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Can Ubuntu reach over 16,000 anime lovers in April?

Anime Boston returns for 2010 on April 2-4 and the Ubuntu Massachusetts Local Community Team has some ambitious plans. Last year, I went in on behalf of the team and dropped off 50 copies of the Ubunchu Manga with Jaunty CDs attached, and they were all gone within the first couple of hours of the first day of the convention. It seemed to be the only thing on the flyer table that people actually wanted! The event was amazing. There were people there from all over the country, even across the world. Over 15,000 people attended and that number has risen from little over 4,000 since the first convention in 2003. For 2010, we're going to be reaching out to this huge potential user base. While we're at it, we'll also be creating a new model for Linux groups to raise funds for projects without the having to go through registering as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization or being legally recognized in any way.

Ubuntu really is a perfect candidate for the new operating system of choice for all anime lovers, and that is exactly what we aim to make it. Is there a more passionate and tight-knit, yet diverse and open minded cultural phenomenon that we could target than the widespread anime fandom? Convention goers are a great target audience. They tend to be slightly on the geeky side but still cool of course and very receptive to Ubuntu. An OS that is beautiful yet still highly customizable, Free and Open Source with a supportive enthusiastic community that very much mirrors their own couldn't be a better match! With the right planning along with support from the community and maybe a couple of the big dogs, our goals are very attainable.

So, what exactly will we be doing? We can approach this on several levels, starting with setting up a booth in the Dealers' Room of the convention. From here, we can distribute free copies of the Ubunchu Manga, Ubuntu LiveCDs, and materials on FOSS, Ubuntu, and our team. Most importantly, we'll be out there talking and connecting with people and generally just making a big impression on them. We will also offer live installs and do some cool demonstrations, the basic stuff that should be expected. If we gain enough resources, another great opportunity is distributing our materials in the Anime Boston registration bags. This would put our materials in the hands of almost every single convention attendee. That's expected to be over 16,000 people!

It's important that we are smart about how we spread Ubuntu since buying a computer with Ubuntu pre-installed is the most effective way to get people to switch. We are hoping companies who are committed to FOSS and GNU/Linux will be willing to partner with us for the event. We have already contacted some manufacturers such as System76 and ZaReason and would happy to hear from any others. With additional funding we may be able to sell Ubuntu merchandise like bootable USB drives and display some machines from our partner(s) with anime themes (some good wallpapers from here and here). If possible, we'd like to auction or raffle off a customized laptop with anime themes and an Anime Boston design laser-etched into it. How cool would that be!

I might also be signing up for a tech staff or volunteer position at the event so I can be an inside man solving problems and being a computer hero all the while spreading Ubuntu to everyone running the convention. If you thinks you might be interested in doing this, you're encouraged to apply at the Anime Boston website. During one of the main events at the 2009 convention, I remember hearing Windows error sounds!

On top of all of this, we have a digital camcorder which will capture everything every step of the way. The video camera records in full HD and everything (Sony HDR-XR520V if you're curious). So not only would we have an immediate impact on everyone at the convention, but we can extend our reach to YouTube and continue to have a lasting impact long after the convention closes its doors for the year.

As mentioned before, we will be setting a precedent with this project. To the best of our knowledge this has never been done before or at the very least not on this scale. Thanks to Linux Fund, we will be able to accept tax-deductible donations to cover the costs of this event. Linux Fund is currently in the process of setting up a system that will allow them to provide this service to other FOSS community groups at a competitive rate. Such a valuable resource has not been readily available to unincorporated FOSS groups in the past. This is a real game-changer: the possibilities are endless. This relationship reflects the growing trend of FOSS groups building relationships with the nonprofit community. Once this infrastructure has been implemented, we can expect to see many more projects of this magnitude and greater spring up.

This is where all of you, the community, come in. We cannot depend so much on big sponsors to jump on board just yet, so we are going to start with a community fundraiser to raise money for the essential elements of our campaign and show our potential sponsors that this is a worthwhile endeavor. The most important element of this campaign is our physical presence at the Anime Boston conventions so our first fundraising goal will be $700; that's just 70 people willing to give ten dollars! Help us blow this goal out of the water so that we can move on to the good stuff. Please repost this everywhere you can: (micro)blogs, YouTube, etc. Also pitch us your ideas in the comments of this post and please subscribe to keep up with our fundraising. Thank you all!

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Link to this blog post:

<a href='http://blog.thesilentnumber.me/2009/11/can-ubuntu-reach-over-16000-anime.html'><img src='http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_PtyHEChBKZw/Swoc8F21TGI/AAAAAAAAd3k/jbx3yTEdDDc/s1600/ubunchu-animebostonbutton.png' alt='Ubuntu Anime Boston Button' border='0' /></a>

 

Link to Linux Fund project page:

<a href='http://linuxfund.org/projects/ubuntu/'><img src='http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_PtyHEChBKZw/Swoc8F21TGI/AAAAAAAAd3k/jbx3yTEdDDc/s1600/ubunchu-animebostonbutton.png' alt='Ubuntu Anime Boston Button' border='0' /></a>

source: Ubuntu Planet

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About Hugo Repetto

Ubuntu is a Linux distribution that offers an operating system predominantly focused on desktop computers but also provides support for servers. Based on Debian GNU / Linux, Ubuntu focuses on ease of use, freedom in usage restriction, regular releases (every 6 months) and ease of installation.
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