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Converting friends to use Free formats, Free software, GNU/Linux, and of course, Ubuntu is something that you should know how to do properly. It is of course a very effective way of getting Ubuntu out to more people but you must be careful of your actions not only to increase your rate of success, but to prevent any problems that could damage your, or Ubuntu's, image.

See Also: ActivismHowTo

Convincing Them

What Not to Do

  • Do not attempt converting other people if you haven't gotten it working for yourself.
  • At this point in time, Ubuntu is simply not ready for technophobic people-- so don't even try it.
  • Being too preachy is bad. Use your discretion to keep your "preaching" at an appropriate level.
  • Some people don't understand how free software is better. Deal with it. Debate calmly and do not take offense.
  • Getting hardcore gamers to leave Windows won't happen. Linux games can't compete yet.
  • Don't lie or omit telling the truth about any limitations which might turn up.
  • Accept rejections. Some people aren't ready for this, so don't push it.

What to Do

  • Know the person you want to convert
  • Appeal to their interests, not yours
    • Security
    • Speed
  • Show off the eye candy
  • Know what your convertee will need on their machine
  • Explain digital freedom and free software
  • Introduce them to examples of free software on Windows or Mac OS
  • Try out a LiveCD with them first
  • Settle for a dual-boot.

Converting Them

Once you have their 'OK'...

What Not to Do

  • Give them an install disk and say 'Have fun!'
  • Leave them stranded after the installation with no one to go to in the event of a problem
  • Don't belittle them or be mean
  • Don't promise them that it will be exactly same as using Windows

What to Do

  • Set everything up for them
  • Explain to them everything you are doing
  • Tell them everything they will need to know and make sure they are prepared
  • Refer them to Google for help before coming back to you
  • Answer any future questions and address any problems that they encounter. They are new to this and you are the one who got them into it.
  • Keep in contact to make sure things are working out well
  • Encourage, not force, use of Free formats of media, for music-lovers

Step-by-Step Procedure

  1. Talk to your target. Explain Free Software to them. Enlighten them.
  2. Show off your own machine
  3. Introduce free software for Mac or Windows
  4. Try out a LiveCD with them
  5. Install Ubuntu and set it up with them
  6. Explain everything you are doing
  7. Stick around and give them some time to experiment on their own
  8. Continue to be available to help out and answer questions
  9. Pick a new target Smile :)


ConvertFriends (last edited 2010-10-10 14:40:08 by 41)