Ubuntu Open Week - Ubuntu Membership - Nathan Handler - Wed, Nov 4, 2009

  • utc

(05:00:31 PM) nhandler: Alright, so I guess I'm up now
(05:00:56 PM) nhandler: My name is Nathan Handler, and today, I will be talking about Ubuntu Membership
(05:01:34 PM) nhandler: Ubuntu Membership is a way that the Ubuntu community recognizes people who have made substantial and sustained contributions to Ubuntu
(05:02:03 PM) nhandler: Ubuntu Members also gain certain benefits
(05:03:12 PM) nhandler: For example, all Ubuntu Members are entitled to an @ubuntu.com email address, a special ubuntu/member cloak on freenode, a site on people.ubuntu.com, and several other benefits
(05:03:36 PM) nhandler: A complete list of these benefits is available on the wiki: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Membership
(05:04:34 PM) nhandler: For several years, users who wished to be recognized as Ubuntu Members needed the approval of the Community Council
(05:04:55 PM) nhandler: However, the Community Council decided to delegate that power to the Regional Membership Boards
(05:05:32 PM) nhandler: We now have 3 Regional Membership Boards (Americas; Europe, Middle East, and Africa; Asia and Oceania)
(05:06:20 PM) nhandler: For most people in the community, you will want to go to one of these Regional Membership Boards in order to become a member
(05:06:38 PM) nhandler: However, there are a few other councils that can grant membership
(05:07:38 PM) nhandler: For instance, users who are active in the development community can go to the MOTU Council and apply to become a MOTU, Core Developer, or Contributing Developer
(05:08:13 PM) nhandler: Becoming a member of any of those teams will also result in you becoming an Ubuntu Member
(05:09:21 PM) nhandler: Other councils, such as the Kubuntu Council and Edubuntu Council, can also grant Ubuntu Membership
(05:09:50 PM) nhandler: I prepared a small chart to show the different ways that you can become an Ubuntu Member: http://people.ubuntu.com/~nhandler/membership.png
(05:10:09 PM) nhandler: Now, before I continue, do we have any questions?
(05:11:16 PM) nhandler: 17:23:08 < ? Jesi> Question: what kind of site do you mean? regarding people.ubuntu.com
(05:11:49 PM) nhandler: All Ubuntu Members are granted sftp access to a web-accessible directory on people.ubuntu.com (https://wiki.ubuntu.com/PeopleUbuntuCom)
(05:12:56 PM) nhandler: This directory can be used to host files are a website. However, anything you upload should be related to helping Ubuntu and be free. There are a few other restrictions as well, which are explained on the wiki page I linked to
(05:13:03 PM) nhandler: 17:23:45 < b1ackcr0w> Question: is contributing codethe only route to membership?
(05:14:08 PM) nhandler: No. Contributions can be made in any area of the community. You can contribute code, artwork, translations, documentation, help on the forums/IRC, or be active in your LoCo. These are just a few of the ways you can contribute, and all of them are looked at when you apply for membership
(05:14:19 PM) nhandler: 17:24:15 < ? openweek1> QUESTION - Do you have to be especially /particularly/ qualified to become a member? What is the prefered route from noob to membership?
(05:14:49 PM) nhandler: You do not need to be an expert in a certain area to become a member. You simply need to make significant and sustained contributions.
(05:15:20 PM) nhandler: There is also no particular route you must take. You should simply contribute to whatever area(s) you are interested in
(05:15:30 PM) nhandler: 17:24:32 < sebsebseb> QUESTION:  If people have been banned from #ubuntu a few or more times in the past, but since then have become  rather useful and very active helpers in #ubuntu could  they ever get accepted as a community member, whilst continuing to use the name that had been banned from the channel in the past?
(05:16:57 PM) nhandler: In that situation, the ban would not be completely overlooked. However, if one of the membership boards sees that the user has really changed since being banned, and has made significant and sustained contributions to the community, it is still very possible for the user to become an Ubuntu member
(05:17:12 PM) nhandler: 17:24:55 < sebsebseb> QUESTION: What do you think of the entry  requirements and  success rate of applications?
