UbuntuWorld 2007 in the USA?

Monday, October 23rd, 2006

Wow, it feels like just a short while ago that a few like-minded Linux lovers gathered at my house to talk about the project that became Ubuntu.

Now we’re thinking of having a “user and business” conference, aimed at bringing together the people who deploy and manage Ubuntu in the real world (well, in the USA in particular, but let’s think globally) with those who help to produce it. The big question is – who would want to come? In order to run such an event we would need about 500 people to attend. It would be a 2-day conference (with additional days of workshops and tutorials separately, probably) and would likely be run in close proximity to another big event. The cost per delegate would be around $700. We’d bring together companies offering services based on Ubuntu, developers and ISV’s building solutions on it, and end users who just want to squeeze the most out of it. It would be a traditional style conference, with tracks and keynotes etc.

We’re testing the waters and keen to know what sort of level of interest there is in this idea. So – please leave a comment on this blog post if you have suggestions, ideas, or would attend such an event. Or feel free to email ubuntuworld@ubuntu.com with your comments if you prefer that.

53 comments:

  1. imbrandon says: (permalink)
    October 23rd, 2006 at 9:38 am

    Well to quote what I said in IRC when this hit planet.ubuntu.com :
    “[04:28] rockin, UbuntuWorld 2007 would be awesom i think, like an “official” Ubucon or DebconfX”

    I think there needs to be a User and Business Centric confrence IMHO, it would work well on the heals of the 1st UDS and release of the given year so not only can we pump for the next relese, it can generate intrest from companies and feedback from them about what they want to see in the next release of the year with some Face time of the Movers and Shakers that will make it happen.

    Just my 0.2c, Cheers

  2. Lesley Clayton says: (permalink)
    October 23rd, 2006 at 10:08 am

    Hi Mark

    I think a conference like that would be great, but with the rand exchange rate, travel, accommodation etc it adds up for a small buz like mine! I probably would use the money to do research and go tracking with bushmen in the Khalahari! But if you had a get together like that in South Africa I would definitely be keen!

  3. Mike Powers says: (permalink)
    October 23rd, 2006 at 10:20 am

    Hey!
    I have been using Ubuntu for Desktops & Servers since Warty, and have convinced Family & Friends to make the switch too. :-) I would surely attend a UbuntuWorld conference here in the U.S. if the opportunity arises!

  4. Hilton Theunissen says: (permalink)
    October 23rd, 2006 at 10:42 am

    Mark – we (tuXlabs) will fully support Ubuntuworld! We will be honoured to work with the Education sector. I think we should even showcase aspects of the Go-pensource campaign there but also bring a digitaldoorway(now fully Ubuntu(Xubuntu/ltsp/),etc, freedomtoaster,etc

    We are in.

  5. Jonathan Carter says: (permalink)
    October 23rd, 2006 at 10:51 am

    Hi Mark

    Myself and Hilton Theunissen from Inkululeko Technologies will be happy to attend and to speak. We will mail you additional information soon.

    regards
    Jonathan

  6. Roger says: (permalink)
    October 23rd, 2006 at 11:02 am

    Hi Mark,

    Just casting my vote for a conference in London! Sounds like the way to go to help Ubuntu achieve the next level of popularity and acceptance.

    Forgive my presumptuousness, but here are a few from-the-hip thoughts:

    - One sector that I’m willing to bet would show interest is the so-called third-sector comprised of non-profit organizations. I’m sure many of those would be very interested to see what Ubuntu, as a solution, can offer – and some may of course have stuff to contribute themselves.

    - There’s a growing awareness here (and indeed, throughout the EU in general it seems) of the importance of open document formats, especially for ‘official’ publications. While it may not be necessary to run Linux to achieve a solution for this, the issue does seem to be have promoted a broader awareness and discussion of the significance of open-source software and open standards in general. Perhaps this new awareness could be leveraged and used as one of the conference promotional strategies?

    - The Mini-ITX community are heavy Linux-users. While the user-community may appear to be predominantly populated by hobbyists, there are also, of course, plenty of commercial uses for small-footprint computers with low-power consumption and low noise and heat emission. Perhaps some embedded computing solution providers out there could be persuaded to contribute to the conference?

