Burning Circle Episode 112

This week's episode talks about introspection and assessing where we stand in terms of participation. A rough transcript is included below.

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Welcome to the Burning Circle. For release on Monday, April 29th, this is episode 112.

Well, where do we start? We had the conference call aborted last week as nobody showed up. Yeah, the exercise proved successful for Erie Looking Productions to be ready for the event and to come online for it. Notwithstanding how low the friction level was for this, the event failed. This will be assessed. We do have the capability to try this again and it is merely a phone call away.

Yes, e-mails continue to happen and I do seem to send something out at least once per week. The current e-mail that has gone out is for members to check that they have in fact signed the Code of Conduct on Launchpad and to ensure they're up to date. In response to that e-mail there have already been a couple membership deactivations in response.

Membership within this community gets interesting. We have many people who claim affiliation but quite a number of folks who are quite marginally attached. As a community, activity is hard to spur. When you look at it, how do you spur activity when people shut out the mailing list, don't participate at the forums, may or may not listen to the podcast, may or may not be aware of the LoCo's presence on social media, and more?

In terms of lurking, you at least have a passing notion of what is happening. You might see what the mailing list says or occasionally pop in on the IRC channel. What we have is a bit of anti-social membership where people declare geographic affiliation but do not want to be involved and do not want to be contacted at all. That's not good for a community's health.

Where are we going? I know there have been rumbles of discontent for a while. People have felt very disconnected from being able to participate in decision-making within the Ubuntu project. However I also note that a majority of people have not taken steps to become enfranchised to do so by gaining status as an Ubuntu Member let alone developer membership. I have voting rights on confirming the Community Council along with six other members of our community. That leaves 410 members of our community as of time of recording who do not. Our Ubuntu Members are mostly found along an arc with Mansfield, Cleveland, and Ashtabula as points along it.

As we head into the Saucy Salamander cycle, I'm kinda torn. I know we would be expected to take time to prepare for Ohio Linux Fest. I am not so sure that that is a good idea. We need to spend some time on introspection and building up our community. I may need to put in some mileage to run around state for this but there are issues that continue to fester.

What is it you want out of your local community? Are you feeling it is time to move on and you just didn't shut down your Launchpad account neatly? Did you already move on and we're just left with your digital ghost?

I don't know. I know many people feel disconnected relative to what they feel is top-down dictation of decisions by Canonical. I understand people have grave reservations over Canonical cooperating with the People's Republic of China. When it comes to the Ohio community we must remember that that is all external. We move ever onward and spread to our fellow Ohioans another view of what computing could be like. We have the various flavors so we're not just stuck with vanilla Ubuntu to share either. Just because you feel like you are disconnected from where Ubuntu may be headed does not mean you are then disconnected from where things go in the real world here in Ohio.

I wish I had easy answers. Right now I'm throwing things out there to think about. Contact me via Launchpad if you want to discuss this further one-on-one.

From the south shores of Lake Erie in the border port community of Ashtabula Township, this program has been brought to you over the facilities of the Internet Archive and Ubuntu Ohio by Erie Looking Productions. Our owner, engineer, and acting producer is Mike Kellat and I am the head writer Stephen Michael Kellat. Aggravated circumstances continue to impact production. Thank you for joining us and we'll be seeing you.

BC-112.mp32.22 MB
BC-112.ogg4.04 MB