As I mentioned last week, our LoCo Teams are a core part of the Ubuntu community. They provide wonderful contributions in spreading the word about Ubuntu, introducing users in how to get started with the desktop/server, and providing a fantastic support safety net for new users. I want to help to better support the work of LoCo Teams in the 13.04 cycle.

One idea I was discussing with my team the other day was the idea of an Advocacy Development Kit (ADK). Let me explain…

In the software world, if you want to write applications for a particular platform you typically use an official Software Development Kit (SDK). This is a downloadable collection of tools that provides everything you need to get started writing software for that platform.

I would like to explore the notion of creating a similar downloadable kit but focused on the needs of LoCo Teams to perform advocacy. This kit would be used to organize and run outreach projects, represent Ubuntu at events, and spread the word further and further afield about Ubuntu and Free Software.

How It Would Work

Imagine this scenario. You go to http://loco.ubuntu.com and you download the ADK as a .zip file. When you unzip it there is the following content included:

  • Promotional Materials – we include a set of posters, signs, banner ads, and other materials that most teams will use in their advocacy. Teams can then print out this content quickly and easily.
  • Assets – we include the assets teams need to create their own materials. This would include our logos, color palettes, pictograms, and other content.
  • Organizational Materials – if teams want to organize outreach campaigns, organizational efforts and other projects, we can include things such as organizational spreadsheets that ease this work, lists of things you should bring to staff a booth etc.
  • Documentation – we would include some written guides for performing different types of advocacy such as organizing jams, booths, giving out CDs etc.

At the top level of the ADK would be a README.html file that provides a summary of the content included so it is easy to find what you need.

I think providing an ADK would fulfill a number of benefits:

  • This would be an active project that would benefit all LoCo Teams. It would provide a single concise place to find everything you need to perform great advocacy and get great results.
  • It would be a fun project to participate in and open to everyone to contribute. This would be a Launchpad project with branches, translations, milestones etc. I think having a project such as this that our wider LoCo Teams community can rally around would be useful and and fun.
  • The ADK would not serve to provide a library of promotional materials (SpreadUbuntu already does a great job there), but instead pick a small number of the very best materials to include and point people to SpreadUbuntu if they want more choice. This is similar to how we build Ubuntu; the default install ships the best text editor, web browser etc, but then you can access other options in the Ubuntu Software Center. We would likewise deliver the best content in the ADK and point people to SpreadUbuntu for more choice.
  • This project could be useful for other flavors and projects too. Imagine that a Kubuntu LoCo Team wants to perform some specific Kubuntu advocacy; they could take the ADK, switch out the Ubuntu assets with Kubuntu ones, but keep most of the content the same. This could also be useful to other projects outside of the Ubuntu world to take the Ubuntu ADK and patch it with their own content.
  • We could write the documentation and guides in RestructuredText (this is how the Ubuntu Packaging Guide works) which is simple to write, and this would make it easier to (a) generate additional output formats (e.g. HTML and PDFs) as well as (b) support translations so that teams can have documentation available in their own language. Translating these docs for different languages would be a tremendous contribution.
  • We would give the project a release cadence and release a new version every six months; this would match Ubuntu releases and provide fresh content for all of our teams.

Feedback Welcome!

So, I wanted to share the idea with you folks and encourage you to share your ideas in the comments. Specifically:

  • Do you like the idea?
  • What kind of content do you think should go in the ADK?
  • Would you be interested in helping?

I have asked Daniel Holbach to put together a first cut of the ADK and put it in a Launchpad project and then we can use some of the ideas discussed here (please let us know if you are volunteering to help too) and then we can start working on a shared branch to build a first iteration of the ADK.

Thanks for reading and thanks in advance for your comments!

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