    - Environmental issues are ever-more pressing. Perhaps the conference could highlight what Linux in general and Ubuntu in particular are doing to facilitate power-saving technologies? It might showcase Ubuntu’s usefulness in recycling old kit as well as its suitability for use with state of the art new equipment, such as Mini-ITX-based solutions referred to above.

    Well, with Windows increasingly resembling an over-blown, locked-down (and totally uncool) media player, I’m sure there will be plenty of interest in a real operating system whose users are just that, *users* and not mere consumers of DRM-protected content.

  7. Stefan Constantinescu says: (permalink)
    October 23rd, 2006 at 12:18 pm

    2008 is more like it, no offense, Ubuntu is a great distro, but you really should wait until Windows Vista and Mac OS X 10.5 are out to be able to give people enough of a compelling reason to switch over to Linux.

    I’ve played with the 6.10 RC, and while it’s very polished, it’s still not up to Windows XP SP2, or Mac OS X 10.4 levels.

    Prove me wrong with Ubuntu 7.04, but all I see you and other Linux distros doing are creating free versions of software that’s already out now instead of innovating and giving people a compelling argument to switch.

    What is Linux’s killer app per say?

    Would I attend an event like this? As much as I would want to, I’m a broke college student, so I wouldn’t.

    $700 is a lot of food mate.

  8. Jonathan says: (permalink)
    October 23rd, 2006 at 12:57 pm

    I would love to try to make to a Ubuntu confrence. I swear I’m going to try to do whatever it takes to get to the next confrence you have for Fawn+1

  9. Jerome Gotangco says: (permalink)
    October 23rd, 2006 at 12:59 pm

    It’s nice to see something like this happening, but at the other side of the planet (Asia), we don’t get much of these “World” conferences but its pretty obvious we are gaining critical mass in the enterprise front. I understand completely the business-sense of doing it in North America, but also consider doing something very visible in Asia, since we seem to be doing our own thing here most of the time.

  10. Fabian Rodriguez says: (permalink)
    October 23rd, 2006 at 1:19 pm

    I have not followed discussion on this before, but I am guessing it would be a good opportunity to get the locoteams leaders / members together, as well as inviting other local community groups to attend, present and / or send in any delegates. I am thinking about the Internet Society chapters around the world and, in Quebec, assocaitions like FACIL ( http://www.facil.qc.ca ) or Koumbit ( http://www.koumbit.org ). May i suggest * all * launchpad members be invited to comment on this blog post ?

    Cheers from Montreal,

    Fabian Rodriguez
    https://launchpad.net/people/magicfab

  11. Dinda says: (permalink)
    October 23rd, 2006 at 1:55 pm

    Yes, definitely time to start offering users more options for learning. $700 is is reasonable for a corporate/business track, keep in mind those folks often have to select and plan far in advance so several months notice might be needed. Please also consider offering student/volunteer pricing and non-profit pricing/tracks. Given the success of the Ubuntu community, there are probably lots of folks (myself included) who would glady work (planning, prep, event logistics, training, etc.) in order to attend some of the other event offerings at a reduced rate.

    Would this event be a “Community” event? or strictly a business, Canonical event? hybrid?

  12. jorge says: (permalink)
    October 23rd, 2006 at 2:11 pm

    I agree with Dinda, student/volunteer pricing would be a great idea, I certainly wouldn’t mind being slaved out to help make the event a success in exchange for a lower entrance fee.

  13. Caroline Ford says: (permalink)
    October 23rd, 2006 at 3:11 pm

    I think you need an individual/community price as well – $700 is waay too much for individuals.

    To be honest I think it’s probably too much the the third sector too, although would depend on the size of the organisation. (I’m converting $700 USD to ~£350 and thinking of a conference in London)

  14. Tony says: (permalink)
    October 23rd, 2006 at 3:46 pm

    Hi, Mark!

