[Ambassadors] Review about the Open Source Days 2010 in Copenhagen, Denmark

Robert Scheck robert at fedoraproject.org
Tue Mar 9 00:41:23 UTC 2010


Good evening,

I'm already back since the day before yesterday evening, so it's a good
time to write a bit about the Open Source Days 2010 in Copenhagen, Denmark.
The event itself was organized by a volunteer coordination team with help
and power from the Open Source community in Denmark and took place in the
building of the IT University of Copenhagen.

On Thursday morning, I flew from Stuttgart via Duesseldorf to Copenhagen -
it was my first trip to Denmark so far and I already noticed in the
airplane from Duesseldorf to Copenhagen that Denmark will get expensive to
my moneybag: They directly suggested in the airplane, that we'll pay our
snacks using our credit card rather with coins and banknotes. Around noon,
I arrived in Copenhagen (their capital is on an island) and took their new
metro to the hotel. After dropping my baggage at the hotel, I went over via
the Oresund Bridge and Tunnel to Malmö, Sweden for some sightseeing.

At the early Friday morning, I moved on with our swag and booth material to
the IT university and prepared our booth. In difference to all events, I
attended before, the Open Source Days separated the business exhibitors
from the community ones, so we got our booth at the upper floor, while the
business people were at the ground floor. Another difference was, that all
the community booths were not really presentation booths as we know them
e.g. by FOSDEM or similar events, but more like hackfest or round tables.
Just imagine, that you are able to sit on the two long sides of the table
while the visitors walk around at one short side of the table - so you
always sit sidewise to the people. And if you're multiple persons at the
booth, the farest one will be nearly never get in touch with visitors; but
as we just were less ambassadors, that didn't hurt us that much. Have a
look to the pictures to see what I mean regarding the table/chair style.

During the day, I tried to get in touch with the very very less visitors.
Keep in mind for the Friday, that this was an almost business oriented day
where you had to pay ~ 175 Euro for a visitor ticket. As I don't speak
Danish, all communication happened in English and fortunately the Danish
people speak English very well, even the older ones, where you wouldn't
expect it. Once it came to understanding issues, they said the word slowly
in Danish so that I was able to guess the meaning in German (Danish and
German languages developed from the same base language, similar as Dutch).

Over the day I learned, that most Linux users in Denmark are Ubuntu users,
but there are Fedora users as well. And the less Fedora users that showed
up at our both were happy to see a Fedora booth, because it was the first
time, that a Linux distribution except Ubuntu had presence on the event. I
personally think, it was good to show the Ubuntu community, that Fedora is
alive and that they know, they're not the only Linux distribution.

Later at the day, I met the whole Red Hat Denmark office; actually they're
two Red Hat people working via home office. Unfortunately Klaus Oxdal was
in a hurry, so we didn't have really time to talk with each other, thus I
will communicate with him a bit more via e-mail in the next time.

When I went over to attend a talk, Neville A. Cross took care of the booth.
Our Neville works for a Nicaraguan company that has a join venture with a
Danish company which decided that Open Source Days are a good way to
promote an Open Source product they have been using. In the evening, Kris
Thomsen, one of our Danish Fedora Ambassadors, arrived and later in the
evening we participated at the social event, the "Nokia Open 2010": To be
honest, it was more an advertising show of Nokia products and projects; but
hey, they sponsored the food and beer! And I skipped the Danish comedian
they had gotten for the entertainment, because my Danish understanding was
too worse for that... ;-)

At Saturday morning, I moved with our swag and booth material from the
hotel to the IT university again and prepared together with Kris our booth
for the day. The Saturday was more community related and more community
projects built up their booth and had presence at all. And compared with
Friday, the ~ 50 Euro for a ticket were really cheap. But from my point of
view, even that 50 Euro are too much for a community event. Nevertheless
there were many visitors more, but still it was a calm day when comparing
with other events, I attended so far.

Kris did also a very good job (the Open Source Days were his first event
as Fedora Ambassador) with talking to visitors and promoting Fedora. As
speaking the same native language definately lowers the barrier to talk
about something, he had more longer and more intensive talks to people,
which I really like. In the evening of Saturday we cleaned up the booth and
switched to the Scrollbar (the students cafe) for talks, fun and beer...

Another thing, I figured out during the two days is, that there are in
Denmark either users or developers somehow. I unfortunately wasn't able to
recruit a single new Fedora contributor, because people just want to use
Fedora - either as a desktop or as a development system. Nevertheless, I
think, it was very important to show up at the biggest Open Source event in
Denmark - which is even one of the largest ones in the whole European
Nordic region. I talked to the people there and unfortunately, there are
just some specific conferences, but no real exhibitions or a real community
conferences as we know them from other European regions. That means, the
Open Source Days are absolutely unique.

I think, we will have to invest more into the European Nordic region (so
Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland) to be better known and more used. With
less users, there will be just less contributors. That means, we definately
need to show up there with Fedora next year again and maybe with ambassadors
from Norway or Sweden, if we still have only two Danish Ambassadors then.
And if it is possible, Fedora should then make it with a real booth into the
business exhibition area, too; that's something I'll put on to my task list
and talk with the coordination team of the Open Source Days about. From what
we're doing as Fedora, we're more professional and of course more open
source minded as some other projects and companies - sorry for writing it
this less friendly but clear way.

But I still have the hope, that due to our presence this year, there are
maybe next year some people, that could imagine to sign up in FAS and get a
Fedora contributor...who knows? :)

I've made pictures and as there's still no gallery.fedoraproject.org and I
still dislike Flickr and similar portals, decided some time ago to start my
own tiny gallery at my fedorapeople.org space:

  http://robert.fedorapeople.org/events/2010/opensourcedays/

On Sunday, I did some sightseeing in Copenhagen (e.g. The Little Mermaid;
the Tivoli is still closed in March) before I flew back in the evening from
Copenhagen via Frankfurt to Stuttgart again.

Finally, I would like to say "thank you" to Kris and Neville for their work
and support around the event! It really was a pleasure for me to meet and
work with both of you. Hope to see you on another event in the future... :)


Greetings,
  Robert
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