Forum news (Re: forum-ambassadors to improve communication between forum users and developers)

Matt Zimmerman mdz at
Fri Jan 12 00:54:25 GMT 2007

On Mon, Jan 08, 2007 at 12:42:44AM +0100, Roald (ubuntu_demon) wrote:
> Please read the entire document. All feedback is welcome. Especially
> feedback regarding communication between us forum ambassadors and you
> developers. For example in what way should we report to you about
> interesting trends and wishes ?

I haven't reviewed the ForumAmbassadors document recently, but in answer to
your question above, I think that the most useful and compatible way to
transfer this information is in the form of news.  It would be great to have
a weekly forum news roundup which highlighted activity which might be of
interest beyond the forums themselves.

This would be much more effective than individuals attempting to pass
specific issues from forums to teams one-by-one.  A hypothetical forum
update might include, for example:

- A summary of testing feedback in the new testing forum for a recent
  milestone release, with a hyperlink to the full thread
  (, which would be of
  interest to the QA team

- A summary of a thread discussing a new Ubuntu feature (proposed, under
  development or released), giving user feedback and suggestions which might
  be of interest to the developer working on it

- A summary of a thread where users are struggling with a particularly
  common or severe bug

- A summary of a thread where forum users are discussing their reactions to
  a recent change in the Ubuntu community, such as a new team or new
  appointment, which might be of interest to the Community Council

The forums represent our largest window into the opinions of the user
community, but it is far too large for project leaders and developers to
monitor themselves.  By summarizing important general-interest threads,
this information could be brought to a wider audience in a clear and
unobtrusive way.

One possible vehicle for this is the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, which is
regularly published by the Marketing Team (thanks!).  Perhaps a section in
the newsletter could be devoted to the forums, a few responsible citizens
from the forum community could spend a bit of time each week to fill it in
with the week's events from their perspective.  I've CCed their mailing list
to discuss this idea.

The editors would need to be selective about what is published, and consider
issues in the context of the project as a whole.  They must focus on
concrete, general-interest issues, and avoid vague or speculative topics.
The Ubuntu community would rely on them to filter this information for the
benefit of all concerned.

What do you think?

 - mdz

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