With the October 20th Ubuntu Americas Membership meeting in the rear-view mirror I cannot help thinking about what Ubuntu Membership really means for me and the other contributors who were accepted as members of the Ubuntu Community.
For me membership was somewhat of a nod or thumbs up from fellow contributors that I have made the good sustainable contributions that benefit the community as a whole. At the same time I feel strongly that non-members play an extremely important role in contributing to the Ubuntu Community and although they have not gone through the official process for membership they still are valuable just as much as a member.
I was actually disheartened prior to the Americas Membership meeting when I sought out advice on my application from another member who suggested that I remove all endorsements from non-members suggesting that they might hurt my chances of becoming a member or even cause the RMB to frown.
In the end I decided to go against that advice because I felt that regardless of a person’s membership standing that their endorsement should be recognized and hold the same weight. There are many people who see little value in applying for membership when they can contribute to the bigger picture (Ubuntu Community) without an application process or vouching.
Although I do realize some people’s concern over the formality of applying for membership I think that having your contributions acknowledged at the same time can bring value to you in a variety of ways. Some people may cite their contributions when applying for a job and at the same time Ubuntu Members do have some incentives like being able to vote and nominate people to the Community Council and I hear the process of applying for UDS sponsorship may be somewhat more effective.
In the end all contributors are doing excellent work and that is what matters most whether you are a documentation, bug squad, developer or art work contributor or even a Ubuntu LoCo leader.