Ubuntu Global Jam: Time To Rock The House

As many of you wonderful people of the Internet should be intimately aware of, the Ubuntu Global Jam takes place from the 26th – 28th March 2010. That is only a few weeks away, and while we have some great events already set up, we need more!

I just wanted to highlight how simple it is to put together an event. I explained much of this in my recent live videocast today:

Can’t see it? Watch it here!

I was keen to summarize much of the key points here though so this post can be linked to so we can spread some best practice around how easy it is to put together an event.

Ubuntu Global Jam events are simple events designed to get Ubuntu users and contributors in the same room to work together and contribute to Ubuntu. This can happen through any means: testing, documentation writing, working on a LoCo team, development or whatever else. The key focus here is on getting people together and having fun with Ubuntu.

Let’s look at how to put together an event.

Step 1: Pick a date

The Ubuntu Global Jam takes place on three days:

  • Fri 26th March 2010
  • Sat 27th March 2010
  • Sun 28th March 2010

The first step is to pick a date for the event to happen. There is no fixed time of how long a jam should be it: it could be a few hours or a few days: it does not need to take place on all days. Just pick the times that work well for you.

Step 2: Pick a venue

The next step is to pick a place to hold your event. One of the misconceptions about global jam events is that they need to be big, professional, full-on events. Not at all! Many are simple, low-key events that are pretty much like most LUG meetings: a group of Open Source fans getting together to have fun and work on Ubuntu together.

When choosing a place I recommend you ensure the following are available as a bare minimum:

  • Enough seating for ten or so people.
  • An freely available Internet connection.
  • Optional but preferable is access to refreshments (e.g. in a coffee shop).

A few great options for venues are:

  • Coffee shops
  • Bars
  • University/school buildings
  • Restaurants
  • Homes
  • If it is a nice day, what about a picnic at a park?

Importantly, you often don’t need to inform the venue that you are going. Just choose a venue (e.g. a coffee shop) and just show up like any other day.

Step 3: Add your event

The next step is to add your event to the list of events that are going as part of the Ubuntu Global Jam.

We are in the process of moving over to our dedicated LoCo teams LoCo directory but as we are in a transitional period, we are also asking LoCo teams to list their events on the old wiki page too. As such, to add your events just follow these instructions:

The LoCo Directory

To add an event to the LoCo directory you will need to be a member of your LoCo team in Launchpad.

  1. Go to http://loco.ubuntu.com and in the top right on the page, log in.
  2. Click the Venues link.
  3. Check to see if the venue you are holding your event at is in the list. If not, click the Add new venue link and add the venue to the system.
  4. Click here to straight to the page to add a new event. On that page, click on the team that the event will be happening as part of and then fill in the form. Be sure to select Global Jam in the Related Global Event drop-down box.

The Wiki Page

Simply go to this page and add your event to it.

Step 4: Build some buzz!

Now is the time to spread the word about your event and encourage people to come along! Here are some ideas:

  • Be sure to tweet/dent, and post on Facebook about the event. When you add the event to the LoCo directory you will have a link to point people at (e.g. my event’s link is this) – send multiple messages to remind people of the event and keep it upfront in their minds.
  • Blog it – particularly if your blog appears on one of the planets.
  • Post to your LoCo’s mailing list – let them know about the event, when it is and where it is.
  • Post to local LUG mailing lists – let your local LUGs know: many people may want to come along and join the event!
  • Put up fliers – fliers in libraries, computer shops, universities and at the venue itself are great ways to get people to join you.
  • Website buttons – why not create some website buttons so attendees can put them on their website and link to your event page in the LoCo directory.

And that’s it! If you have any questions, here are a few useful 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.

I look forward to seeing you good folks organizing your events and having a great time!