One of the most important things we do in Ubuntu is recognize the contributions of fantastic participants across the wide range of activities that make up something as broad as Ubuntu.
We have the guiding principle that we should be able to recognize the merits of any kind of contribution, coming from any part of the globe. Whether someone is spending time helping people on IRC, or answering questions in the Forums, or translating Ubuntu into Amharic, or leading local events to raise awareness of Ubuntu, or leading a team that deploy Ubuntu in schools, or building Ubuntu based virtual machines on EC2, or fixing bugs, or triaging bugs, or filing really good bug reports….. contributions of all forms make Ubuntu more useful to a broader audience, and so we set out to recognize them with Membership.
The actual decisions are taken by the Regional Membership Boards. We set up three of them to cover the America’s, EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa), and Asia-Pacific. People who are seeking membership present their work to the RMB’s, who confer membership on those who they believe have made a “substantial, and sustained” contribution, in any field. We also allow specialist leadership teams to confer membership for contributions in their fields, on the basis that they may have more insight into the dynamics of that particular work.
The RMB’s play a big role in sustaining the culture of Ubuntu, in who and what they recognize and in the advice that they offer applicants.
In order to keep the RMB’s fresh, we renew the membership of the RMB’s on a regular basis. Folks stand for a term, and we seek nominations regularly. Like now 🙂
We’re seeking nominations to all three Regional Membership Boards. Ideal candidates have a track record good judgment – and a willingness to support positive contributions matched only by their willingness NOT to be drawn into supporting factions, personalities and cabals. In any community of scale (and Ubuntu is at a larger scale than most) there will always be people making fascinating and unexpected (and hard to evaluate) contributions, as well as people who want to further their own ambitions at the expense of others. Being able to tell the difference, and recognizing those who are going to continue to raise the bar for Ubuntu, is a skill.
If you know someone who does, please seek their assent to nominate them for their Regional Membership Board. You can chat with dholbach on IRC, or mail the RMB’s for further information.
The mails from RMB’s announcing new members are one of the most interesting kinds “pulse” for the project – who’s doing what, where. So I’d like to thank the folks who have lead the RMB’s over the past cycle, and say again how much I appreciate their work!