I'm a 27 year old web developer, Ubuntu support-giver, sporadic blogger and an occasionally frustrated and outspoken Ubuntu user. I use and recommend Ubuntu as part of my job (on servers and integrated computing) and in the home (desktop, laptop, media centres, toaster, hot tub, etc). My job is mostly as a Python/Django/HTML/JS/CSS/etc developer. Despite how my friends and family introduce me, I'm not a designer
I enjoy fine French and Italian wines, gaming under Wine, good ales, gardening and I've been known to take the occasional photo. Before you ask, Nikon all the way.
I recently moved to deepest-darkest Norfolk (England).
I'm also a fairly nice and honest chap... But I would say that, wouldn't I?
My major contribution to the community is helping users on the Ask Ubuntu website. If you don't know, Ask Ubuntu is a website from the creators of Stack Overflow that aims to provide the very best support for end users and developers.
I started there over a year ago and have tried to answer everything I possibly could. My role has since evolved into one of the three moderators, a job that keeps us quite busy, though I still answer questions.
Elected Community Moderator of Ask Ubuntu
Currently the highest point earner by several thousand points.
As of October 4th 2011, I have:
- 675 answers, helping 501 separate people
- Of those 675 answers:
- 480 have had one answer picked as their best answer by the person who asked a question
- 298 of those 480 were my answers (~62%).
In 81 of the remaining 195 questions that didn't have an answer picked, my answer was ranked highest by voters. (Query source)
- Questions I have answered have been viewed over 400,000 times with my best answers (accepted correct and highest vote, combined) being attributed to over 190,000 page views.
- I have also moderated over a thousand flags raised by users since becoming a moderator, mid-February.
However my stats are reflected, I really enjoy helping people both directly and enabling other users to help people. It's a great site and I hope to be helping out there a lot longer.
My other contributions pale into insignificance when compared to my work on Ask Ubuntu. I have provided support on IRC and UbuntuForums in the past but never really at the same level or concentration.
Spreading the love
My primary goal is to make sure that all Ubuntu users have access to the best possible support. At Ask Ubuntu we have an immensely skilled bunch of slaves people who work tirelessly to get people the help they require, and more people need to know about it.
Our belief at Ask Ubuntu is we should be an official part of Ubuntu's support flow and I intend to use my Ubuntu membership to facilitate an integration. There has already been some work toward this end but there's still a long way to go before we're as synonymous to "support" as "Ubuntu" is to "Linux".
Part of this will mean we will want to sync our content with the Ubuntu Wiki and help pages. In a lot of cases, we're essentially generating new documentation for both main and edge cases that surpasses wiki and help docs both in age (usually by at least two releases) and quality.
Improving the quality
While I'm proud of a lot of our content, scaling up brings us challenges that most community support members will be familiar with. Duplication, stagnation and rot.
The StackExchange system gives us pretty decent tools to handle duplication - it's just a case of using them.
- There are often questions that are simply too hard for us to answer. We can add bounties but if the right people aren't seeing the questions, the questions don't get answers. We need to help maintainers of applications see questions in their fields so they can give direct support.
- As time goes on the burden of cleaning up unmaintained answers grows. We do have the powerhouse that is Jorge Castro on board but we need more people who want to put in the same amount of time in keeping the site tidy.
And finally, something actually about Ubuntu!
On a personal level, I'd like to help encourage the technical support of "legacy" desktops (eg Classic Gnome). The recent dive into Unity and Gnome Shell has lost and even angered a few people and I'd like to make sure we're not leaving anybody behind.
Freedom is about choice so more effort has be made to ensure users have more than a choice between two desktop metaphors they have no interest in.
I'm going to be making time in 12.04's release cycle to help make sure power-users and enterprise aren't left behind for an entire LTS.
If you know me and have something nice to say, please leave a comment here.
Oli is awesome - without him and our excellent team of moderators, Ask Ubuntu would fall apart. He consistently provides high quality, to-the-point answers, and I definitely support him for Ubuntu Membership. - James Gifford Ubuntu Member, Ask Ubuntu Aficionado
Oli's brilliant answers and his comprehensive knowledge on Ubuntu made Ask Ubuntu what it is today. His deep understanding of issues that people may have when using Ubuntu is invaluable for new as well as for experienced users. Takkat Nebuk, Ask Ubuntu member.
+1, Oli's been a solid contributor for over a year now, not just contributing answers but also ensuring the site is curated. -- jorge 2011-10-31 17:29:09
The sheer amount of answers to Oli's name is astonishing, but he's also been a very diligent moderator right from the start. His constant work, great advice, and deep understanding of our community has made it a very nice place to hang out; and we all look at him to see just how it's done. Stefano Palazzo
Oli is a monumental corner stone to the Ask Ubuntu community both as a contributor of answers and as one of the site's moderators. He's content stands alone as our user with the highest reputation. As an Ubuntu Member and Ask Ubuntu moderator I can contest to his valued work as a moderator in helping to maintain and shape our growing community outlet. His work over the past year is invaluable and should seriously be considered for membership. -- marcoceppi