Documenting LoCo Activity October 1, 2009

Article contributed by Dan Trevino and Elizabeth Krumbach

Documenting is not a glamorous job. It is time-consuming and after a successful event many of us would much rather take a long break and start planning for the next instead of writing up a summary of an event that has already taken place.

Why Document?

So, why should you document your team activity?

  1. To increase and promote participation
    • New contributors look for activity within a team, having information about past events inspires people to join and participate
    • Even existing members will have trouble being inspired to participate if past events aren’t documented and current events don’t have enough information available
    • Properly documenting events prior to an event helps people feel involved in the process and insures that everyone is kept informed about the latest developments
  2. To advertise your team
    • Looking volunteer at a local computer club or LUG? Giving them a link to your website with examples of past work and collaborations shows these groups that you are a real team and increases the likelihood that they’ll want to work with you
  3. To inspire other teams
    • LoCo teams learn from each other! Your team may be involved with a project that a team elsewhere never thought of. Documenting your activities allows for sharing of ideas.
  4. Learn from experience
    • With each event you host you’ll learn more. Documenting lessons learned and notes on how you think you can improve next time will go far with how successful your events are.
  5. To gain official team approval withing Ubuntu
    • Last, but not least, in order for your team to become and Approved LoCo Team within Ubuntu, the LoCo Council needs to see a documented list of past events

Everyone can contribute to documentation, but many teams have had success with appointing a person or team to oversee and make sure this gets completed for each event.

How To Document

Since your goal should be to increase awareness, you should spread the word in as many places as possible. As mentioned in the previous “Joining a US LoCo Team” article, people rely on many avenues to get their information, so it is beneficial to reach out to as many of those people in their preferred medium as possible. This does not mean that you need to re-write your documentation multiple times, it just means you should make it available. So how do you document activity?

  1. Wiki
    • Your first stop should be your team wiki. Especially if your team is still working to become an approved LoCo.
  2. Mailing Lists
    • Local team list (ubuntu-us-xx), loco-contacts, ubuntu-us. Be sure to join the loco-contacts and ubuntu-us mailing lists in addition to your own teams list. Tell everyone what you’re doing!
  3. Forums
    • Ubuntu Forums. The forums are hugely popular. LoCo teams can even get their own subforum.
  4. Website
    • If your team has a website, be sure to add a short write-up and pics.
  5. Calendar
    • This can be a wiki event listing, a web page, google calendar, all of the above, or whatever works for your team. Providing a convenient listing of upcoming events and activities allows people to find you easier. Be consistent and update your calendar well in advance of upcoming activities.
  6. Team Reports
    • Once per month, update your team report. This allows other teams to learn and grow based on your experiences. Details can be found here:
  7. Ubuntu Weekly News
    • Ubuntu Weekly News is read by people everywhere. Including many near you that may not know you exist.
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