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The Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Needs You!

Today commemorates the release of Issue 250 of the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter (UWN).

So first off, congratulations to everyone who has worked on UWN since the first issue in 2006!

Secondly, we need help. The current bus factor of UWN is 2. Both of us have full time jobs, travel a lot and have a variety of other commitments throughout the Ubuntu community and beyond. If Amber Graner and I are at a conference at the same time? You better believe the UWN release for that week is going to be late or rolled into a 2 week newsletter the following week.

So here’s what we need:

Summary writers. Summary writers receive an email every Saturday (sometimes Sunday if we’re running late) with a link to the collaborative news links document for the past week which lists everything that needs summarizing. These people are vitally important to the newsletter. The time commitment is limited and it is easy to get started with from the first weekend you volunteer. No need to be shy about your writing skills, all summaries are reviewed before publishing so it’s easy to improve as you go on. Interested? Email editor.ubuntu.news@ubuntu.com and we’ll get you added to the list of folks who are emailed each week and you can help as you have time.

Core volunteers. We need to improve our bus factor. We need folks who will make a commitment to the newsletter, who are interested in spending time with us in #ubuntu-news on irc.freenode.net, getting familiar with our community and processes, pitching in with summaries and editing as needed and eventually lending a hand with release procedures. Interested? Join #ubuntu-news, introduce yourself, and help out where you can!

We’re still working to improve our team wiki pages, but the current burden UWN on our core volunteers has caused this to go slowly. I’m hoping this call to the community will help reduce this burden so we can more forward.


  • jorge

    Congrats on the 250!

    I investigated some ways to get rid of the bus factor and make it easier but then both Amber and I got busy. For example I don’t know why we stick to a wiki when there’s much better tools to publish newsletters.

    I created a generated one from all our feeds in a few minutes: http://paper.li/castrojo/1319486328#

    It’d probably be easier to use a tool like that that lets us suck in everything we care about, and then have the humans weed out the unimportant stuff than it is to generate summaries by hand, etc.

    Anyway just something to think about!

    • pleia2

      Thanks! We’ve streamlined a considerable amount of the process since last year so it’s much easier than it once was. One of the things is news collection, rather than searching around for news each week we have a bundle of RSS feeds that I search for Linux and Ubuntu in to par down what I’m looking at.

      We could just grab the first few lines of each article and use that as a summary, but bloggers don’t write like traditional journalists so it tends to be less useful. If we truly can’t find summary writers that may be the way we have to go, but I’m hopeful that people will show up :)

  • akgraner

    Thanks Lyz for posting this as always, you rock!