Thursday, Friday and Saturday last week, LinuxTag took place in Berlin. A few months ago, in a moment of temporary insanity, I had proposed to three projects to organize their booths: KDE, openSUSE and ownCloud. As that wasn't challenge enough, I wanted to experiment with doing workshops at the booth, specifically aimed at attracting and training potential new contributors.
How it came to be
And they came through - the result was great.
The new LinuxTagFirst, a short introduction. LinuxTag is one of the oldest European Linux events, operating under the credo: "bringing .org and .com together". That is, they feature both commercial and community booths and a big selection of talks.
LinuxTag has been taking place at the Messe in Berlin in the last years, and this has not been a hugely successful location. But this year, there was change: a co-location with the immensely popular Re:Publica event as well as collaboration with DroidCon was meant to bring a lot of new energy. The new location, Station Berlin, gives a more fitting Linux feeling: much more raw. If you ask me, it worked out, LinuxTag was a much better event than it has ever been in the Messe.
What did we do
|openSUSE, ownCloud and KDE|
- writing ownCloud apps
- developing KDE applications
- packaging for openSUSE.
We wouldn't plan for a big audience: the workshops would go deep and be personal.
|Daniel giving a workshop|
|Our booth area (all the way to the left!)|
I had printed posters with the schedule, one for each day as we had slight schedule changes every day. We hung them up all over the place, after which we put down openSUSE, ownCloud and KDE flyers wherever there was space. The openSUSE Beer coasters did particularly well - we had put them on the tables in the eating/drinking area and we had to 'refill' several times a day.
|Us vs them?|
Let me now point to this blog by Danimo about the owncloud presence, the KDE blog by Sebastian is out too. And I expect the openSUSE team to publish their blog(s) very soon.
|Give some balloons to Frank, and...|
I also noticed that many visitors already knew ownCloud, or had at least heard of it. At some point, I was talking to a visitor, explaining ownCloud, while a second visitor joined the conversation. He already knew about ownCloud and took over, while I talked to a third visitor, answering some questions. Then a fourth showed up, who begun answering their questions while I turned to a fifth, explaining ownCloud... Great to get in conversations like that!
During a quiet moment, a visitor came to me, complaining he had been 'in line' to talk to me several times, but it was so busy, he didn't get a chance before! Indeed, we had busy times, especially Thursday. But that's awesome, right?
I also gave two talks - one at the evening program of LinuxTag about where the Linux Desktop is going (it didn't go very well, I'm afraid) and one about Community Governance at the first European Community Leadership Summit, that did go quite well. Shame I couldn't stay too long for the CLS as we had friends over and I had to go home...
All in all, for me, it was a great event.
The teamLet me also not forget to introduce the team at LinuxTag to you:
- Daniel Molkentin (ownCloud)
- Arthur Schiwon (ownCloud)
- Georg Ehrke (ownCloud)
- Frank Karlitschek (ownCloud)
- Sebastian Gottfried (KDE)
- Christian Boltz (openSUSE & PostfixAdmin)
- Bernhard Wiedemann (openSUSE)
- Marcel Külhorn (openSUSE)
|Sebastian's KDE workshop|
The workshopsDuring the booth work, we had the workshops going on. It had a bit of a slow start on Thursday morning, but quickly, the workshops started to attract some more people. At one point did I see Sebastian surrounded by six visitors interested in KDE development... I think, on average, the workshops attracted about 3-6 visitors each. Which is quite good, considering they were primarily aimed at introducing people to contributing to our projects.
Despite the amount of work preparing the booth workshops, I'd do it again. Imagine if only a third of the visitors decides to join the respective communities!
|openSUSE booth team in action|
FeedbackIf you visited one of these booth workshops or our booth at LinuxTag, I'd love your feedback! Knowing how we did, if we were friendly, fun, interesting, or what was missing and what you'd like to see next time - it all helps us improve in the future!
In any case, everybody who contributed to the booths and presentations as well as everybody who visited us: thank you very much!
Of course very special hugs to the booth- and presentation team.