Ambassador Tips and Training (2008-12-06 classroom)

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Fedora Classroom - Training & Tips for Fedora Ambassadors - Max Spevack - Saturday, December 6, 2008

spevack <----- begin Ambassador Training class -----> 12:15
spevack Ok, let's get started with the Ambassador Training class. 12:15
spevack I'd like to start by getting a sense of who is actually in the classroom and active, so I can tailor the material to the audience a little bit. 12:15
spevack who's around? 12:15
ethospir I am. (just a fly on the wall) 12:16
* inode0 has toothpicks holding his eyelids apart 12:16
* jds2001 's here :) 12:16
brejc8 im here 12:16
SSlater me too 12:16
spevack ok... well I have two goals for this session. 12:16
jds2001 i guess a little background would be nice since you sorta don't know some of us, I'm sure. 12:17
spevack The first is to make it useful for you guys -- so I will encourage you to ask any questions that you have. don't be shy. 12:17
spevack jds2001: yeah, i'll ask for some background in a moment. 12:17
spevack the second is to provide a general outline for any future ambassadors training sessions that might be run, by anyone in the Fedora project. 12:17
spevack To that end, I'm going to cover the mission of Fedora Ambassadors, the importance to the rest of the Project, and also some how-tos of actually being a good ambassador. 12:17
spevack Of those of you who are here, how many of you have ever attended an event as a Fedora Ambassador? 12:18
* inode0 has 12:18
* jds2001 12:18
SSlater -1 12:18
* brejc8 has not 12:19
inode0 I still consider myself a new ambassador though 12:19
spevack ok. 12:19
* jds2001 too, really. 12:19
MartinCo i haven't but am here to see what its all about (moreso than the wiki info) 12:19
spevack well, let me start at the beginning, which is my personal vision for what Fedora Ambassadors do, and why it is important. 12:19
spevack Fedora Ambassadors have several critical roles: 12:20
spevack (1) They are often the public face of Fedora in their region, whether that region is a city, a state, or a country. (depending on size). 12:20
spevack (2) They are one of the best means of recruiting new contributors. 12:21
spevack A personal interaction between two people at an event is far more likely to lead to a new contributor than an IRC or email conversation. 12:21
spevack I believe that personal interactions are what makes the Fedora community grow, and what keeps it strong. 12:21
spevack This is why FUDCons are so important, and this is also one of the roles that Ambassadors fill. 12:22
spevack (3) Ambassadors are the *active* implementors of the *strategy* that the Fedora Marketing team works on. 12:22
spevack Many Ambassadors are also members of Fedora Marketing, but there are two distinct missions between the groups. 12:22
spevack Fedora Marketing produces materials, documents, presentations, etc to lay out specific messages about the project. 12:23
spevack the Ambassadors are the ones who take those materials, tweak them to be appropriate for their local region, and actually deliver the message. 12:23
spevack Which brings me to my last point: 12:23
spevack (4) Ambassadors are one of the keys to having strong localized Fedora communities worldwide. 12:24
spevack If there is a Linux event in Germany, for example, it is always my hope that the Ambassadors who take ownership of that event will not only handle the details of a booth, speeches, etc, but will also reach out to as many Fedora contributors in Germany as they can and ask them to attend. 12:25
spevack IF we can get package maintaners, or infrastructure volunteers, or website designers to the event, it makes the event so much stronger. 12:25
spevack As such 12:25
spevack I think it is *crucial* that Ambassadors think of it as a "role" that they play within the Project, and one of many possible roles that they can have. 12:25
spevack You don't need to be an Ambassador to attend an event. 12:26
spevack The Ambassadors are the ones who are accountable for the logistics of the event, but any event will benefit from having Fedora contributors of all types at it. 12:26
spevack There is too much going on in Fedora for any one person to be an expert in everything. 12:26
spevack 12:26
spevack 12:26
spevack ok. 12:26
spevack that's my introduction about the goals and vision of what Fedora Ambassadors is. 12:26
spevack Any questions or comments? 12:26
spevack 12:26
spevack moving on, then. 12:27
MartinCo seems clear :) thank you 12:28
spevack Next, I'd like to discuss the actual logistics for attending an event, or for owning an event from the Fedora perspective. 12:28
