Preferred Communications Proposal
Our communications structure is very confusing.
There is constant confusion on methods used to contact everyone.

Our current communication mediums:

  • Mailing list - Ubuntu-us-tx mailing list - via

    • o It's benefits:
      • + Statewide.
        + Everyone will get it.
        + Great Archives.
        + It's email, (almost) everyone can use it.
        + Time doesn't matter.

      o It's cons:
      • + Not much previous use even though it has been up for over 2 years
        + causes a member to sign up in multiple places
        + learning curve for newcomers? (maybe?)

  • IRC - #Ubuntu-us-tx - via
    • o It's benefits:
      • + Statewide
        + Will soon have logs
        + Very active responses (when people are present)

      o It's cons:
      • + IRC has a learning curve.(simple tutorials on setup may overcome this.)
        + Typing speed. (people with faster typing speed can dominate discussion)
        + People must be present to know and follow conversation.
        + Not everyone can change the subject or announcement.
        + People have to watch the room to reply.

  • Forums - -via

    • o It's benefits:
      • + statewide
        + everyone can view them
        + Great Archives
        + almost as easy as a mailing list
        + time doesn't matter
        + Can subscribe to US-Texas and digest will be emailed.

      o Cons:
      • + Another site to check.(can be avoided by subscribing)
        + The forums are pretty new. (get the word out)
        + slight learning curve.
        + the email alerts are bad, just not helpful at all.

  • Launchpad - - via launchpad

    • o Why do you keep bringing this up, we already agreed not to use it!!!
      • + It exists
        + If it is not used then link needs to be removed from page.
        + What is an alright use for it?

        • # if there isn't one, then why do we reference it and such.
          # Can we use the bug system? it is interlinked with the launchpad mailing list so this is messy.
          # what about blueprints? was the ticket we had even a proper use of the system?

        + Launchpad has neat resources if we chose to utilize them somehow. If this means deactivating the us-tx list , and thus using launchpad as the primary mailing list, it may or may not be worth it.

Thanks for pointing all that out, so what's your point?

  • We need to make a few rules so that at all points we can make assumptions about what information a team member has received. Here is an example:

  • Adam is trying to decide when to schedule an IRC meeting for his group. He sends out a message on the group's mailing list indicating that and asking when would be best for everyone. He meets Beth in IRC who quickly notes that anytime but Wednesday night is great for her. Charley, also via IRC, responds with "????"; Charley isn't on the mailing list, or he has it set to a daily/weekly digest. Adam and Beth catch Charley up on the topic, and Charley notes that he works all week, this weekends are great for him. Don replies on the mailing list saying he's free either Thursday night or Sunday evening. Eve then replies that Sunday night is great for her. At this point Adam has most of the groups information and decides Sunday evening is the best time to hold the meeting. Charley isn't fully caught up, so he is caught up again, and the meeting proceeds.


  • What the above scenario is leaving out is that if info does not get to member for whatever reason then they are left out of the loop. So in essence if messages were only on IRC this could happen easily. That is the main disadvantage of IRC. The mailing list could and should be the communication channel with a backup of the forum. Immediate use and logged meetings on the IRC.

  • And I'm sure you can see how the situation expands from there. Eventually everyone gets caught up, and a time is chosen. It is nice to be able to make assumptions about every one's current position (as in, to which point in the discussion they are that at) in a discussion. Mailing lists and forums are great for this because you don't have to communicate in real time (say you work during the day and can only IRC when you get home from work for maybe an hour a day).

  • We have 2 timeless modes of communication, the us-tx mailing list being the preferred. We have IRC which really fills the role of a "convenience" communication because it is real time and we can chit-chat. But my reason for bringing this up is that we don't really have a hard coded "This is how we communicate" document. We may plan things here and there and cross post everything. Cross-posting is an organizational time bomb. Like if we are discussing planning a meeting in both a mailing list and a forum (with some people on both). Sure everyone can catch up, but shouldn't really skip the confusion and make one medium the "Official" communications medium and every other medium be "convenience" .

  • To be clear, a "convenience" medium is a medium that is secondary in hierarchy, but some people prefer because it is easy to use and efficient for them (IRC is an example).

I think we will all agree that the US-TX is our most official medium. IRC is our most used medium, but it is still convenience, and the forums are really just a launchpad starting point for people looking to join the group.
So what exactly are you proposing?

  • I am proposing that we agree to not cross post primary discussions from the mailing list into the forums. That keep the primary discussion coherent. We lose coherence when you cross post a cross posted discussion; Like if you talk in IRC about a mailing list discussion, then post a bad summary of your IRC discussion. If you have discussion elsewhere, try to channel it back into the mailing list, so that everyone is on the same page with the progression of the discussion, so that we are all in the same position in the discussion.

  • I am not proposing that we end all discussion in other mediums. IRC is amazing for talking in real time. But if the Discussion is about a mailing list topic, try to post back into the thread in a coherent way so that everyone knows what's going on, or better yet, agree to hold off on certain discussions and keep it in the list.


  • The issue with only having a post on the mailing list means that new and perspective members will not see the conversation. Many people would not look to the mailing list as the sole form of communication and hence meetings and other announcements may not be seen by people who are looking on the forum. Prime example I post a meeting on the mailing list not in other channels. Someone new to Texas may not look at the mailing list archive to get information.

    This would be the same way if the post only occurred on IRC. Even though these are great channels information may need to be in multiple places for the best discussion.

TexasTeam/Meetings/Notes (last edited 2009-11-29 14:48:01 by danielstone)