[ubuntu-uk] Citizens rejoice! Your Lord and Master stands on high, playing track 3.

David M lists2007 at trancepod.34sp.com
Mon Oct 1 18:59:48 BST 2007

Dave Walker wrote in gmane.linux.ubuntu.user.british 
 about: Re: Citizens rejoice! Your Lord and Master stands	on	high, playing	track 3. 

> On Sun, 2007-09-30 at 20:27 +0100, norman wrote:
>> This is not a Political organisation. I assume its purpose is to help Ubuntu
>> users and potential users. I fail to see what the object of the post is
>> and why it is necessary. Perhaps, if you have the time, you could
>> educate me and show me whether I am right or wrong.
> I find the tone of your posting very terse, and a fail to see what you
> are trying to achieve.

I think Norman simply is unsure what the "Ubuntu-UK Point of Contact" role
is for, and is merely asking for some clarification.

There seems to be an unfortunate trend amongst some members to adopt too
much of the Ubuntu jargon (this is not just an Ubuntu thing, it's far
too endemic and 'user-unfriendly' in too much of computing), and when
people talk (amongst the mass membership) too much hyper-abbreviated 
gobbledygook, such as "LoCo PoC" (hmm, /poco loco/, huh?), it's perhaps
not surprising that it can be confusing and offputting to many ordinary
Ubuntu users. 

Let's not forget that while Ubuntu works because of many people 
contributing a great deal towards the project, and while such typing 
shorthand may be acceptable in technical discussions within a knowing
audience, bear in mind that Ubuntu would be far less successful without
its growing userbase: and to encourage ordinary people to try, adopt
and even become involved in Ubuntu, we need to speak to them (us) in
more human terms.

> I would hardly call the discussion that took place an argument.  It was
> a discussion..  This was essential, as in Ubuntu-UK's history we have
> never had an elected Leader/Point of contact.  If you can find an
> organisation that has >267 members and doesn't have an electoral (fair)
> way of forming leadership, then I will be impressed.=20

As I have made clear, I am unhappy with the way that the election
process was run (although I should point out that I am glad that some
changes were made as a result of my comments, such as announcing the
Poll Opening in a new thread, rather than hidden away almost as an
'aside' buried in an existing thread as had been the case with the
abortive IRC poll attempt). 

However, I am not just going to gripe about it: I am perfectly willing to 
propose a procedure (because we need to have consistent and fair procedures) 
for holding such elections in the future, such that we can have a procedure 
in place in good time for future elections, and not be making something up 
on the hoof at the last minute.

> I feel it was essential that the results of the 'Poll' were
> communicated.  Alan, who was successfully in winning the 'Poll' should
> be the person to announce this IMO.

I'm afraid that also doesn't feel right (whoever wins). We should have a
neutral 'vote coordinator' who:

* is not a candidate
* announces the election timetable, including 
   Call for Candidates, Poll Open/Close
* announces the results

> Alan followed the CoC quite happily, as he discussed (with me) whether
> he should be the one to announce it - and it's content.  If you feel the
> "Subject:"; was inappropriate blame me.

It's just one of those things that doesn't feel right when a
not-disinterested party is making the announcements (and the way it was
presented with its frivolous subject - which didn't even say who had
won, you had to piece that together from the message and the From:
field - came over as very unprofessional). Of course, once the official 
announcement is made, the successful candidate and any others are welcome 
to comment as they see fit (with whatever degree of frivolity they then
feel is appropriate for their 'speech').

We do need to bear in mind that while Ubuntu can of course be fun and
frivolous, if we are presenting ourselves to the public - and especially
if the Community Contact is likely to engage with the media - we need to
present ourselves as we would want others to see us. That doesn't
necessarily mean shirt-buttoned-up formality (ugh), but there is a degree 
of professionalism that is necessary.

> I would like to thank the 19 people who voted for me; it's a shame I
> cannot know who you are, as I'd like to thank you all individually.

As the very close runner-up, are you not concerned that the poll was
closed prematurely, which may have made a significant difference to the


David M.  Edinburgh, Scotland. ---- [en,fr,(de) <-- corrections welcome]
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