spevack 12:28
spevack The most important page on the wiki for Fedora Ambassadors is the Fedora Events page. 12:28
spevack https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/FedoraEvents 12:28
spevack This page is Fedora's *master calendar* of events at which we will have a presence. 12:29
spevack If an event is not on this page, then it doesn't exist. 12:29
spevack 12:29
spevack A few words, then, about the layout and organization of this page. 12:29
spevack (1) Anyone in the community can add an event to the page. 12:29
spevack (2) You do not have to be the event owner to add an event, but every event must have an owner in order to receive any sort of budget. 12:30
spevack The Fedora Ambassadors Steering Committee (which handles the budget for Fedora Ambassadors) believes very strongly in accountability, and cannot allocated budget to an event without someone being accountable for the success of the event. 12:30
spevack Finally, you'll notice that the page is broken down by quarters, of which there are (obviously) 4 in a year. 12:31
spevack The quarters map to Red Hat's financial year, because the budget provided by Red Hat for Fedora events is allocated on a quarterly basis. 12:31
spevack In my opinion, there are two actions that an Ambassador might take upon reading over the FedoraEvents page. 12:32
spevack (1) Adding a new event. This is pretty straightforward, though I do have one piece of advice for all Ambassadors. 12:32
spevack Some events, if you look on the page, you will see that they link off to a separate wiki page that handles all of the logistics and details for that specific event. 12:33
spevack For examples, look at FOSDEM, or some of the F10 release parties, or OpenExpo. 12:33
spevack For any event of more than 2 or 3 Ambassadors, I think this is a very good way to organize. 12:33
spevack Having a coordination page where other Ambassadors or Fedora contributors can indicate that they will attend is considered "best practices". 12:34
* nirik arrives very late. Sorry for not being here for the intro. ;( 12:34
spevack because the (2) second action that an Ambassador might take upon visiting the Events page is to +1 an event, and offer to help organize, or indicate that they are going to attend. 12:34
spevack If you are organizing an event, my personal recommendation is that you look at several key things: 12:35
-!- nirik changed the topic of #fedora-classroom to: Training & Tips for Fedora Ambassadors with your teacher Max Spevack ( spevack ) 12:35
spevack (1) Is there an opportunity to not just sit behind a booth, but to deliver a talk about something related to Fedora? 12:35
spevack (2) Are there other Fedora contributors in the area who are willing to attend the event and discuss some of their specifc areas of expertise? 12:36
spevack (3) Am I familiar with the current developments in Fedora and able to answer questions well? 12:36
spevack 12:36
spevack So I'm going to pause for questions, and then I want to cover two other topics. (1) getting swag and budget for your event and (2) how to be well-prepared to speak at an event. 12:37
spevack 12:37
spevack questions or comments? 12:37
spevack 12:37
inode0 yes 12:37
spevack nirik: i gave a brief introduction of the weekend before i started, no worries. it's like 5 AM your time :) 12:37
spevack inode0: go fo rit 12:37
inode0 the event page seems to historically capture a slice of the event activity of ambassadors 12:38
@nirik spevack: thanks, read scrollback. :) (my alarm was on my laptop, and my laptop somehow wasn't plugged in and ran out of battery. ;) Oh well... 12:38
jds2001 nirik: get a real alarm clock :) 12:38
inode0 lots of events don't ever show up on it, organized too late for funding, ambassador perceives the event as too local or too small 12:38
spevack inode0: yes. 12:38
jds2001 i do plenty of "events" which require no funding/etc, those don't get there, for example. 12:39
inode0 they should IMO 12:39
spevack well, it would certainly be nice if people added everything, even small events or events that don't require any budget to help make them successful. 12:40
SSlater such as? 12:40
spevack From the point of view of demonstrating and recording the reach of Fedora events, that is a nice goal. 12:40
inode0 for example 12:40
spevack From the point of view of distributing budget, it is critical that any event that needs resources *must* be on the page. 12:40
* spevack listens to inode0 12:40
inode0 I give a talk to 20 people from an NPO locally, they invite me to do this next week 12:40
