Apr 142016

The Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter is a newsletter for the Ubuntu community news.
It includes articles about big news and LoCo news, the Planet, Ubuntu Cloud and Phone news, Canonical news, Featured Audio and Video, and general blogs not usually on the Planet.
It also contains bug stats, updates, and security notices from the past week.

I’ve been contributing to UWN since issue 440 in late October.
I’ve mainly just written summaries and collected links for the majority of my contributions, but I’ve also helped release issues 459, 460, and 461.
It’s been a lot of fun, and this has to be one of the easiest forms of contribution there is.
You can learn a lot about the community just by doing summaries, as it forces you to take in information that you may have not known before.
Maybe you learn a bit about LXD?
How about Juju?
If you do summaries frequently enough, this is a perfect way to start contributing to Ubuntu as it gives you insight as to where to go next.

I usually work with Elizabeth K. Joseph every week with tasks such as summary writing and making sure releases go smoothly.
She does great work for the team, and has helped me get to where I am today with UWN.
Elizabeth is usually the one sending the emails out to the summary writers and editors, and she has helped me release.
Below is the usual workflow of the release each week, with notes where you can contribute if you wish.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask on #ubuntu-news (instructions below), we are here to help you. ☺

Here is the usual workflow:

Monday through Thursday (sometimes early Friday):

Articles are added to our Google document.
If you would like to help with this, please read the LinkSuggestions page.
I would also look at the currently released newsletter to see what kind of links are posted, to get a general idea about whether or not the link you want to add is acceptable.
You can add links, but please do not remove links unless you get approval from #ubuntu-news (unless of course you put it there a moment ago).

Friday afternoon:

The person publishing (or usually Elizabeth) will look over the articles to ensure quality, rearranges them, and makes it ready to send out to the summary writers.
We don’t need any help here, as it’s just housekeeping, and it has no documentation, as it is the person’s best judgement, based on their qualitative experience with the newsletter.
This person will then send out an email to a list of summary writers to complete summaries.

Friday afternoon through Sunday afternoon:

Summary writers write summaries for the articles.
We always need help here, so if you would like to contribute to UWN, this is probably the most useful way.
What happens is some people end up having to do all of the summaries, and that has burned out a lot of people, not to mention the fact that it’s time consuming for them.
So the more help we get here, the better, but if all of the summaries are done, don’t be discouraged, come back next week or the week after.
There’s always a time that we need summaries.
If you would like to write summaries, please read the StyleGuidelines page first and keep it handy, at least for your first few summaries.
What you are doing is reading the article and writing a summary for that article in plain English.
One major point to make, make your summary objective and obvious.
No cliff-hangers, as the point is to summarize the article, not to make people read it (that’s their own decision, not our objective ☺).
Your first few summaries will always be the hardest, but after you write a few, it’s easy.
When in doubt, don’t hesitate to ask on #ubuntu-news (instructions below), we are here to help you. ☺

If you would like to become a summary writer and get emailed every week when it’s time to write summaries, subscribe to the ubuntu-news-team mailing list, then contact the editors at editor DOT ubuntu DOT news AT ubuntu DOT com.

Sometimes additional articles will be added at this time that are important and just got released.
Only the editor should do this, as the summary-writers are hard at work and we don’t want people adding random articles.
This is just to keep the newsletter in a manageable state. ☺

Sunday afternoon (usually):

The person publishing (or usually Elizabeth) will review the summaries, proofread and edit what’s needed, then copy it over to the wiki page for the next release.
They will then send out an email to a list of editors that will then edit the wiki page and proofread for mistakes.
These people should be extremely critical about making sure to follow the StyleGuidelines page and general grammar rules.

If you would like to become an editor, I would recommend that you are extremely fluent in English, you have contributed summaries to UWN that haven’t needed any non-trivial modifications, and you have a keen eye for spotting mistakes.
I’m 14, so I don’t necessarily meet this threshold yet (but I’m getting there 😉), but these seem to be the right recommendations in my eyes.

If you would like to become an editor and get emailed every week when it’s time to edit, subscribe to the ubuntu-news-team mailing list, then contact the editors at editor DOT ubuntu DOT news AT ubuntu DOT com.


The newsletter gets published on this day.
I’ve released a couple times, and it’s a fairly complex process.
On the EditingPolicies page, the publisher has to do steps 12 through 28 on Monday.
It’s fairly nerve-racking, as the publisher sends it out to a lot of people.
We don’t need help here, this is already covered by several people, and we would prefer that you help out by writing summaries, collecting links, or editing. ☺

That wraps up our process.
To ask questions on #ubuntu-news (on freenode IRC), if you don’t have an IRC client, if you are on my website reading this, I have embedded an IRC client that you can use to communicate to the channel.
Optionally type in a username and press Start, and you should be able to talk to us. That’s all it takes. ☺

I hope this article was useful, and I hope to see you around! ☺

If you have questions/comments/concerns/suggestions about this article, my email is tsimonq2@ubuntu.com or I am tsimonq2 on Freenode (PMs and pings welcome).

Simon Quigley: Contributing to Ubuntu – 1 – Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter
Source: Planet Ubuntu