I have to tell you Ubuntu is the conduit to many things, but to tell this story I have to back up about a year. We moved back to my home town last June. A short time after the move my daughter, Rebecca was practicing her guitar and broke a string, so we needed to find a place that not only sold guitar strings, but also did repairs as the bass we have was in need of repairs.
Pete found a local place, B-Sharp Music.Pete started talking to the owner Stan, who as it turned out is an advocate of Open Source. After they talked and he took a look at Ubuntu, he switched his computers over to Ubuntu. Karmic at the time, but now Lucid. Stan also asked for some CD’s and fliers so that when people asked what he was running on the computers in the music store he could tell them and help them switch to Ubuntu.
Stan, who was also involved in the American Dairy Goat Association Festival, talked to the other planners about Ubuntu. Why you ask? Well it turns out the American Dairy Goat Association raises goats to send to Africa. Why send goats to Africa, it’s a way to help some to learn the skill of husbandry, and have a trade skill. For more information on why these efforts are important click here. When the Association folks learned about the connection that Ubuntu has to South Africa, the Ubuntu Philosophy and what “ubuntu” means they said we could give out information on Ubuntu.
There were somewhere between 1000-1500 people who passed through the event on Saturday. People drove in from South Carolina, Tennessee, and other places across North Carolina. There were small business owners who talked to me about migrating to Ubuntu, the Libraries are looking into Open Source alternatives, and I even spoke to people who were wondering what using Open Source alternatives could do for the local government. All in all it was an event where I handed out the least amount of CD’s and stuff, but an event where I got to talk and introduce people to Ubuntu and Open Source for the 1st time.
I realized how easy it is to talk to people who already know about Open Source, and how much I need to improve my “elevator pitch” to those who have never heard of anything but windows. But I love to learn so it is all good.
I am hoping that the NC LoCo team picks up some more members from this event as well. There were at least 10 people I talked to who use Ubuntu but didn’t know there was a LoCo team. Looks like it’s time for an Ubuntu Hour in my hometown.
I am also excited about the possibility of local businesses and others migrating to Open Source. I think an often over-looked opportunity is getting local governments to migrate to open source as a way of helping to put more monies back into the towns and easing the burden of its citizens.
The kids (not the baby goats but they were adorable too), who attended the event were as cute as could be. If was fun seeing the excitement on their faces as well.
I tried ice cream made with goat’s milk and the cool thing is that if you are lactose intolerant you can eat goats milk ice cream – how cool is that. It was yum-o. I found out you can get the ice cream commercially at Whole Foods. There was also fudge, cheese, and other yummy products made with goats milk there as well. Again, Yum-O!
The key to events, in mind anyway, is finding a way that you can relate what you are passionate about to something other the other people you are trying to reach are passionate about. There was excitement from people who use Ubuntu that people who contribute to Ubuntu were there at the Local Goat Festival, and that if they wanted they too could get involved. It was great to see the excitement in their eyes as we talked and shared how we all came to become users of Ubuntu.
People want to be able to trust a product and the people behind it, whether it is the manufacturer of the car they drive, or the florist with whom they trust to create something beautiful for their loved one. They want to see, know and feel and genuine connection to that product and I believe the Ubuntu gives people that assurance. So if it’s a goat festival or a tractor pull, computers are everywhere and letting people know they have a choice about what operating system they use on their computers is important – so let’s get out an show people they have a choice!
More on the results of Ubuntu at the 1st Annual American Dairy Goat Festival as they unfold.