* nirik has a somewhat basic question: if someone finds out an event locally, how can one find ambasadors who might be able to go to such an event? mailing list? or is there some way to locate ambassadors? 12:41
inode0 I prepare and give a nice talk on the XO for them, I don't have time or even think of putting this on the events page 12:41
spevack nirik: we do have a localized roster. 12:42
spevack http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Ambassadors/CountryList 12:42
spevack ^^^^ this page is a good way to locate other Ambassadors or contributors who might be near you. 12:42
inode0 But it is really important for people to understand that even small local talks (a) can get funding if the timing works out and (b) are important to the project and are considered events 12:42
@nirik ah, excellent. 12:42
* brejc8 asks: Is there a good calendar for linux events which not (yet) on the ambassador list? 12:42
spevack also, I *think* that the FAS has an optional space now for people to put location, doesn't it? We probably need to figure out a way to query for (all Fedora contributors near me who have made their location information public). 12:43
spevack that would be the best sustainable and automated solution. 12:43
spevack brejc8: good question. 12:43
@nirik yeah, that would be nice. 12:43
inode0 in NA you might find https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Ambassadors/NA/Regions helpful 12:43
spevack there is a pretty outdated page on the Fedora wiki. 12:44
spevack https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/FedoraEvents/LinuxEvents 12:44
spevack for the most part, Ambassadors in different regoins make sure that the big events that are close to them just end up on the FedoraEvents page. 12:44
spevack brejc8: maybe a bit of a hack, but it seems to work. :) 12:44
spevack 12:44
spevack On a related note... 12:44
spevack Local organization is the only way that Fedora Ambassadors is at all successful. 12:45
spevack We've done a lot of work in the past year to create self-motivated, organized, local cells of Fedora Ambassadors. 12:45
spevack And each region tends to have its own meeting. 12:45
spevack Which is a good way for local people to figure out what is most important in their area. 12:45
spevack https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Ambassadors/Meetings 12:46
MartinCo as for talks, how do you feel a typical talk might consist of?, inode0 mentions about the XO etc? 12:46
spevack MartinCo: good question. 12:46
spevack Ambassadors have a huge amount of flexibility in preparing their content for an event. 12:47
spevack I would bucket it into 3 main groups, which I'll discuss briefly 12:47
spevack (1) General Fedora content. 12:47
spevack Ambassadors should know the high points of the current release -- https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Talking_points_for_F10 12:48
spevack This page is an example of that. 12:48
spevack When someone asks you "so, what's cool in Fedora 10" you should be able to list off a few of the things. 12:48
* MartinCo nods 12:48
spevack Talking points pages like this allow us to have a relatively consistent message across the world. 12:48
spevack You should also try to keep up with current developments in the Rawhide version -- reading Fedora Weekly News should be something that every Ambassador does. 12:49
spevack It gives you a wide range of knowledge about Fedora in a relatively short amount of time, and helps you to at least be able to have a decent shot at being able to answer "random" questions. 12:49
spevack Something that I find very useful at events is also being honest about saying "I don't know" as the answer to a question. 12:49
spevack If you have internet access at the event, taking the time to hunt down the answer if the person asking it is really interested is also a good tactic. 12:50
spevack Don't be afraid to say "i don't know". That's something I've learned from giving many talks and being at many events. 12:50
spevack I think it's also good for every Fedora Ambassador to be familiar with how to build a LiveUSB key 12:50
spevack because that is something you will do a lot at events. 12:51
spevack 12:51
spevack Ok, that was "general fedora info", from a technical point of view. 12:51
spevack 12:51
spevack (2) Ambassadors should also be able to give an overview of the larger open source ecosystem, how Fedora fits into that, and why someone might want to join the Fedora community as either a user or a contributor. 12:51
spevack The Community Architecture team has a few presentations that people can use -- https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/CommunityArchitecture/Presentations 12:52
