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Benjamin Kerensa: Ubuntu is Community

Published May 10 2013 via RSS

Update: Canonical has released stats showing the removal of “Community” has resulted in a 1/3 drop-off in page views to the community related portion of the site including the links that get new contributors involved.

fail 199x300 Ubuntu is Community

This is how I felt when I found out Community was removed.

So as many of you are aware the Ubuntu Canonical Design Team a few weeks back decided to revamp Ubuntu.com which is all fine and well but they decided when doing the re-design to remove “Community” from the place it has sat for years: that being the header menu of the site. Indeed, Canonical received some immediate outcry from myself and other Ubuntu Community members including members of the Ubuntu Governance and for very good reason.

After all Ubuntu is a community-driven Linux distribution operating system powered by hundreds of contributors many of which are strictly Community Members and not employed by Canonical. So I ask those of you reading this whether you think Canonical should have informed the Community of its intentions or at the very least informed the Community Council and whether the Community deserves to stay in the prominent place is has for years?

But before you formulate an answer I ask you to take into consideration that a good majority of open source projects of the scale that Ubuntu is do indeed prominently have a link to a page discussing and highlighting their community and some examples of that can be found right here.

Lets dig in a bit deeper though and try to understand what kind of websites don’t have a Community link at the top of their page and some examples that come to mind are Apple and Microsoft but of course they don’t because they are focused on making money and do not have an open source culture.

Canonical Design Team: By focusing our site navigation on the products themselves, we aim to make it clear for someone who is new to the site that Ubuntu is about all of these things: PCs, phones, tablets — you name it.

So focus on products and not Community? I don’t think that’s ok.

What do we do about this?

Well, we have a variety of options:

  • We can stomp our feet and be upset
  • We can say were leaving the community
  • We can switch to Arch Linux (or not!)

But in reality I think the one productive option we have as a community is to discuss this at next weeks vUDS (Virtual Ubuntu Developer Summit) and ask Canonical’s Design Team and the Canonical Community team why they made a decision to “spring clean” the Ubuntu Community right off Ubuntu.com.

But better yet let’s discuss what our expectations are and come to a consensus as a community. After all, vUDS is where the community comes together to make decisions. Let’s not leave vUDS without a solid timeline as to when we will see the “Ubuntu Community” having an equal and prominent placement on Ubuntu.com among Ubuntu TV and Mobile.

Be part of the discussion!

You can mark this bug as affecting you and you can also register to attend vUDS and mark yourself as attending the session scheduled to discuss this blueprint. You can also discuss it on Ubuntu Forums here.




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