(05:19:00 PM) nhandler: The success rate of applicants is tough to talk about. From my experience, users who are able to show the membership boards proof of their significant and sustained contributions (usually documented on their wiki page), have testimonials from other Ubuntu Members, and overall come prepared to the meetings tend to be accepted for membership.
(05:20:13 PM) nhandler: However, membership is definitely not granted to everyone. I have seen many users asked to re-apply in a few months due to not having *sustained* contributions (usually for several months) or not having their contributions documented on their wiki page
(05:20:49 PM) nhandler: However, I feel that the requirements for membership are fine. They are pretty vague, which allows them to be applied to a large number of different types of people with different types of contributions
(05:20:56 PM) nhandler: 17:26:11 < sebsebseb> QUESTION:  Is helping loads of people online and only/mainly onlilne ever enough to become accepeted as a community member?
(05:22:18 PM) nhandler: Helping people online (both on IRC and on the forums) are great ways to contribute. The one challenging thing about this is that it is very hard to document contributions made on IRC. I would strongly suggest backing these types of contributions up with strong testimonials from other Ubuntu Members
(05:22:28 PM) nhandler: 17:28:09 < sebsebseb> QUESTION:   Is it true that to become a community member, will have to do things in person with the community?
(05:23:23 PM) nhandler: No. You do not need to participate in a LoCo or work with other Ubuntu users in person to become an Ubuntu Member. However, contributions to a LoCo definitely count as a form of contributing to Ubuntu
(05:23:52 PM) nhandler: Alright, I think I got to all of the questions.
(05:24:22 PM) nhandler: Now, I'm sure many of you are wondering about some ways to improve your chances of being accepted as an Ubuntu Member
(05:25:04 PM) nhandler: My biggest piece of advice would be to document all of your contributions on your wiki page as you go.
(05:27:17 PM) nhandler: Having all of your contributions documented on your wiki will allow the membership boards (as well as other people) to see all of your contributions in one convenient place. This will also help you determine when you have met the "significant contributions requirement"
(05:28:05 PM) nhandler: I would also suggest that you sit in on a few Regional Membership Board meetings prior to applying
(05:28:52 PM) nhandler: This will allow you to see how the meetings are organized, the types of contributions other users made in order to become members, and better determine if you are indeed ready to apply
(05:29:36 PM) nhandler: Now, being an Ubuntu Member also carries some responsibility
(05:29:57 PM) nhandler: You are representing the Ubuntu community. As a result, you need to be sure you are abiding by the Ubuntu Code of Conduct
(05:31:02 PM) nhandler: Since Ubuntu Membership is a privilege, not a right, it can be revoked for severe violations of the CoC or other inappropriate behavior that reflects poorly on the community
(05:32:59 PM) nhandler: I would like to address one question that I have been asked on many occassions...
(05:33:47 PM) nhandler: "How long do I need to contribute before I can become an Ubuntu Member?" and "How much do I need to contribute before I can become an Ubuntu Member?" (I lied, there were 2 questions)
(05:34:06 PM) nhandler: There is no magic amount of time or number of contributions
(05:34:37 PM) nhandler: There are guidelines and suggestions for what "sustained" means, but there are no strict requirements for either of those questions
(05:36:05 PM) nhandler: When asked these questions, I normally tell people that they will know when they are ready. If you are really not sure if you are ready, I would suggest waiting a little longer, contributing a little more, and then re-assessing the situation. You should only apply for membership once you believe you are ready.
(05:36:32 PM) nhandler: Alright, I'll answer a few more questions now
(05:38:08 PM) nhandler: 17:28:09 < sebsebseb> QUESTION:   Is it true that to become a community member, will have to do things in person with the community?
(05:38:22 PM) nhandler: 17:49:03 < aim1159> QUESTION: most of the contribution made by non native speakers made via their native language. and most of ubuntu members are english/european langiage speackers. hwo to  deal with that - there few ubuntu members who can read russian, for example, how person from russian-speacking country (for example) can apply for memebership? how he  could proove testimonials?
