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freenode changes owners, jose resigns as staff.

To all the people I have interacted with in freenode, and to all the contributors I have worked with over there:

I recently celebrated my 10-year anniversary of having an account in freenode. I have a lot of fond memories, met a lot of amazing people in that period of time.

Some time ago, the former head of freenode staff sold `freenode ltd` (a holding company) to a third party, Andrew Lee[1], under terms that have not been disclosed to the staff body. Mr Lee at the time had promised to never exercise any operational control over freenode.

In the past few weeks, this has changed[2][3], and the existance of a legal threat to freenode has become apparent. We cannot know the substance of this legal threat as it contains some kind of gag order preventing its broader discussion within staff.

As a result, Mr Lee now has operational control over the freenode IRC network. I cannot stand by such a (hostile?) corporate takeover of the freenode network, and I am resigning as a staff volunteer along with most other freenode staff. We simply do not feel that the network now remains independent after two heads of staff appear to have been compelled to make changes to our git repo for the website[4].

Where to now?

We are founding a new network with the same goals and ambitions: libera.chat.

You can connect to the new network at `irc.libera.chat`, ssl port 6697 (and the usual clearnet port).

We’re really sorry it’s had to come to this, and hope that you’re willing to work with us to make libera a success, independent from outside control.

What about Ubuntu?

Whether Ubuntu decides to stay on freenode or move to libera would be a decision of the Ubuntu IRC Council. Please refer to them with any questions you might have. While I am a part of the Community Council, the IRC Council operates independently, and I will personally leave the final decision to them.

Footnotes

[1]: https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/company/10308021/officers

[2]: A blogpost has been removed without explanation: https://freenode.net/news/freenode-reorg (via the wayback machine)

[3]: The freenode testnet, for experimental deployment and testing of new server features was shutdown on Friday 30th April, for reasons that have not been disclosed to us.

[4]: Unexplained change to shells.com as our sponsor: web-7.0/pull/489, followed by a resignation: web-7.0/pull/493

New times, new solutions

Our world is changing every day. Drastic changes can happen really quickly. Technology is advancing at a much faster pace than it used to a hundred years ago, and humans are adapting to those changes. The way we think, the way we operate, and how even how we communicate has drastically changed in the last 15 years.

Just as humans change, the Ubuntu community is also changing. People interact in different ways. Platforms that did not exist before are now available, and the community changes as the humans in it change as well.

When we started the Local Communities project several years ago, we did it with the sole purpose of celebrating Ubuntu. The ways in which we celebrated included release parties, conferences, and gatherings in IRC. However, we have lately seen a decline in the momentum we had with regards to participation in this project. We have not done a review of the project since its inception, and inevitably, the Community Council believes that it is time to do a deep dive at how we can regain that momentum and continue getting together to celebrate Ubuntu.

As such, we are putting together the Local Communities Research Committee, an independent entity overseen by the Community Council, which will help us understand the behavior of Local Community teams, how to better adapt to their needs, and to create a model that is suitable for the world we are living in today.

We are looking for between 6 and 9 people, and we will require to have at least one person per continent. We require that you are an Ubuntu Member, are not a current Community Council member, have experience working with worldwide communities, and strongly recommend that you have participated with a Local Community team in the past. If this sounds like you, instructions on how to apply can be found here: https://discourse.ubuntu.com/t/local-communities-research-committee/20186/4

I am personally very excited about this project, as it will allow us to gather perspectives from people all around the world, and to better adapt the project for you, the community.

If you have any questions or want to chat with me, you can always reach out to me at jose at ubuntu dot com, or jose on irc.freenode.net.

Eager to see your nominations/applications!

A new adventure awaits

This September 15th, my Ubuntu Membership will turn six years old. I’ve been with the community for a long time now (not as long as others!), and I’ve learned a lot along the way. So far, I have only done volunteer work, and, a couple months ago, I decided I needed to take the next step. Now that I’m 20, I need to find a real job.

