On Fri 26 March 2010 2:00:12 pm Ryan Rix wrote:
Hello one and all,
For about two months now, there has been a pickup in interest in Fedora's
campus ambassadors program. I think that it is about time for us to start
picking up efforts for the program. I'm going to go ahead and try to
kickstart a bit of discussion about exactly WHO we are, WHAT we want to
do, and HOW we will do it. Anyone feel free to jump in, as this is a
discussion I'd like all current and prospective campus ambassadors to take
With that out of the way, I have a few questions to ask, and my answers for
nt, I'm going to go ahead and try
1) What do you want to see in the campus ambassador program? What is our
2) How (or should we?) differentiate from the main Fedora Ambassadors
program? 3) How should we interract with the Fedora Ambassadors program?
4) What are our next steps?
Thanks and best,
Let me start off with a short introduction. My name is Ryan Rix, and I'm
currently a student at Deer Valley High School in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. Next
year I will be attending Arizona State University as a Computer Scince major.
Within Fedora I'm involved in the KDE SIG, marketing and ambassadors group,
along with campus ambassadors. My IRC nickname is rrix, and you can find me in
basically any Fedora IRC channel on Freenode.
== What do you want to see in the campus ambassador program? What is our
primary goal? ==
My personal hope is to inject Fedora into each major institution worldwide.
It's a lofty, and hard to obtain goal, sure, but we have the manpower to do it
with a small amount of work. We should have at least some presence in campus
LUGs which are currently DOMINATELY Ubuntu users, basically turning it into a
subset of the LoCos. We should work to change the landscape of the community
of students involved in FOSS in each institution into a landscape dominated by
Ubuntu, and turn it into a more vibrant landscape, with more users of other
The second part of our goal should be to get students who are not involved in
Free and Open Source software involved in our communities. This involves the
activism of an ambassador, and the ability to reach out to new folks, explain
who we are, and what we stand for. Leverage of our four Foundations is key
here, and they are especially pertinent in a more open educational
environment. Unfortunately, as I see it, most students are involved in
illegally copying software simply because they cannot afford to pay for the
software, or do not want to do business with companies like Apple, Adobe and
others. These are the kind of students that I see more and more in
universities, and they are the kind of people we should be working to attract
to Fedora and Free Software in general.
However, to expose these students to Free Software, and eliminate the NEED
for proprietary software, we have to get professors involved in Free Software,
and away from tools that can cost students money and freedom. This can be done
through ad-hoc relationships with professors primarily, and through works like
POSSE. Fedora's Campus Ambassador program should take an active role in the
adoption and promotion of POSSE and similar to get professors involved in
the Free Software community, attracting them, and their students to our and
other Free Software communities.
==How (or should we?) differentiate ourselves from Fedora's existing
I think that the biggest, and most important, difference between these two
projects is the target: the ambassadors mostly work on attracting the FOSS
community at large, and the general public, to Fedora, whereas we should be
working to attract students and faculty of secondary and upper level education
to Fedora. Of course, students and faculty of secondary and upper level
education are a subset of the general public, and the FOSS community, which
means that, unless some communication is established, our goals are congruant.
This is why I believe it is important that we work with the ambassador program
==How should we interract with the Fedora Ambassador community?==
What I see in our relationship with Ambassadors is a more symbiotic
relationship than anything else. Fedora's ambassadors are Fedora's face to the
rest of the Free Software community, and the general public at large. We
should strive to be Fedora's face in our institutions. As such, I see our role
to be smaller (but not less important!) than that of the Ambassadors program.
Optimally, each Campus Ambassador would be in contact with a local Ambassador,
and that they would be their primary contact for events and needs, rather than
having the campus ambassadors going through a central non-distributed system.
The Campus Ambassador could request media or swag from their ambassador
contact for, say, a University LUG meeting, or an installfest. This ambassador
could then also attend this event, possibly speak, and increase our presence
even more. This of course, comes with the stipulation that for every campus we
need at least one Fedora ambassador in the near area, which is not always the
case. For example, I am currently the only ambassador in Phoenix Arizona, and
I would not be the least bit surprised if there were locations with no
nearby ambassadors. This of course gets media and swag in the hands of campus
ambassadors who would not, in most other cases, be able to get any. If I
recall correctly from what Mel told me, the Campus Ambassador program has
about 2500US$ per year (fiscal quarter, maybe? I'd have to ask Mel or Max, I
honestly do not know). This is not enough to forge pressed media for a
worldwide group and have it distributed. This is why we need to work with the
With this symbiotic relationship, it should not be necessary for each Campus
Ambassador to go through the Ambassador mentoring program. However, I think
that Campus Ambassadors should also have to go through some sort of training
or mentorship program. I am unsure of what, or how we would go through thtat
though. We should probably draft up a few wiki pages about how the Campus
Ambassador mentorees can better relay our position to the different
communities within universities as opposed to the standard wiki pages.
==What are our next steps?==
First and foremost, this is a discussion that needs to happen. The Campus
Ambassadors program should not be dictated by one person, or a small
aristocracy, but the group as a whole in an open and transparent fashion
(hence me moving this to the mailing list rather than IRC).
When this discussion has been ended, the final product needs to be distilled
into a set of wiki pages under the [[CampusAmbassadors]] page, so that anyone
interested in joining our project can see how we differ from the Ambassadors
program, and how they can get involved.
After this, we should begin discussion with the Ambassador program about how
to best handle us working with them, and distill that into a wiki page or
Hopefully, this framework can be laid before the next school year begins. I
believe it's too late in the year for us to organize in time for this
semester, but come next fall, we could really have an awesome program.
Like I said, this is a discussion, not a dictate, so please talk back :)
Thanks and best,