    I like your idea and feel excited about these kind of events in the field of FLOSS. But something not very clear:

    1, I don’t understand why would you chose to make it in the US, which is bound to make the cost of most people who would like to come skyrocketed as compared to having it in India, for example.

    2, I think people from some NGOs should have some place in this conference- NGOs have became suc an important force of the world today that we can never overlook their potential influence on computer newbies.

    3, Not only desicion makers, but also grass root level users should be presentive in the event and make it a big news of the whole community ( theopensource community )that uphold the spirit of sharing, especially of ideas.

    4, I was trying all the time to convince people here in China that Linux is a superior OS compared with Windows, but people never buy my stories. I am doing an introductory speech on Linux in my university but people doesn’t seem to get excited about this. So, I hope we can have these kind of events in mainland China soon.

  15. stephen o'grady says: (permalink)
    October 23rd, 2006 at 4:20 pm

    i’ll be there

  16. dthacker says: (permalink)
    October 23rd, 2006 at 4:23 pm

    This would be great time for the LoCo teams to gather and share what has worked for them during 2006 and the early part of 2007. Please consider some time and space for them. DT

  17. Richard Sevenich says: (permalink)
    October 23rd, 2006 at 4:54 pm

    If North America is a firm choice, I would suggest someplace in Canada as the venue. It might involve less entry/exit hassle for participants from various countries.

  18. tmdown says: (permalink)
    October 23rd, 2006 at 6:17 pm

    While charging for business delegates makes perfect sense to me, we aren’t going to appeal to the average desktop user by excluding a large majority of them with such a large fee. You’re reaching out to the wrong people: businesses may have held the reigns in the 80s over operating systems, but today we must appeal to the actual people that use desktop computers.

    Why can’t UbuntuWorld be excuted with the same passion that makes Ubuntu itself unique in the first place?

  19. Brian says: (permalink)
    October 23rd, 2006 at 8:04 pm

    Second on the individual/community price—its bit steep considering travel and hotel will be likely too. Love the idea of the conference though. It would be a great experience for the whole community. Kudos Mark!

  20. Michael Hipp says: (permalink)
    October 23rd, 2006 at 8:07 pm

    I’d like to attend. Could we please locate it somewhere in “middle America” instead of one of the far coasts.

  21. humble servant says: (permalink)
    October 23rd, 2006 at 11:32 pm

    I will worship you, is that good enough? :)

    Power to Ubuntu!

  22. prill says: (permalink)
    October 23rd, 2006 at 11:42 pm

    I would love there to be a ubuntu conference. My coworkers in our operations group would probably be fighting over the chance to go.

  23. atrus123 says: (permalink)
    October 23rd, 2006 at 11:44 pm

    I’d definitely come if the price tag was a bit less, being the poor graduate student that I am (though I might bite the bullet and come even at $700). I hope you’re thinking of the Chicago area as one of the possibilities.

  24. Harlem says: (permalink)
    October 23rd, 2006 at 11:45 pm

    I think it sounds like a good idea. But, if you are thinking of making any impact whatsoever in the USA I would consider New York or Los Angeles or at the very least Las Vegas with Mr. Shuttleworth making the keynote address. Or even better, simultaneous conferences in key world centers (ie, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Paris, Madrid, Berlin, London……add city here) all hooked up via broadband for 24hr conferences and learning opportunities. Might as well think big!!

  25. Brian says: (permalink)
    October 23rd, 2006 at 11:53 pm

    I recently attended the Ohio Linux Fest (http://www.ohiolinux.org). Granted it’s a “general” Linux conference, but most of the laptops I saw were running Ubuntu. That conference alone (keep in mind Ohio is kind of out of the way) attracted over 1,000 people. I’d say interest is very high and Ubuntu has a lot of buzz surrounding it.

    As far as offsetting cost, they opened attendance to everyone while having an optional “All Conference Pass” that a good portion of the attendees purchased. I don’t know how much revenue was generated, but they say they were able to put the down payment on the convention center for next year and pay all the expenses for this year.

    Anyway, it seemed to work well for them and I think that formula could be applied to UbuntuWorld. It certainly would make it more accessible to people who might not be willing to shell out $700 for registration (plus hotel, airfare, etc).

