Congratulations North Carolina! April 22, 2010 No Comments

Article contributed by Elizabeth Krumbach

On April 20th the North Carolina team became the latest approved US LoCo team.

Well deserved folks! Congratulations!

Team contact Amber Graner shares more of their story, goals and team committments over on her blog: Ubuntu North Carolina LoCo Team Now Approved!

And their approval application can be found here:

Want to find more about the approval process for your team? Check out this page:

What Individuals Can Do For Their LoCo Team December 6, 2009 1 Comment

Article contributed by Amber Graner and Elizabeth Krumbach

Are you the only person in your area who is in your state LoCo Team? Or perhaps meet-ups in your area haven’t been as successful as you had anticipated. Never fear! There are things individuals can do “on their own” to contribute to their LoCo team.

  • Host an Ubuntu Hour
  • Contact local computer recycling and reusing organizations which distribute old computers, do they want to use Ubuntu? Offer to help with installs or “Linux expert” consultation.
  • Wear an Ubuntu hat, t-shirt or other schwag and carry around CDs when you go out everywhere – when someone asks about it engage them in conversation and offer a CD! A banker at my local bank now updates me on his Linux adventures each time I see him.
  • Talk to their Local Libraries and ask to put the fliers and current release CD’s somewhere near where they check out books or some other place where people will have to pass them.
  • Talk to any local and national chain books stores and see if they will display the CD in the Linux section of the store if possible with the Ubuntu books.
  • Talk to local colleges both the computer science/IT department and the administrative staff to get them to put CD’s and fliers in the student centers, the libraries and the Computer/IT department areas and /or any other areas that students might show an interest in Open Source Technology (science department).
  • Talk to privately owned coffee shops. See what they will let you display.
  • Some religious centers (churches, synagogues, meditation centers etc) have business areas and libraries. Talk to them about personal freedoms and how open source supports their rights to worship freely. Let them read about it and then see if you can add the CD’s and fliers to their libraries and such.
  • Rural Club Houses. Most small towns have club house/meeting areas. See if you can give a talk when say some civic organization is meeting. Get on their agenda and see about displaying stuff at these places where people meet in the community. Even if you don’t speak to them. Just see about placing CD’s and fliers in those places.
  • Airports have racks for information. Fliers with instructions on how to get the CD if people want one, or making sure they have the instructions for getting the image should they decide they want to try it.
  • Technical meetings at hotels. Most hotels will display who is meeting there. Find out when technical groups are going to be there and see if you can put fliers and Cd’s in their information racks.
  • Visit Local technical groups, (LUGS, Programming groups etc) and just bring some fliers and CD’s with you. People love when you bring stuff to their meetings! You may also offer to give a talk about Ubuntu to the group. Check out the LoCoWorkingWithOtherGroups page for more about working with other groups.
  • If your spouse wants to go to one of these things but they fear they won’t know anything or anyone. Have them bring cookies and the CD’s . That way even if people don’t want the CD’s they most likely will want the cookies and it is a great ice breaker.
  • If you live on the boarder of another state see if their LoCo group is close. Join in on the fun they are having. No where does it say you can’t go an join in on the fun with another LoCo group.
  • Blog, Blog and Blog. Tell people if you like something. Let people know in a constructive way what works and doesn’t work for you.
  • Maybe advocacy isn’t your thing after all? Contribute directly to Ubuntu! Even if you don’t consider yourself a highly technical person, there are many ways you can get involved.

These are great ideas, but there are always more ways to contribute! If you discover other ways, please be sure to blog about it, tell other teams by writing about it on your state team mailing list and by emailing the loco-contacts mailing list to share your ideas. You may also want to add your ideas to the LoCoTeamRunning wiki page.

Documenting LoCo Activity October 1, 2009 No Comments

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.

Congratulations California! September 23, 2009 No Comments

Article contributed by Elizabeth Krumbach

Today, Tuesday the 22nd, the LoCo Council had a meeting where the California Team became recognized as an approved LoCo team!

The California Team has been very active for a few years, when I spoke with team contact Neal Bussett following the meeting to ask why it took so long to apply, his response was a modest “Because we’re overachievers and didn’t feel we were really ready to be approved until this year”

They did an excellent job with their approval application too, a shining example of what other teams should be striving for.

Well done folks! Congratulations!

Want to find more about the approval process for your team? Check out this page:

US Wiki Doc “Day” 2009 September 6, 2009 No Comments

Article contributed by Elizabeth Krumbach

I'm going to Ubuntu Global JamOn the weekend of 2nd – 4th Oct 2009 LoCoTeams around the world will be celebrating the UbuntuGlobalJam.

In addition to any formal events your team may be having, we want to see your wiki updated!

Your wiki fine? Help us update and expand the USTeams wiki!

Want more to do? The LoCoTeams wikis have a wealth of information but could use some help with organizing. You might even find a new idea for an event or project while browsing through the pages, or find a place where you can add your own ideas.