(05:39:10 PM) nhandler: Alright, speaking english is not a requirement to contribute to Ubuntu or to become an Ubuntu Member (although it does make things easier)
(05:40:18 PM) nhandler: If you are unable to speak english, I would suggest trying to find a user who can translate your messages during the membership meeting. This will make things go a lot smoother. Otherwise, as a last result, you can use Google Translator (or a similar service)
(05:40:58 PM) nhandler: If testimonials could also be translated to English (with the original present on the wiki page as well), that would also speed up the process.
(05:41:16 PM) nhandler: 17:50:50 < ianto> QUESTION:  Has another title been considered other than "Ubuntu Member" since we are all members and representitives of the Ubuntu community
(05:42:49 PM) nhandler: I personally have not heard any discussion about changing the title. However, I can not say for certain that none has taken place. And although we are all "representing" the Ubuntu community, Ubuntu Membership makes you an official representative (which is why only Ubuntu Members are entitled to Ubuntu business cards for example)
(05:43:31 PM) nhandler: Any more questions? Please remember to include "QUESTION:" at the beginning so I can easily spot them
(05:44:19 PM) nhandler: 17:56:07 < mhall119|work> QUESTION: I have a ubuntu-derivative called Qimo designed for kids, a lot of my contribution has been towards that.  Would it count towards Ubuntu membership?
(05:44:48 PM) nhandler: From my experience, the membership boards tend to prefer contributions made to Ubuntu itself
(05:45:31 PM) nhandler: If you have packages in Qimo that are not present in Ubuntu, or special artwork, you might consider getting those into Ubuntu
(05:46:11 PM) nhandler: 17:56:16 < aim1159> nhandler: the question was not about how can a non-native english speacker apply for ubuntu membership. it was about how can a regional board recognize that this person  have made a big thing for ubuntu and that is not. there is now doubt when some person have made some code or translation contributions, but if he just do some learning
(05:46:16 PM) nhandler:  courses ordo advocating ubuntu? how can thris be counted?
(05:48:13 PM) nhandler: For online courses, this is pretty easy to prove. Simply link to the IRC Logs from the course. For real life events, it gets a little more difficult. If you have a script that you used, uploading that to the wiki would be awesome (it would also allow other users to benefit from it). Testimonials are another great way to show this
(05:48:49 PM) nhandler: 17:57:50 < mhall119|work> Followup Question: If I contribute Qimo's packages to Universe, would the contribution count then?
(05:49:29 PM) nhandler: Yep. Packaging applications for Ubuntu are valid contributions. Although, if all of your contributions are in the form of packaging, you might consider applying for membership through the MOTU Council
(05:49:55 PM) nhandler: 18:00:25 < mhall119|work> QUESTION: are contributions to 9.04 at this point still valid contributions?
(05:50:36 PM) nhandler: Yep. Contributions to 9.04 (Jaunty) are still valid contributions to Ubuntu, and can be listed on your wiki page when applying for membership
(05:50:47 PM) nhandler: 18:00:57 < ianto> QUESTION:  Does the free time of the applicatant have any bearing upon the membership results?  I for example have spent 12 hours a day writing essays and then contribute  in small ways to Ubuntu and it's community.  Is this considered at all?
(05:51:58 PM) nhandler: The members of the membership boards know that everyone has other real life obligations besides Ubuntu. They keep this in mind when deciding whether or not to grant membership to a user.
(05:53:06 PM) nhandler: Even if you can only contribute to Ubuntu for one hour each day, as long as your contributions are significant, and you continue contributing for a sustained amount of time, you can become a member
(05:53:24 PM) nhandler: 18:04:13 < sebsebseb>  QUESTION: Surely  if you think about it having  Ubuntu Membership in the first place, is a bit like saying to people,  well we are better than you when it comes to  Ubuntu, because we are community members, and you are not?
(05:54:54 PM) nhandler: This should never happen. Being an Ubuntu Member does not make anyone "better" than anyone else. I would be very concerned if you have actually experienced this taking place
(05:58:24 PM) nhandler: If there are no more questions, then I guess I am done here
(05:58:41 PM) nhandler: If you have any more questions, feel free to PM me or send me an email

MeetingLogs/openweekKarmic/UbuntuMember (last edited 2009-11-04 23:46:02 by pool-71-182-105-84)