  26. Cameron Bergh says: (permalink)
    October 24th, 2006 at 12:14 am

    Tim O’Reilly hosts the annual open source convention here in Portland, Oregon n the US. But then again, everyone here lives underground and no one has windows in their homes.

  27. Corey Shields says: (permalink)
    October 24th, 2006 at 12:19 am

    Good idea! Just to throw out a quick plug, coordinating it around OReilly’s OSCON in Portland would be a good idea. There are already a lot of offshoot unconferences happening during that time and space due to the critical mass of developers and open source people in town for that time period,. It would be easy to tack on a day or two to either end of the conference for the Ubuntu crowd.

    (the same could be said of LWE, but LWE is all suits and little linux anymore.. may or may not be the audience you are seeking)

    Cheers, and good luck!

  28. Mark Shuttleworth:UbuntuWorld 2007 in the USA? at 爱晚尚明 says: (permalink)
    October 24th, 2006 at 12:46 am

    [...] 点击查看原文 [...]

  29. Cam Cope says: (permalink)
    October 24th, 2006 at 1:15 am

    A cut rate for individuals or those representing non-profits would be great. Also, if during the event demo videos (on dvd) and promo posters could be handed out, that would help attendees spread the word afterwords.

    “Have high speed internet? Just want to surf the web, e-mail, IM, and type? Sick of viruses, spyware, and slowdowns? See ______ for a demonstration and consultation!” (I’m definitely putting something like that up at my PC Repair Shop)

  30. UbuntuOS says: (permalink)
    October 24th, 2006 at 1:19 am

    [...] Now we’re thinking of having a “user and business” conference, aimed at bringing together the people who deploy and manage Ubuntu in the real world (well, in the USA in particular, but let’s think globally) with those who help to produce it. The big question is – who would want to come? (more…) [...]

  31. Trae McCombs says: (permalink)
    October 24th, 2006 at 3:31 am

    Mark, I was interested, right up until the point where you said $700. I wish I had that kind of cash laying around, but I’m afraid there are a lot of other Ubuntu Dirtbags like myself who can’t afford that kind of dough. It would be quite hard for them to just scrape up the cash to be able to GO to wherever the event is.

    Speaking of wherever the event should be… I would vote for New Orleans… Sounds silly I know, but it’d be a great way to help the city, remember, Ubuntu is about community, world community. Perhaps we include some event where we also try and get Ubuntu Software to as many people in the New Orleans area as possible?

    I’m almost of the mind that it should probably be around this time in Nov 2007. [Even though I'm doing an Ironman next year at this time!!! grrrr ]

    Feel free to contact me personally if you want to pick my brain, as everyone else has volunteered to do so too, I’m sure you aren’t short of brains to pick. :)

    Cheers,
    Trae

  32. Kailash Balnac says: (permalink)
    October 24th, 2006 at 6:01 am

    Hi Mark,

    We are one of the ubuntu affiliates and we are based in Mauritius.

    Ubuntu linux is quite unknown in an environment dominated by MS Windows. We have started a series of presentations aimed at local SMEs with the help of the National Productivity and Competiveness council (NPCC), a government agency.

    The people were really impressed by the capability of Linux and its user friendliness. They have shown great interest and would like to use it in their businesses. We also elaborated on GNUCash and groupware solutions. We shall select two businesses to volunteer to use Ubuntu on a pilot basis and the NPCC shall make an assessment of the benefits derived.

    However we believe that an awareness campaign might be required in the form of larger scale presentations or events. The NPCC have helped us to reach a portion of the potential users but it is not enough. I would like to know how you would help us to promote Ubuntu locally.

    On our side we aim to provide installation and support services.

    Thanks for the building the wonderful OS.

  33. Antonio says: (permalink)
    October 24th, 2006 at 7:14 am

    Well Mark,

    I think that’s it a BIG IDEA.

