More than two years ago, ubuntu-geek sent me a PM asking if I’d mind joining the staff on the Ubuntu Forums as a moderator.
It feels silly now, but my initial response was a bit cautious. I didn’t know exactly what was required, and my fear was taking on a responsibility I couldn’t fulfill completely.
With a little reassurance I decided to give it a try, and so for the past two years I’ve spent a little of my free time managing posts and threads on the forums, cleaning up after the spammers and adjudicating in arguments or disagreements, if necessary.
It was a good experience — and you should note that I said was right there. Yes, my tenure has come to a close, and at my own request.
There’s no drama to report — it’s much more boring than that. I took a real-life “promotion” of sorts a few months ago (no, no extra money ), and I’m something of a manager now, which adds a lot to my responsibilities.
And of course added responsibility means more time, more time means work encroaches on personal life, and that means volunteer tasks get forced out. It’s something I’ve seen happen elsewhere, and while I always hoped it wouldn’t happen to me, it finally did.
I don’t care to be a ghost moderator; I’d rather not count myself as a privileged member of a community I don’t regularly contribute to. That’s dishonest in my perspective.
So in short, I sent a note to matthew about a week ago, telling him I was going to bow out, and a few days ago I said goodbye to the staff. If you look at my profile page now, I’m just a regular user, albeit with a fancy “staff emeritus” badge.
There is one other reason, which I didn’t mention to the staff and I’m a little embarrassed to mention now. But if I must be honest, I feel a bit disconnected from the Ubuntu community these days.
I don’t have Ubuntu installed on any machines at this moment. I do install it occasionally, and I do still chase speed tweaks or follow Ubuntu news. And yes, I have my own exceptionally ugly rendition of Ubuntu. All those things are true.
But for day-to-day use, I find myself relying on other distributions to satisfy my needs. It’s a little sad, but the distro I cut my teeth on … isn’t the one I prefer any longer.
And that makes it hard to serve as a support resource. Even just finding the right menu option in Ubuntu is completely alien to me … because I can’t even remember the last time I used pure Ubuntu. It’s just too far removed from my immediate Linux use.
So my work responsibilities, along with knowing I’m out of my depth when it comes to helping fix Ubuntu-specific problems, convinced me to sign off.
My time on staff was excellent, and I thank everyone involved for making it a picture-perfect experience. Managing a forum with nearly a million users is no easy trick, but the +/- 30 people who donate their time to do that are doing a fantastic job. Everyone gets a gold smilie this time.
And just to be clear, I’m not planning on disappearing from the forums altogether. I anticipate I’ll always be part of that community — it’s hard to avoid it, considering just about any Linux-related Web search drops you into the middle of it — and it’s not my intent to step away. It’s just time to stop, to maintain a strong link to other parts of my Linux experience (such as this blog), and to keep powering up the old machines.
For as long as they keep powering up, that is.
Thanks to everybody I worked with in the past two years; thanks to the Ubuntu community for being one of the few shining spots in an otherwise occasionally-tarnished Internet, and thanks of course to you, whoever and wherever you are, just for stopping by and reading this far.