A blog for the MOTU?

Morten Kjeldgaard mok at bioxray.au.dk
Sun Aug 17 15:58:48 BST 2008

Some time ago, dholbach and mok0 were talking on IRC, and came to the  
agreement that it would be useful to have a blog for the MOTU, like  
the server team has one. A blog would be orthogonal to the other means  
of communication that we use:

- Mailing list
- Wiki
- Launchpad bugs

Each of these have their own justification:

Mailing lists:
+ Very useful for announcements and messages.
- Less suited for discussions that are often hard to follow, because  
there is a lot of noise. Messages in a thread tend to become longer  
and longer because many people are not disciplined in editing the  
thread, and some even do "top posting" (tsk tsk! Very bad habbit!).
- Usually no good way to tag/categorize things (depends on your email  
- mok0 regularly cleans out old entries (follows> 30 mailing lists),  
so he has no long-term archive. You can go to the mailman archive for  
old stuff, but that has _terrible_ search facilities.

+  Mostly suited for static "article style", "HOWTO" and "FAQ"   
+ Great for casual, user generated information
+ Suited for summing up discussions, but has:
- no structured "comment" system.
- Information may be scattered. Contains a lot of "orphan"  
- Information difficult to keep up-to-date.
+/- Everyone can edit

+ Truly  great for casual discussions and for creating the atmosphere  
in the developent teams!
- Not suited for lengthy explanations, but
+ excellent for ping-pong style questions/answers.
+ excellent for teaching and help

LP bugs:
+ Great for having a very specific. technical discussion on a subject  
-- usually a bug in software but could be other things like ideas.
+ Good for including files like patches, screendumps, etc.
- Bad for announcements and general discussions

A blog would give some orthogonal capabilities, and would help develop  
the community in a helpful way.  MOTUs can post a wide variety of  
messages: educational, entertaining, new ideas. Useful properties are:

+  Comment system, so all these things can be discussed.
+ Nice window for the MOTU team to the outside world
+ Importantly: errors, wrong information etc. can be edited and fixed.
+ Information can be tagged, and reorganized at any stage.
+ Additional information can be added to content at any time.
+ Can host (edited?) important information and discussions from  
mailing list
+ text can include formatting, images, etc.
+ Can be made visually attractive
+ Somewhat useful for announcements
+ Many good ways to read blog (can be aggregated)
+/- Can be hosted externally (e.g. wordpress.org)
- Not suited for messages

In addition, if the blog is run on a MOTU controlled machine, QA pages  
can be integrated directly.

We feel that it is only a good idea to establish a blog if there is a  
critical mass of MOTUs that want to contribute. The blog would be an  
offer and opportunity for MOTUs to write various Ubuntu/MOTU related  
stuff for the Internet. It could perhaps better express the soul of  
the development team than some of the other avenues of information do.

Currently, there is a lot of MOTU-related information scattered on  
several different systems and servers. It may seem to be a bad idea to  
introduce yet another one, but on the other hand, it could be a  
logical place to assemble the many threads, and if successful, the  
blog could be the main portal to the MOTU world.

The blog should be voluntary, no one should be forced to using a tool  
they don't want to.


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