Few days ago I received an email from Jorge O. Castro of the Ubuntu Community, announcing me that my request of sponsorization for Ubuntu Developer Summit has been accepted. I have never attended an UDS before, so I must admit I feel a bit disoriented at the moment and maybe I’m missing some important informations, but at least I’m a good test for the situation of a community member approaching it for the first time. Since I would like to actively help the organization of the Summit, I started looking for the right place to do it. I’ve a good experience about events organization and during these years I helped, for example, in the organization of Maemo Summit and MeeGo Conference, so I’d like to share my experience with the Ubuntu Community too.
The Ubuntu Developer Summit website is http://uds.ubuntu.com/. It looks nice at first view, but it’s missing a lot of important informations and it contains some errors. The Travel section, for example should be named “Travel and Accomodation” and should contains not only information about the main hotel where the Summit will take place, but also useful informations about cheap hotels/hostels for Community people who are not sponsored. The Tracks section is still empty. Is it possible that when less than 1 month is missing, official tracks are not available yet? I don’t mean categories, I mean tracks inside them. The Schedule is still empty too. Clicking any track take to a page containing an error: I would like to submit this bug, but where? Even worse, clicking on Schedule takes the visitor to a different website and there is no ways to navigate back (except clicking the back button on browser).
I wasn’t able to find any section in the official Ubuntu forum where to talk about Ubuntu Developer Summit. I think it would be useful to have a dedicated section to talk about UDS or about generic Ubuntu related events. It would be useful for people to be able to meet/know each other before attending. I was lucky to meet Marco Trevisan, from the Ubuntu Italian Community, so we will travel together (thanks to a Twitter message I sent!).
The #ubuntu-uds channel on FreeNode is not much populated and a couple of times I visited it nobody wrote anything. We should keep at least 2-3 people, in turns, always available to answer any question about UDS, it would be easier for people to find the informations they look for.
It would be nice to have a page on the wiki to organize better the event. We could write a list of tasks to do and each Community member could pick one and help with it. In this way we could divide the jobs. I know there is a lot to do when we organize these kind of events and the help of the Community is something we cannot risk to miss.
We should give some informations to people who will attend UDS to be sure they will use proper tags when they will publish pictures, tweets, blog entries ecc… Do we have a tag to use on Flickr? What is the right tag to use on Twitter? What keywords should we use when we will blog about the Summit? All these informations are important if we want to be sure other people will find our posts in an easy way.
Ubuntu has a lot of mailing lists, but it looks like none dedicated to events discussion. There is one called ubuntu-events-planners but nobody is using it since months ago. We should use a mailing list to discuss about events organization and/or create a dedicated one for UDS.