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On May 7, 2017 I will take part in the fifth Italian Debian Ubuntu Community Conference. The general "mood" of the conference is about discussing the Debian, Ubuntu and open source communities at large.

Therefore I volunteered to hold a talk about Ask Ubuntu, with the purpose of spreading it.

Are there any materials and/or best practices for promoting AU at conferences or events?

I am thinking about stuff like:

  • standard banners/logos/imagery
  • written descriptive material other than the help page
  • a list of main "take home messages" that we want to spread about the site

Note: this is not a duplicate of Promotion of Ask Ubuntu at Conferences which deals with sending official Stack Exchange representatives to conferences (it is also abandoned).

  • I don't have any guidance I can think of one what to sat, but SE will send you stickers! meta.stackexchange.com/a/132283/203389 – Seth Apr 26 '17 at 16:31
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    @Seth great, thanks. It seems they require 1 month prior notice but I will ask anyways. – Andrea Lazzarotto Apr 26 '17 at 21:59
  • @Seth guess what? The stickers arrived on Monday, the day after I gave my talk. Gosh, what a bad timing! I am saving them for future Ubuntu related events nearby so I can spread them to the public. – Andrea Lazzarotto May 22 '17 at 21:37
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I am going to do what I always do in my line of work and set the product aside. What you are promoting is NEVER the topic. The topic is, how do you inform and motivate your audience. Thats the real question to ask yourself.

In my opinion, you should do a bit of footwork. Find 2 or 3 of the most basic questions on the site, then 2 or 3 of the hardest questions on the site (ensuring all have answers). Use those as focus points. No matter what ones experience, they can get the help they need here.

Focus on speed. Do a short comparison of the average length of time waiting for a reply to a question on a forum site. Compare the attitude and treatment new users get on forums vs Ask-U.

The ONLY messages you want to deliver are "This is THE community to join if you want help" "This is THE way to show off knowledge" and "this is THE community to join to show off on resumes ones skills."

Quality support is impossible to come by. Simply show people what quality really means. Until the entire SE collection existed, the next best alternative was IRCs or forums... neither of which were friendly, speedy, or very helpful over a long haul.

Whenever you market anything - you present people with a problem - bad support - and then you present them with a solution. The rest handles itself.

  • Thanks, I actually used a comparison to the relevant Italian Ubuntu Facebook Group and the Ubuntu Forums website to explain issues with those methods, so that worked quite well. :) I do not fully agree with your first paragraph, even though I kind of see where you could come from. When I studied books about presentation methods (especially those of Steve Jobs) there was a focus on what was being promoted but the suggestion was not to describe technical merits, but what problems were solved instead. I honestly don't believe AU would end up on people's resumes but I agree with the rest. :) – Andrea Lazzarotto May 22 '17 at 21:37

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