Check out and show your team participation by adding yourself to the list on our wiki:

And join us in #ubuntu-us on to share status updates, collaborate and chat about your team and other teams in the US. If you don’t have or know how to use an IRC client, you can join via the web here:

Cookies for Ubuntu August 30, 2009 No Comments

Article contributed by Amber Graner

Have you ever been to a meeting of any kind and watched who was gathered around whom? I have and with the volunteer stuff I do like School, Scouts, Church, LoCo, LUG, Civic, Political, Family meetings/gatherings to name a few it’s usually the people who show up with something in their hands to give to other people. The whole “better to gave than receive” idea works brilliantly with volunteer organizations like those listed above.

Anytime I go to a meeting/event for the first time I always try to bring something I think people in the groups would want. A good example is cookies. People love cookies even those who can’t eat them usually appreciate the effort. Usually this is a great ice breaker and I get to meet people who would have typically stuck to a clique in a group. Especially those groups that have been established for a while the cliques have been there for a while too.

My very first LUG meeting I brought Ubuntu Cd’s and Stickers. It was a great way to introduce myself and say, “hi” to folks. So now in the TriLUG group in Raleigh, even if people can’t remember my name they at least say “hey, it’s the Ubuntu Lady.” I smile and feel flattered to be associated with the that distribution.

Also, for those who’s spouses,significant others, or children say, “What do you do at a LUG, LoCo, meeting?” Maybe they want to be part of that and they feel like they aren’t really a technical person, yet.:-) Then bringing cookies or some other something like distribution Cd’s, stickers or some other SWAG helps break the ice and get the word out about that particular distribution it also does one other very important thing – It helps make someone who walked through the door saying to themselves, “why am I here?” feel like they are important to a group of people they just met.

Everyone when joining a group of anything, needs to feel like whatever they do for that group it important and the personal time they are giving to that group is valued and not wasted. I know if I go to a group that I am volunteering for and I am made to feel like a ghost and that my contribution is so small it’s not important then guess what, time to find a new group. It is very important to make sure everyone in a group gets their motivation paycheck (thanks Emma for the term). A smile and a sincere thank you for bringing the cookies is a great start for both the person bringing the cookies and the person receiving them.

So next time you are nervous about going to a meeting for the first time, think who is your audience, and what can you contribute to break the ice and meet so people. If you are wanting Cd’s, books, stickers, or something you will have to order make sure you plan properly for those things. If you are bringing cookies or other food stuff, ask someone you know in the group a couple questions. Can outside food be brought in? How many people are usually at these meetings? If you don’t know anyone email or call the organization and ask them.

So if you are going to any Ubuntu meetings I haven’t heard any one say, hey we don’t like cookies. Bake up a batch of your favorite cookies and bring them to an event. Remember – Cookies for Ubuntu! Yum-O!

Congratulations New York! August 10, 2009 No Comments

Article contributed by Elizabeth Krumbach

On July 21st the New York Team was approved by the LoCo Council.

The NY team has been very active and this approval was well deserved, presenting at clubs, conferences and other events.

See here for their ApprovalApplication:

Which includes a link to some of their latest events:

Well done folks! Congrats!

The New York team joins approved LoCo teams: Arizona, Colorado, Chicago, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington DC.

Want to find more about the approval process for your team? Check out this page:

Joining a US LoCo Team Comments Off on Joining a US LoCo Team

Article contributed by Elizabeth Krumbach

One of the most common questions we receive is “Is there a LoCo team in my state?”

The short answer is “Probably!” There are only a handful of states in the United States which have no one making any kind of effort.

How do I find my team and join?

Visit the team list and follow the link to your state team:

The wiki page for your state should offer instructions on how to join the team and get involved with upcoming events. Join and get started!

Help, my team seems dead!

Currently in the US LoCo teams have a variety of activity levels. Some approved teams may have monthly events, newly created teams may have yet to gather enough people to host one event.

First, it’s vital to check all the team resources (wiki, chat, forums and mailing list) for activity. Some teams primarily communicate via forums, some in chat, some via the mailing list. Just because a forum is quiet, doesn’t mean the team is dead – could be they’re planning everything in chat!

Once you find others, get into contact. Many quiet teams are quiet because someone tried to get things rolling and didn’t have enough contributors. Even if you don’t have a lot of time to devote to the team, your interest could be enough to encourage others to get going again.

How do I increase team activity?

The LoCo Team Howto and LoCo FAQ are important documents for getting help with your team:

How do I request a mentor?

In the US, we have a mentoring program for teams looking for help. Check out our Mentors page for information about requesting a mentor:

Further resources:

Still have questions, or otherwise having trouble finding, joining or working with your team? The US Teams project also maintains a mailing list, forum and chat channel where folks can ask questions and share experiences:

Mailing List:


Chat: #ubuntu-us on (for more info on chat, see:

Happy LoCo-ing!