Today at 18:00 UTC (this evening for me) there will be a Debian Publicity Team IRC meeting (open meeting, everybody invited), and I’m very happy because it will be the first meeting that I know of, since I joined the team (years!).
Being part of the Publicity team
There are many tasks handled by Publicity, and when I joined, I supposed that I was going to be part of a team with many members and well structured. And it was true… but not as I imagined. Publicity is a great team, in the sense that it accepts contributions from many people, and the few core members do an amazing work: on one side, get things done; on the other side, integrate all those occasional contributions from the wider community. But there are fewer core contributors than what one would expect by the output of the team. I would say we are maximum 10 people (out of 353 voters, 1033 Debian Developers, and 1197 contributors in the Debian Community in 2015). And as far as I know, everybody is member of some other teams too (I’m a translator, others in website team, sysadmins, packaging teams… and now we have a member sharing Publicity membership with DPL-ship!).
Organisation around the tasks
Publicity regular tasks (announcements, the newsletter “Debian Project News”, posting in social networks and in bits.debian.org, and other…) are all well defined and documented, in order to allow anybody jump in and help, and this is great, because it ensures a way for contributions to “arrive” the wide audience from the very first day: you pick something, you follow the instructions, and you’re done. I love this approach, because I tend to prefer to follow instructions than to “create” something, and my Debian time is made of small chunks at random days/times. But sometimes I feel that we all work “alone”, in something like a cold, robotic do-ocracy, and I also wonder how many people don’t contribute or become regular contributors just because they don’t understand the procedures, or they don’t like them, or other reasons…
IRC is something that I use only for contributing to free software, not in other parts of my life. I like IRC, it’s productive and fun, but I’m not always there, and I don’t save logs when I am idle, and I usually prefer email for communication. However, I try to be more present in the Debian IRC channels of the teams where I contribute, because I’ve learned that it plays a big role in “feeling at home in Debian”. Currently you can find me in #debconf-team #debconf15-germany #debian-i18n #debian-l10n-spanish #debian-publicity #debian-women and #debian-www .
I’ve attended some meetings in IRC (MediaGoblin monthly meetings, and DebConf15 meetings) and I’ve learned about MeetBot and more or less how to chair an IRC meeting. Today it will be my first time chairing, it’s hard to emulate so great chairs as Marga or Chris Webber, bu I hope I do it decently, and we all have a nice time knowing each other and sharing ideas for the Publicity team.
Want to attend? All the details (when, where, agenda…) in the wiki page of the meeting. See you in a few hours!