What is an Ubuntu local community (LoCo) team?
A Local Community team (also known as a LoCo) is a group of people that share an interest in Ubuntu. One might call the people in these teams “enthusiasts” as typically they are passionate about the Ubuntu project and the software created by it. A team can be as simple as a few people that get together occasionally to talk about Ubuntu or to celebrate it to something as formal as a national team with a governance structure in place. There are many flavours and styles for teams and no single formula applies to every region or culture in the world.
Finding a team
Ubuntu is truly a global phenomenon and teams are everywhere! And, if you live in a major metropolitan area chances are there’s one near you. We have built an online portal to help you locate an Ubuntu LoCo Team in your area. It is at http://loco.ubuntu.com/. From here you can find a team near you, or browse the full list of teams world-wide. You can also check out upcoming events that teams are participating in, read blog entries posted by teams, or find information about team events and meetings.
Anybody can use the LoCo Teams portal, even if you are not currently a member of a team or even if you are someone who has ever tried Ubuntu. Once you find a team near you, we strongly encourage you to join it! Teams are a great way to learn more about Ubuntu and, if you are so inclined, to participate in the creation of Ubuntu and to help make it better. If you join a LoCo team you can register new events or meetings for your team, have your blog added to the team’s news feed, and more.
One of the the best ideas is to join your LoCo team and subscribe to their mailing list or forum. Once subscribed makes sure that you introduce yourself and explain what skills you have, hopefully someone can help you there and invite you to the next meeting.
If you are traveling and want to meet up with other people that enjoy Ubuntu, you can use the LoCo Teams Portal to find an event they are holding and register to join them.
Starting a team
No team near you? That’s an opportunity! You have the ability to start one yourself. Ubuntu enthusiasts sometimes need someone to help them find each other. Be that person. It starts with one connector. If you’re not comfortable connecting people together, perhaps enlist the help of your most sociable friend. They may be up for an interesting challenge.
Here are four really easy steps to help get you (or your friend) started:
- Find a free (or nearly free) place to gather. Start small. If you have a local coffee shop or community gathering place in your neighbourhood, that’s a great venue for your first Ubuntu get-together. Ask the owner. You can likely host a lot of initial meetings in informal settings like this. Make it an easy spot to get to for you and your neighbours. Really make it easy, otherwise you’ll be burning energy just to get to meetings. 1. Send word out in your neighbourhood. It’s easy.
- Make a flyer that says: “Hey fellow Ubuntu users! We gather at here on the first Monday of every month at 7pm to help spread Ubuntu. Hope you’ll join us!” Keep it friendly, human, and clear (like Ubuntu). This type of notice can be put on local public bulletin boards, in libraries, on a pole on (pedestrian) busy intersections, bus stops, etc. (Make sure it’s allowed though. Find friendly places to post things.) Want to get more fancy with your flyers? Check out the pre-designed samples at http://spreadubuntu.org.
- You can also sometimes get free listings on community web sites, local newspapers, and local entertainment magazines. Your initial goal is to attract people that are looking for this kind of stuff, so don’t worry if you don’t have a massive ad campaign. Some people will find you. The people that find you first are sometimes the ones that have the most interest.
- Meet and have fun! This part is the easiest. Try to keep it simple and light. Don’t focus on “ToDo’s”, formality, and structure. Very few people like joining an organization that looks like a government. Over time as you attract more people to your team (because it’s fun), projects and activities will naturally emerge.
- Register your team on http://loco.ubuntu.com. Do this after you’ve had a few successful get-togethers and it has become obvious that there is energy and passion for Ubuntu in your new team.
Things you can do as a team
- There are no limits to the things you can do and the fun you can have as a team. Here are some examples we’ve seen that have worked: – Socialize! Get together over a cup of tea or coffee and talk about Ubuntu.
- Teach! Create presentations that help your community understand what Ubuntu is and how to get involved too.
- Hit the streets! Join a parade or a community event and spread the word about Ubuntu.
- Make something! Maybe there’s something you’d like to see in Ubuntu. Find some programmer friends and make it.
- Write! Ubuntu always needs good guides and documentation.
- Help! Provide assistance to those that are stuck. Install Ubuntu and help get them started.
- Party! Celebrate Ubuntu with your community. Have fun!
- Compare! What are other teams doing? Check out the http://loco.ubuntu.com site and see!
Getting help for your team You are not alone. Chances are another team in the world can help you out with useful tips, tricks, and advice to make your own team awesome. One way to reach out to others is to check the http://loco.ubuntu.com web site and contact a team lead near you. Alternatively, you can reach out to other teams through the LoCo contacts mailing list. Finally, there is a great support resource at http://askubuntu.com where volunteer Ubuntu experts and enthusiasts will happily and helpfully answer your questions about teams.
If you already have a team and need assistance, help or guidance anyone can reach out and contact the Ubuntu LoCo Council. They can help you with any question or problem about your team, like how to grow your team, how to resolve issues that arise from time to time, and how to get resources such as official Ubuntu DVDs or conference packs. The LoCo council can be reached here: LoCo Council. You can also contact to the LoCo Council using the mailing list: firstname.lastname@example.org.