spevack those might represent a good starting place. 12:52
spevack especially the "intro to Fedora" talk. 12:52
spevack 12:52
spevack at a non-technical conference, it's a good talk to give in a speaking slot where people are looking for an introduction to linux or open source. 12:52
spevack It is *not* the talk that you want to give to a room full of engineers. they will be bored :) 12:52
spevack 12:53
MartinCo  :) 12:53
spevack (3) Specialized talks. Anyone attending a show should feel free to put together a talk about the area of Fedora that they focus on a lot. 12:53
spevack If you work on OLPC, talk about that. If you are a packager, feel free to give a talk related to something that you do. 12:53
spevack The most interesting talks are always the ones where people talk about something they know deeply,and are passionate about. 12:53
spevack 12:54
spevack MartinCo: did i answer your original question? :) 12:54
MartinCo very well thank you 12:54
spevack any other questions or comments, before I talk about event reports, swag, etc.? 12:55
MartinCo so the view of ambassadors is primarilly points 1 and 2 of the topcs, with 3 as an added bonus based on their other activities within the community 12:55
spevack MartinCo: i think that's a pretty good way to say it, yes. 12:55
MartinCo cool. perfect 12:55
spevack 12:56
spevack Ok. The main way that Ambassadors worldwide hold each other accountable, and also let each other know what they are doing, is by writing event reports. 12:56
spevack These are posted to fedora-ambassadors-list, and hopefully also to Fedora Planet. 12:56
spevack We ask that anyone who "owns" an event write an event report, and we are greatly pleased when anyone who attends an event at least writes a short one. 12:57
spevack There is a wiki page that offers some guidelines. 12:57
spevack https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/FedoraEvents/ReportingGuidelines 12:57
spevack We try to make it a relatively painless experience -- if an event goes well, I figure that most people will *want* to share it with others anyway 12:57
spevack so writing an event report should probably be kind of fun. 12:58
spevack Feel free to take a look at that page, and if there are any questions, ask them. I think it's pretty straight forward. 12:58
spevack 12:58
spevack I'd like to spend the next little while talking about the actual logistics around running an event. 12:59
spevack basically that comes down to two things. 12:59
spevack (1) Money and (2) swag. 12:59
spevack 12:59
spevack Your regional Fedora Ambassador meetings are going to be the best way to get plugged into this process, because each part of the world operates a little bit differently. 13:00
spevack 13:00
spevack Typically, though, a budget request is made to FAmSCo, and the event owner will know how much budget they have that will be reimbursed. 13:01
spevack Often, different regions of the world will have one or two Ambassadors who have CDs, shirts, stickers, or other stuff already made. If so, you can contact them and ask for stuff to be sent your way. In North America, there is an event box making the rounds. 13:01
spevack Alternatively, an Ambassador is free to use his/her budget to get swag made locally -- whether it is flyers, stickers, whatever you need. 13:02
spevack 13:02
spevack Getting reimbursed is easy. 13:02
spevack (1) You save all your receipts 13:02
spevack (2) You scan them in and send them to me, usually. 13:02
spevack (3) You get reimbursed up to the amount of budget you were given, and based on the receipts you submitted. 13:03
spevack 13:03
spevack We *greatly prefer* to use PayPal in order to reimburse people. 13:03
spevack anything else tends to be a huge pain. 13:03
spevack let me explain why. 13:03
spevack 13:03
spevack When we reimburse community members for money that they spend on behalf of Fedora, that reimbursement comes out of my pocket, and I then file an expense report with Red Hat to get the money back. 13:04
spevack When I submit expense reports showing a PayPal receipt to a community member along with the receipts from that community member, that is the sort of record-keeping that makes life really easy for Red Hat finance. 13:04
spevack Other things -- even personal checks -- tend to cause problems, and I end up waiting a long time to get the money back from Red Hat. So for small amounts this is ok, but you can imagine that there is potential for the "diff" between me reimbursing a community member and Red HAt reimbursing me could get large, quickly, if we are not smart. 13:05
spevack then i end up living on the street :) 13:05
spevack 13:06
