Improving Community ‘Getting Involved’ Documentation

For quite some time now we have had some information about how to join the Ubuntu community at www.ubuntu.com/community. This documentation has traditionally been pretty limited, doesn’t really help get people started effectively, and doesn’t represent the humanity and personal nature of being part of the Ubuntu community.

We want to change that in this cycle.

At UDS we had a great discussion about solving this problem. The challenge that we were faced with in refreshing this content is that the Canonical web team own these pages and have limited bandwidth for incorporating changes and improvements. As such we agreed to transition this content to a site where we can more readily make improvements and updates.

This week I asked Michael Hall to deploy WordPress (which we agreed at UDS as our platform) with the Ubuntu theme to CanoniStack. Today we had a discussion to flesh out the information architecture for the site (largely inspired by the current IA). We are now in a position where we have the skeleton of the site and we want to produce some awesome content tuned to the needs of new community members, as well as other content for our entire community (such as information about governance and the code of conduct).

To get this content in shape we have created a series of pages on pad.ubuntu.com for each page of content and we are transferring our existing content to these pages. We as a community can then collaborate on these pages and ensure they are crisp, concise, and provide all the information we need. When these pages are complete we can then transition them to the WordPress instance. When the content is there we will then ask the Canonical IS team to deploy it.

Help Us! Join the Docs Jam!

To get this content in shape, on Thursday 13th Dec 2012 we are going to be holding a documentation jam to work together and get this content refined and finalized. This is how it works:

  • You can see the list of pages and the links to the pads by clicking here.
  • We will spend the day working on the content, refining and improving it and ensuring there are no typos.
  • All the content should be writting using Markdown format; this makes it simple to write and merge into the WordPress site. For how to format your content with Markdown, see this guide.
  • We will coordinate this work in the #ubuntu-doc channel.

The day after we will then move the completed content over to the WordPress site and finalize any stylistic changes. We should then be in good shape to get things moved over to production.

We are looking to our wider community to help us get this content rock solid. If you have a few hours (or longer) to help with this effort, please join us in #ubuntu-doc on Thursday 13th Dec 2013!