Some things just don’t scale. Like say … #ubuntu. It can be frustrating for people who are looking for help during release as everyone floods this channel, everyone is overworked, there are more people that need help that can provide help, it’s a huge channel so you get a bunch of the bad things that come along with that.
I personally prefer the more personal approach, like the tighter knit communities of our Local Teams. Release time always has a bunch of buzz, and always an opportunity to reach out to new users, even if it’s the person who tried Ubuntu once in a while and then goes away. Today I was thinking that release time should really be like college day in high school. In the US, when you are in your senior year of high school you go to these fairs where Universities have booths and you go and you find out what you want to do with your life. You ask about which schools have the best programs, which ones you can afford, which ones you wish would just go away (cough U of M) and all that.
Maybe we should look at using release time as a way for Local Teams to reach out to new users. Instead of piles upon piles of people in #ubuntu maybe we should encourage people to split off into more manageable groups, have people stop by their IRC LoCo booth instead to kick the tires. Maybe us as Local Teams should also strive to take more responsibility for our local users and reach out to them actively to get involved in our channels?
I know some teams are doing this already (and have been for years), please leave a comment on how that’s working out for you. Obviously #ubuntu will always be a huge glorious mess, and watching the craziness during release week is always an excellent tradition. I am interested in reading comments about this.