After searching for a while, the hunt ended up being fruitful. As of September 1st, I will start working with Hiperderecho, a Peruvian NGO. In short, Hiperderecho loves that everyone can enjoy the Internet freely, and promotes and defends digital rights and freedoms. I will be joining them as their Director of Community, and can’t be more happy that an opportunity such as this one has popped up.

No, I won’t stop studying (yes, I’m still in school). No, I won’t stop contributing to the Ubuntu community. In fact, I will be at SeaGL, giving a talk about how worldwide communities interact with each other, as well as helping run the Ubuntu booth. If you’re in the area, come by and say hi!

And that’s all from me now. I’m sure this will be an opportunity for learning and growing both personally and professionally, and can’t wait to start!

The SeaGL 2017 Call for Papers is now open!

Are you from the US Northwest area? Have something cool to tell or show from the open source world? Then you should apply to give a talk at SeaGL this year!

SeaGL is a grassroots technical conference, taking place in Seattle, WA, United States in October 6-7th. It’s dedicated to spreading knowledge about the GNU/Linux community and free/libre/open-source software/hardware. I went last year, and there’s a lot of cool people with amazing stories on multiple open source topics. Now, we want to hear from you.

I’m sure there’s a lot of you with cool projects that you want to share with the world. Go ahead! This fourth year there’s 20-minute talks, where you can give a quick introduction to your piece of software/hardware, or 50-minute talks, where you can do a demo, and go in-depth about your project. Is it going to be your first talk ever? SeaGL is a great place to get started! Have questions about your talk proposal? They have weekly office hours in the #seagl channel on freenode to give you a hand!

Conferences like SeaGL are powered by their own attendees, so it’d be great to see new faces around showing off amazing stuff. I hope to see many new names on the schedule, as well as some other familiar ones.  Propose a talk, and hopefully, I’ll see you in October! And hurry – CFP closes on August 6th, midnight PDT.

Announcing UbuCon Latin America 2017

It’s my pleasure to announce UbuCon Latin America 2017! For a third consecutive year, we’ll be holding it at the University of Lima, Peru. This year’s conference will take place August 18-19th.

UbuCon Latin America is a conference where people from LatAm and the rest of the world get together to discuss the state of the art of Ubuntu, as well as cool things you can do with it. We are planning on two days full of Ubuntu topics!

Travel and accommodation information can be found here.

We would also like you to participate. If you have a talk you’d like to present, please fill out the call for papers. It will only be open for a couple weeks. After that, we’ll be publishing our schedule.

Would you like to sponsor UbuCon Latin America this year? Send an email to jose@ubuntu.com and we’ll get back in touch!

I hope to see you all in Lima, Peru in just a couple months!

Social Media Management vs. Community Management?

I personally stopped blogging a while ago, but I kinda feel this is a necessary blog post. A while ago, a professor used the term Community Manager interchangeably with Social Media Manager. I made a quick comment about them not being the same, and later some friends started questioning my reasoning.

Last week during OSCON, I was chatting with a friend about this same topic. A startup asked me to help them as a community manager about a year ago. I gladly accepted, but then they just started assigning me social media work.

And these are not the only cases. I have seen several people use both terms interchangeably, which they are not. I guess it’s time for me to burst the bubble that has been wrapped around both terms.

In order to do that, let’s explain, in very simple words, the job of both of them. Let’s start with the social media managers. Their job is, as the title says, to manage social media channels. Post on Facebook, respond to Twitter replies, make sure people feel welcome when they visit any of the social media channels, and automatically represent the brand/product through social media.

Community managers, on the other side, focus on building communities around a product or service. To put it simpler, they make sure that there’s people that care about the product, that contribute to the ecosystem, that work with the provider to make it better. Social media management is a part of their job. It is a core function, because it is one of the channels that allow them to communicate with people to hear their concerns and project the provider’s voice about the product. However, it is not their only job. They also have to go out and meet with people, in real life. Talk with higher-ups to voice the concerns. Hear how the product is impacting people’s life in order to make a change, or continue on the same good path.

With this, I’m not trying to devalue the work of social media managers. On the other hand, they are have a very valuable job. Imagine all those companies with social media profiles, without the funny comments. No message replies if you had a question. Horrible, right? Managing these channels is as important, so brands/products are ‘alive’ on the interwebs. Being a community manager is not only managing a channel. Therefore, they are not comparable jobs.