    I trust in Ubuntu World 2007

    By

    Antonio “coobox” , ubuntu user from Italy

  34. Lesley Clayton says: (permalink)
    October 24th, 2006 at 9:25 am

    Mark, let me help you make the right decision! – 2007 must be a year where we here in your home country of South Africa really need to make a significant impact for the kids and the future of education. We could host a fab Ubuntu conference and make it very accessible for corporates, small buz, NGO’s, students, our grannies and grandpa’s etc (we can even get together and sponsor aspiring ubuntu users from the disadvantaged communities). I believe that with our ubuntu buddies from all over the world we could set this place on fire! South Africa gives great value for money, people can also experience our culture and places of interest and the girls and guys here are very cute!! If we promote the event properly people will come!!!

  35. Glen Harris says: (permalink)
    October 24th, 2006 at 8:29 pm

    Hi All,
    If you hold it in the U.S.A. I will be there for sure. I will try to bring a crowd of us too. Chattanooga has a growing Ubuntu user base.

  36. » UbuntuWorld 2007 in the USA? says: (permalink)
    October 24th, 2006 at 8:39 pm

    [...] Page Summary: Wow, it feels like just a short while ago that a few like-minded Linux lovers gathered at my house to talk about the project that became Ubuntu. The big question is – who would want to come. It would be a 2-day conference (with additional days of workshops and tutorials separately, probably) and would likely be run in close proximity to another big event. Perhaps the conference could highlight what Linux in general and Ubuntu in particular are doing to facilitate power-saving technologies.read more | digg story              [...]

  37. cuellar says: (permalink)
    October 25th, 2006 at 3:57 am

    hi mark old boy if you want i can show how to fly out with wings email jesse cuellar hoo you very wroung about linex ..he haa?

  38. cuellar says: (permalink)
    October 25th, 2006 at 4:00 am

    mark you see the earth is moveing in space >> that’s make every one
    a space man !! hi wiat for you email jess !!!

  39. cuellar says: (permalink)
    October 25th, 2006 at 4:02 am

    if you rob a bank it buiness if you work at bank some one geting had ?? he haa ?? still waiting old boy ??

  40. cuellar says: (permalink)
    October 25th, 2006 at 4:04 am

    if yu ? want to use a fast computer use a phone ? if you want a fat ass use a linex !!! he haaa

  41. cuellar says: (permalink)
    October 25th, 2006 at 4:04 am

    business is full of bad pepoles

  42. cuellar says: (permalink)
    October 25th, 2006 at 4:09 am

    the speed of light is only as fast as my finger button ! mark it true the WORLD is flat >> lT’s” L..c..d’ s”

  43. John says: (permalink)
    October 25th, 2006 at 8:03 pm

    [Quotin of Stefan Constantinescu]
    Prove me wrong with Ubuntu 7.04, but all I see you and other Linux distros doing are creating free versions of software that’s already out now instead of innovating and giving people a compelling argument to switch.
    [Quote End]

    I think this is a bit exagerated, because the programs are not copys, and many have neat new ideas, but idea is ture: you have to be TRULY innovative in one field to be able to reach the big mass !

    This reminds me the success of firefox:
    What was one of the main points why firefox reached the masses ?
    It may have been the better standards-compliancy, the OpenSource spirit, … that brought Moziall to the geeks.
    But it mainly was because of the “tabs”, that firefox reached the masses.
    Ok, the “tabs” my not have been invented by mozilla-group, but it still was the main feature that IE didn’t had at this time and that all 100.000s of users were missing.

    I remember that time when I was using Windows… I tried many browsers, but after a short time I always came back to IE, because the progams were either not polished enough or the rendering was not looking great, mainly because everthing was optimised for IE (as today most applications you find in a store are for Windows).
    But then I tried firefox 0.6 … and I NEVER EVER came back to IE.
    I liked the good rendering engine gecko, and many other things, but still some pages were not shown right, because the pages were optimized for IE. Thankfully the pages still looked enough, but I think there was ONE main reason why I wouldn’t have switched back even if someone would have given me 100$: I wasn’t able to live without “tabs” anymore !!! That was an important inovation towards IE. The other problems like the rest of the world not optimized for IE/Windows get solved almost from alone, when the user-base gets big enough.
    Look at firefox now. It has reached a big enough market, and every big website has to verify that it is rendering fine under firefox. Of course, theoretically they should follows the W3C-Standards, and then it would be all fine, but that is only theory.

