Earlier I mentioned an initiative started by the Ubuntu Forums Beginner Team called “The Summer of Documentation”. With the summer pretty much over with the coming of Labor Day in the United States, The results are in and they are really not as spectacular as we had hoped.
27 Wiki pages were cleaned up, expanded and brought to “standard” by 4 people. Another page is basically completed but not finished by another author, and there is still a list of pages left to complete. This list was established as an initial sweep and we had hoped to complete much much more than we have accomplished.
So what went wrong? That’s a pretty difficult question to answer. My thoughts are that the failure of the project can be “blamed” on a few different things:
- Failure to advertise and gain community support.
- Not having a good plan to get workers started
- Lack of clear cut goals and targets
- Volunteer burnout
These items are common to just about any volunteer project and many of them could have been avoided if we as a team had thought things out a little more. Since improving the Wiki is a colossal but worthwhile task, I am willing to give it another go with a little more thought and organization. I truly believe that given the large pool of potential volunteers that may be reached through the forums, using the forums as the basis for this effort is the way to go. It is also a lot easier to get exposure and coordinate the project on the forums than it would be through Launchpad or IRC.
Stay tuned for further developments as I try to get the ball rolling on the forums. I’ll need some help getting it going, as well as some folks willing to act as points of contact and mentors for the inevitable folks that say “Sure, I’d love to help but have no idea on how to contribute”.