Unleashing The Ubuntu LoCo Directory

One of the most wonderful sub-communities in the Ubuntu world are our LoCo Teams; the global span of Ubuntu advocacy groups that are out there every day helping to spread the word about Ubuntu. These wonderful people are on the front-lines helping people to get started with Ubuntu and providing a fantastic place to meet, greet and have fun with other Ubuntu users and contributors.

In terms of resources for this community, we have the following key components:

  • Wiki Pages – these wiki pages include best practise and details about how to join the community.
  • Teams List – this is the big list of teams, complete with contact details and online resources.
  • Mailing List – this is where the LoCo community discuss general LoCo related topics. In most cases cases teams have mailing lists too.
  • #ubuntu-locoteams on Freenode – this is an online discussion channel where you can ask questions and socialize with other LoCo community members.

One component we have been keen to fix is the listing of LoCo teams and associated resources and events. We have discussed this over a few UDSs and I am pleased to show off some work that has been going into making our LoCo portal really effective. Thanks to the wonderful LoCo Directory hackers who have been feverishly working away on this project. You can go and play with it at http://loco.ubuntu.com.

The LoCo directory looks like this:

Right now it has the following key features:

  • Teams – a list of all the LoCo teams in the community.
  • Venues – a list of venues used by LoCo teams (useful so you don’t need to repeatedly enter new venue information each time you organize and event and also good for sharing good venues with other LoCo team members).
  • Events – events can be saved to the system and associated with LoCo teams as well as global events such as the Ubuntu Global Jam.

If you click on the Teams link you can see the list of LoCo teams:

This is the full list of teams. Teams that have a humanity colored Ubuntu circle of friends next to them are Approved teams, otherwise it is colored gray and indicates the team is not yet approved. Already this makes finding teams much nicer for new Ubuntu members: just point them at http://loco.ubuntu.com/teams/ :-)

When you click on a team you see more information about the team and their resources/events. As an example, here is my local team Ubuntu California:

The team information page shows some key details such as the owner, admins, when the team is next up for re-approval and also links to a series of resources such as websites, IRC channels, forums etc. The page also rather nicely shows their logo. :-)

Not only this, but the page also shows a list of events that have been organized by the team. In the screenshot above there are two events (they are a little squashed, that is a bug). Clicking on an event shows the details for that specific event. As an example, here are the details for the Ubuntu Global Jam event that I have organized in a few weeks time:

When you view an event you can see when it is, what it happens, the location, a map reference and a description. There is also an area where you can RSVP for an event to confirm your attendance or non-attendance: this is a great way of determining how many people are likely to show up to your event.

The way the LoCo directory works is to suck as much information out of Launchpad where possible about teams and then it builds in some of the other features (such as events) into the LoCo directory. This avoids duplication of data and uses Launchpad for key features such as access control and owner/admin information.

Great work, LoCo directory hackers! :-)

  • http://mrooney.blogspot.com Mike Rooney

    This is excellent indeed, and thanks for pointing out the CA Bug Jam event; I’ve registered as a maybe, if I can make it out to Berkeley!

  • jono

    That would be awesome to see you, Mike!

  • http://mrooney.blogspot.com Mike Rooney

    Hey, this got me thinking, since I wasn’t aware of this event until you posted it and it just happened to be in my area.

    Is there any Google Maps type map that shows LoCos or registered events, like the team members map on Launchpad? It could be really cool if there was such a map for LoCos, where the pinpoints linked to the individual LoCo pages, to make it really easy to go from “here I am to” to “now I know where the nearest LoCo is”.

    A similar calendar for LoCo events could also be neat; if I’m travelling I can check out the map and see all events in the next month or whatever the defined period is, as well as discover neat things going on in my current LoCo that I may not be aware of.

    The LoCo part could be easy to manage in Launchpad, but it looks like the team itself cannot set a location, just the members. Anyway, just a thought on how to potentially make it even easier for someone to get involved/interested in LoCos and the Ubuntu community.

  • Henry

    I like how Rockridge is on the edge of Berkeley instead of Oakland- which is its legal parent city. No love for the town?

  • http://wrevolution.org dan

    Mike, the map thing has been discussed off and on as part of the loco dir for awhile. I agree, it would be a good idea.

  • http://brettalton.com Brett

    Can you guys reformat this page?

    http://loco.ubuntu.com/events/

    Too much information crowded with link and times all misaligned. It’s hard to read.

    Other than that, yay =)

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