    I know that my parents didn’t switched back because they also couldn’t live without the “tabs” anymore too.
    I guess this was the same for the many other 100.000s people out there.

    - – -

    So, important is:
    1) polished program
    2) at least one really big innovation

    - – -

    I know some users that tried Ubuntu for some days, but then switched back because there was this one little thing they miss in this Windows program, and this little features they miss in another Windows-program, and so you keep returning where you are used to be, partly because almost no one has time during the stressfull daylife and experiment with everything until he finds the same productive environment he was used to have, because with the time you have find the programs you need.

    If there was one really great new feature, that you couldn’t live wihtout it, peolpe would come, and would never want to switch back.

    But Mark (and of cours all the devloppers and open-source community) you are doing a great and incredible good job !! You are moving in the very right direction !!
    And yes, Ubuntu World 2007 sounds a great idea!
    Keep up the good work !!!!

  44. Rob Beckett says: (permalink)
    October 26th, 2006 at 6:17 am

    Would love to attend.

  45. The Inveterate Observer » Blog Archive » UbuntuWorld 2007 in the USA? says: (permalink)
    October 27th, 2006 at 11:04 am

    [...] “Now we ’re thinking of having a “user and business” conference, aimed at bringing together the people who deploy and manage Ubuntu in the real world (well, in the USA in particular, but let’s think globally) with those who help to produce it.” – Mark Shuttleworth.read more | digg story [...]

  46. Mike Perry says: (permalink)
    October 30th, 2006 at 8:21 pm

    Ubuntu World 2007 is a good idea. I am on the East coast. If it was Boston, New York, or Philly I’d defiantly try to make it.

  47. Paul Bartell says: (permalink)
    October 31st, 2006 at 5:39 am

    What about Seattle, WA? are there any other ubuntu users here?

  48. EveryDigg » Blog Archive » UbuntuWorld 2007 in the USA? says: (permalink)
    October 31st, 2006 at 6:25 pm

    [...] "Now we ’re thinking of having a “user and business” conference, aimed at bringing together the people who deploy and manage Ubuntu in the real world (well, in the USA in particular, but let’s think globally) with those who help to produce it." – Mark Shuttleworth.read more | digg story Links [...]

  49. Joseph says: (permalink)
    November 3rd, 2006 at 2:12 pm

    I would be happy to see this happen. =)

  50. The Digg Effect - Search for Diggs or get Dugg » UbuntuWorld 2007 in the USA? says: (permalink)
    November 8th, 2006 at 7:07 am

    [...] “Now we ’re thinking of having a “user and business” conference, aimed at bringing together the people who deploy and manage Ubuntu in the real world (well, in the USA in particular, but let’s think globally) with those who help to produce it.” – Mark Shuttleworth.read more | digg story [...]

  51. Hilaire Nollette says: (permalink)
    November 14th, 2006 at 9:02 pm

    Mark,
    This is a great idea, here’s one up on that,

    Apple is getting really big here in the states, Because they have the Apple store and Ipod.

    What about an ubuntu store???

    Would really put ubuntu into the public’s eye and promote it big-time….

    Problem is – it would never make any money, but everybody would be using Ubuntu, essentially killing microsoft and apple in one swipe

    Can we market a Upod or a Luptup? sell the hardware – give the software away…

    I live in Orange County California… …I could do it – somebody just needs to fund it…

    Any ideas … metatecque at gmail.com

  52. lyceum says: (permalink)
    December 7th, 2006 at 4:36 pm

    Make it in Ohio!!! I will come for sure if it there or surounding states. I will do everything I can to get to it if it is somewhere else. Thank you for picking the US this round.

  53. Munich Unix » UbuntuWorld 2007 in the USA? says: (permalink)
    November 5th, 2007 at 3:57 pm

    [...] read more | digg story [...]