Obviously as I’m very new to being involved in the Ubuntu community, I didn’t go to Dallas for UDS Lucid Lynx earlier this month, however, I did decide to do as much remote participation as I could. I was quite surprised and pleased by how well remote participation was set up and how well it worked. The Ubuntu Wiki page about remote participation was useful, although the best guide in terms of laying it out plainly was Laura Czajkwoski’s How to participate remotely and get your points heard. Laura did a good guide with helpful suggestions such as joining IRC channels for the sessions you want to attend a head of time.
The hardest part for me was that I was in work or commuting during most of the hours that UDS was happening. I am allowed to listen to things while at work so I set up so I could listen to the icecasts. I did my best to balance listening to the ice casts and getting my work done with occasional moments of actually saying something on IRC.
Generally I thought the integration of those participating remotely with the people physically at the sessions was good. There were some communication issues, but not many. The one that bothered me the most wasn’t even one that effected me. One of the sessions decided to turn off their mic and essentially have a closed session. However, this was not announced anywhere so someone started asking in the IRC channel for the room the session was in and in #ubuntu-uds about the mic being off. Finally someone else who’d overheard discussion in a hallway about how the session leaders wanted to have a closed session said something in #ubuntu-uds. It would have taken less than a minute for it to be announced in the IRC channel (preferably both in the channel for the room and in #ubuntu-uds).
I pretty much followed the community track since I’m not really technical and that’s where most of the discussions I was interested in were happening. Highlights for me included all of the Ubuntu Women sessions; I feel like real work and progress was made in just putting together a really concrete plan for what is needed in the next few months to get the project back on track and keep it there. While I didn’t get to pay attention as much as I’d have liked to, the Ubuntu NGO session also seemed to go well. The Community Roundtables were also good, however, I was a bit confused about why they didn’t start on Monday. To me it would have made sense to have had the first one on Monday to really give a roadmap for the week.
I know at other times I’ve had more to say about UDS that I can’t think of right now and I’m sure that another post will happen at some other point. I do want to say how much I enjoyed being able to participate remotely and how much I did feel a part of things. It definitely exceeded my expectations going in.