoCo shared a story about some of the excellent work that they are doing with an organisation called QuinnCo Inc:

One formerly active member started Free Geek Central Florida, and just recently, a new loco member started QuinnCo Inc. Free Geek needs no introduction, but QuinnCo might. In their own words:

“Our goal is to provide special computers to kids with special needs. We take donated computers and load them up with free education games that teach kids computer skills, literacy skills, and math skills”.

The customised Operating System that QuinnCo are working on is based on Xubuntu.

A strong computing foundation in Xubuntu and a strong local community foundation in the Florida LoCo team is a compelling combination; a combination that is making life better for kids with special needs in Florida. In my mind this gets to the very heart of the opportunity of Open Source: making life better for people. Keep up the great work folks, we are all behind you!

LoCo Teams are responsible for so many of these great stories. It is LoCo Teams that are on the ground talking to potential users, giving out CDs, talking to local businesses and charities and more. They are a huge asset to Ubuntu. We have hundreds of teams around the world doing incredible work, spreading the message of Ubuntu far and wide. They themselves exhibit the very ethos that we are sharing with others.

I am keen to know more of these stories. I would like to ask each of you in a LoCo Team to share a story on your blog or in the comments below. I would like to begin building a compendium of example stories that showcases the kind of excellent work that LoCos are doing. This is the first step in getting our LoCo Teams better coordinated, sharing experience and advice, changing the world one user at a time. I look forward to hearing from you all. :)

  • Fabian Rodriguez

    Hi Jono, I’ve been following the Ubuntu ethos posts with interest.

    I just thought you may want to know whenever someone calls by mistake (or else) asking for free support, we give out information about several resources, including the official docs, etc.

    One of those resources the Ubuntu wiki and we make sure anyone that calls us knows they can also count on their corresponding local team for more informal, local, “in their language” help.

  • Michael @ QuinnCo

    I’d just like to add that Qimo (QuinnCo’s distro) isn’t built on just Xubuntu, it also includes many very good open source games like GCompris, Childsplay, and the Tux(Paint|Math|Type) apps.

    Beyond that, however, Qimo is built on top of this community that Ubuntu has created. From the free online documentation about how to make a custom Ubuntu LiveCD, to members offering to host the ISO image when I coulnd’t, and of course people like Jono directing us to these resources when we didn’t know where to look. Without these, I would have never been able to accomplish what I have.

    Our charity, and all the good that we are able to do through it, is not just an expression of the ethos, we’re a result of it.

  • jono

    Our charity, and all the good that we are able to do through it, is not just an expression of the ethos, we’re a result of it.

    That just made my day. :)

  • Christian Einfeldt


    I would love to send you an email about a documentary film we are producing called the Digital Tipping Point about the Ubunto ethos in a public middle school in San Francisco, where we have built a Xubuntu hybrid client lab. For some reason, I am not able to email you through this page, and I don’t otherwise have your email address. I am einfeldt at gmail dot com. Mark Shuttleworth is one of the folks we interviewed, along with the Mayor of Munich, the Culture Minister of Brazil, Linus Torvalds, Richard Stallman, and, of course, the teachers at the school.

    Christian Einfeldt, Producer, The Digital Tipping Point

  • Christian Einfeldt

    oops, scratch that. I just found your email addy. Never mind! heh.

  • Michael @ QuinnCo

    Yesterday we were offered a free exhibitor table at Scale 7x because one of the people organizing it read this article. Thanks Jono.

    Now we just have to arrange to get ourselves from central Florida to southern California for a few days.

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