spevack So the moral is, PayPal makes everyone's life easy. 13:06
MartinCo  :) 13:06
spevack For any particularly large expenses, it is always possible for me to pay it directly with my Red Hat credit card, on behalf of the Fedora Ambassador, so this is another option that exists. This is what we did, for example, with the Fedora 10 CDs for North America. 13:06
spevack Clint Savage is the point person for it, but we simply billed it directly to my Red Hat card, which makes the budget and funding much simpler. 13:07
spevack 13:07
spevack any questions or comments? 13:07
* nirik thinks that all makes sense. 13:07
SSlater yes 13:07
spevack Sometimes I get a bit behind on reimbursements, so it's good to just poke me with a stick if you need something :) 13:07
spevack SSlater: go ahead 13:07
SSlater I se that there are 4 Ambassadors in Melbourne. 13:07
SSlater I am 4 hours drive ( one way ) from there, in a small town. 13:08
SSlater What can I do here? 13:08
spevack Well, I'd encourage you to either have an email chat or irc chat with the Ambassadors who are listed in Melbourne. First let's find out if they are active, and/or if they are planning anything. 13:09
spevack In terms of your small town. 13:09
spevack That's up to you. 13:09
spevack I don't know if there is a linux user group that you could speak at, or a school that teaches open source that would want a presentation. 13:10
SSlater I've already started a couple of people on Fedora. 13:10
spevack SSlater: brilliant! 13:10
inode0  ! 13:10
spevack inode0: go ahead 13:10
SSlater There are only a cuple of others here that know about Linux. Thery use SUSE. 13:10
spevack SSlater: what would you like to do? 13:11
inode0 for some ambassadors, due to logistics of where they live or due to personal preference, find spreading the fedora message in non-F2F ways good too 13:11
SSlater I'm beginning to think of a lab setup. 13:11
spevack inode0: that's true. 13:11
SSlater We have many overseas workers here that need more skills. 13:11
inode0 if you are part of an IRC community you can speak there, you can help in #fedora, etc. 13:12
SSlater I've helped out once or twice on the mailing list 13:12
inode0 that is also a valuable contribution SSlater 13:13
spevack I think it's really important that Fedora Ambassadors understand that their contribution opportunities are much greater than just organizing an event. 13:13
spevack like inode0 says 13:13
spevack Introducing people to Fedora 13:13
spevack Helping someone navigate through the initial hurdles to making a first contribution 13:13
spevack teaching someone to file a bug. 13:13
SSlater Filed my first yesterday. 13:13
MartinCo jds2001, you have a bug triage talk soon do you not? 13:13
spevack Ambassadors are literally the public face of the project, and anything you to to help someone be more successful with Fedora is a successful contribution. 13:14
spevack one of the things that I think we need to talk about in the Fedora Ambassadors Steering Committee town hall meeting later today is exactly this. 13:14
jds2001 MartinCo: yes, in 15 minutes :) 13:14
spevack events are a big part of Ambassadors, but Ambassadors != events. Ambassadors > Events. 13:14
MartinCo  :) 13:15
spevack I've covered everything that I had jotted down in my notes prior to this session. i'm happy to answer questions or general comments for the next 10 minutes or so, then we'll take a break and hand it over to jds2001 for bug triage. 13:15
spevack thank you all for your attention and time! 13:16
MartinCo thank you very much 13:16
@nirik spevack: thanks for the class! 13:16
MartinCo cleard alot up 13:16
SSlater Tank You! 13:16
brejc8 spevack: thank you 13:16
spevack <----- end Fedora Ambassadors Training -----> 13:16
MartinCo jds2001, gotta run onto the underground to my work, but hopefully wont miss too much 13:16
@nirik spevack: where can people ask additional ambassador questions or find out more? 13:16
BlinkyToon spevack, thank you very much for the class and great info ! 13:16
MartinCo logging anyhow 13:16
MartinCo be right back 13:16
spevack nirik: best thing to do would be to sign up to fedora-ambassadors-list 13:16
spevack and to attend their regions's meeting 13:17
spevack https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Ambassadors/Meetings 13:17
MartinCo and thank you once again, and thanks to my phone for not giving up whilst on the train 13:17
spevack MartinCo: you're on a train? 13:17
spevack MartinCo: doing IRC? 13:17
spevack where are you? 13:17
MartinCo was 13:17
MartinCo yes 13:17
MartinCo london 13:17
spevack cool 13:17

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