Each of the positions is different, even though they complement each other pretty well. But I hope that with this post you can understand a little bit more about the inside job of both community managers and social media managers. In a fast-paced world like ours today, these two can make a huge difference between having a presence online, or not. So, next time, if you’re looking for a community manager, don’t expect them to do only social media work. And viceversa – if you’re looking for a social media manager, don’t expect them to build community out of social media.

Ubuntu Conferences in November

Hey everyone!

And here I am, packing to go in yet another adventure. If you are near the Seattle area, I encourage you to go to SeaGl, a volunteer-ran conference. I will be speaking about Juju, and we’ll also have an Ubuntu table!

On the other hand, I will also be at UbuCon Europe. If you are in Germany, make sure to attend!

If you are going to be at any of those conferences, make sure to come by and say hi – I’d love to see you.

Time to jump on a plane!

Ubuntu and Juju at Ohio Linux Fest this weekend!

Hey everyone! Just a quick announcement that Ubuntu and Juju will be at Ohio Linux Fest this weekend. The event takes place at the Hyatt Regency Columbus, in Columbus, OH on Friday and Saturday. If you can drop by, please say hi!

I will be giving a talk about Juju on Saturday at 3pm. Ubuntu will be running a table as well. If you are going to be attending the event, please drop by the table. We’ll have some Ubuntu phones for demo, I can help you with Juju stuff, and some other community members will be there as well. If you have an Official Ubuntu Book, 9th Edition, I’d be happy to sign it for you. Elizabeth K. Joseph is going to be at the event as well, so you can get signatures from two different authors!

If you want to volunteer at the Ubuntu table we’ll be having, please drop me an email to jose@ubuntu.com. Otherwise, come by, we can grab a coffee or dinner after the event. Looking forward to seeing you soon!

Juju Client Now Works Properly On All Linuxes!

Hello everyone! This is a guest post by Menno Smits, who works on the Juju team. He originally announced this great news in the Juju mailing list (which you should all subscribe to!), and I thought it was definitely worth to announce in the Planet. Stay tuned to the mailing list for more great announcements, which I feel are going to come now that we are moving to RCs of Juju 2.0.

Juju 2.0 is just around the corner and there’s so much great stuff in the release. It really is streets ahead of the 1.x series.

One improvement that’s recently landed is that the Juju client will now work on any Linux distribution. Up until now, the client hasn’t been usable on variants of Linux for which Juju didn’t have explicit support (Ubuntu and CentOS). This has now been fixed – the client will now work on any Linux distribution. Testing has been done with Fedora, Debian and Arch, but any Linux distribution should now be OK to use.

It’s worth noting that when using local Juju binaries (i.e. a `juju` and `jujud` which you’ve built yourself or that someone has sent you), checks in the `juju bootstrap` command have been relaxed. This way, a Juju client running on any Linux flavour can bootstrap a controller running any of the supported Ubuntu series. Previously, it wasn’t possible for a client running a non-Ubuntu distribution to bootstrap a Juju controller using local Juju binaries.

All this is great news for people who are wanting to get started with Juju but are not running Ubuntu on their workstations. These changes will be available in the Juju 2.0 rc1 release.

And we’re back with UbuCon Latin America 2016!

I promised we’d be back, and here we are! Took us just a couple months to get things up and rolling, but UbuCon Latin America is now being organized. This year, we decided we’ll be hosting it in Lima, Peru again, on the 5-6th August!

We have now opened the Call for Papers for the conference. If you are willing to speak at UbuConLA, just fill out this form. Also, if you have any talk suggestions send us an email to info@ubuconla.org. We’ll be more than happy to see if we can get a talk in on the topic you’re interested.

On the other hand, we are looking for sponsors! If you or someone you know is interested in sponsoring our event, feel free to drop us an email to sponsors@ubuconla.org. We’ll be more than happy to answer all your questions about sponsorship, so email us anytime.

Registration for the conference will open soon, so stay tuned!