Encouring contribution (was Re: Launchpad team management)

Rich Johnson nixternal at ubuntu.com
Wed May 9 14:15:28 UTC 2007

On Wednesday 09 May 2007, Matthew East wrote:
| I'm quite concerned at the moment that there is not much contribution in
| the docteam compared to the level of contribution we see in other Ubuntu
| teams, such as development, bug work, marketing etc. It would be nice to
| do some work this cycle on encouraging more contribution to the team.

The reason is because development work is much more appealing to others new to 
the community. The only problem with that is you get someone who is born baby 
fresh to the community and they can't hack, try to, fail, get discouraged and 
leave. We need to make the doc team much more appealing. In a way it is 
development work as well, oh wait, it is development work, at least for you 
(Matt), me, Jordan, and I am guessing Cody for Xubuntu :)  People can still 
hack, they will just hack in XML. I think if we brand the doc team with the 
word development, it might attract some. I don't know, just an idea.

| The dividing line between the wiki and system documentation which you
| mention is key to that, I think. The former has a much lower barrier to
| entry and we need to ensure the transition between the two is smoother
| than it is now.

That is why I think both of those wiki teams should be open. Are we going to 
keep the wiki forum team? I think just having the Wiki Team is enough to 
encompass that aspect as well.

| Other things we can try and do are:
| * Improve the visibility of how to contribute - tidy up the team wiki
| pages; link to them more prominently from the help website, etc.
| * Blog/post to the Fridge more often about what we are doing.

I will start doing some wiki work tomorrow and Friday, possibly a little today 
as well. I have blogged in the past about getting people to help, actually 
pulled in a couple for Edubuntu, but none for Kubuntu. I am sure you blog 
about Ubuntu docs though you will get a ton of people. Xubuntu got a 
kickstart recently as well which is good. We can definitely use more though. 
As it stands, there are only like 4 or 5 of us really that are chugging out 
work, and we seriously need like 20. OK 20 might be a little high, but it 
will definitely make it easier upon everyone else.

| What other ideas do people have about improving contribution?

We need to clean up and clarify our team wiki pages for one. I think that it 
being in the state it is, which is not all to bad actually, might be just a 
tad bit confusing for the new community member. We need to keep our stats 
page updated. People like to see this too and I don't know why, well I do, 
but I don't get why it is so important, but a list of open tasks and jobs 
they can do. The reason I have seen this is because if you watch all of the 
mailing lists, especially the dev ones, you will always seen an introduction 
from someone new, and they will then say "what jobs do you have open? what 
can I do right now?". 

Making the docteam a 2 step process isn't bad actually and would definitely 
limit people who would only commit for one cycle and leave. The steps are:
1. Wiki Team - do wiki work, keep a running tab for Corey because he is going 
to check on you before you are added to the team. Get used to our style, hang 
out on IRC.
2. Contribute patches, show us that you know XML. My only issue is how do we 
test someone on SVN? Granted they really can't mess anything up. Maybe a way 
to test XML knowledge would make them write a CV highlighting their 
FOSS/Ubuntu career in XML :)  That would be kind of cool truthfully.

I know Ubuntu is known for being this huge open community, and it is, but the 
Doc Team is just as important as the development teams. This is something 
people need to see and know. When they read about Ubuntu it is all about 
development, and when they do say something about the doc work, it isn't 
always good. We need to stress we are important, we are developers, and we 
will, we will, rock you! OK, sorry about that I had no idea what to put in 
for #3 and all of a sudden I heard Queen in my head.

| Matt
| (By the way, please have a quick read of
| http://www.ubuntu.com/community/lists/etiquette about posting to the
| mailing list)

Man I should so CC you for this one :)

Rich Johnson
nixternal at ubuntu.com
GPG Key: 0x2E2C0124
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