Call for Contributors to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter

Many years ago I did consider doing a weekly audio version of the UWN. The problem is it needs reformatting because it doesn’t come over in audio format very well. Lots of version numbers and URLS which aren’t good in the ear-holes. A 5-10 minute summary of the most interesting parts might be worthwhile though. What do you think?


The API key system in discord seems a bit brutal. I can enable it, and we get a single API key, not one per use/person. I am not sure what the scope of that API key is. Can it only be used to query the site, or does it provide write access? If you have found some docs which detail what that key gives access to, I’d love to see it.

Except the author is biased and doesn’t objectively present the information, doesn’t always write about Ubuntu, and is out to make money. I’d like to promote fair, unbiased, factual, and actually useful information instead of whatever OMG! Ubuntu! decides will make them the most money (promoting useless GTK themes for the millionth time in a row instead of showcasing actually cool things within Ubuntu…).

So I wholly reject the idea. UWN is better than that…

But you link to ALL the insight stuff from Canonical which is ALL biased - just so long as we all know :wink:

I used to read UWN some time ago, like 3 or 4 years back, but now it’s really just a list of ‘stuff’ - I can pick my ‘stuff’ without subscribing to zealotry - and I would suspect lots of others do that too.

And I know the preponderance of Canonical ‘stuff’ has led to people wandering off despondent.

I do like to see people being positive - but unfortunately the party line appears to be somewhat let’s all ignore the people complaining - they don’t know what they’re talking about.

Which is really sad.


At least the insight blogs accurately report information about something Ubuntu or Canonical related (unlike OMG which claims to be an Ubuntu site but doesn’t post much about Ubuntu any more)…

Someone can do that, and I respect that, but for people who want a nice weekly summary, it works well.


We add Canonical stuff yes, but we do mark it as such and its only ever listed (ie. without summaries). If I grab an article from Planet.Ubuntu I spend some effort deciding if it’s a personal piece (a personal blog is often a clue) or a company-voice (eg. Canonical) before deciding where in the UWN it belongs. Effort is spent to highlight corporate voice stuff in UWN so at least readers know its source. The only time a Canonical voice is given more than a list-entry (eg. a summary) if we think its more useful with one.

Yes UWN is also mostly a list in recent months, but this is the reason for the ‘call’. I wrote summaries for two+ years and don’t want to spend 9+ hours a week on it, so have concentrated on making the list as complete as possible hoping others would ‘write summaries’…

I mostly disagree here. No one is without bias so expect a pure product free from anyone is impossible. I like OMG and think the opinions in it are pretty easy to detect. UWN I agree attempts to present without bias, but even we can’t achieve bias-free text no matter how much we try (not chasing $s probably helps a lot :slight_smile: )

who wants that? that’s just regurgitatuion …

I want to read about people thinking outside the box …

or I did once, now I get my linux news elsewhere - point

That’s why UWN has different sections and this is bullet pointed while the articles that have unique, non-Canonical content (typically the Planet) have summaries.

I agree that it might be a bit of a regurgitation but it can save time for people who want to know what these articles are about but either don’t have the time or aren’t interested in reading the full article.

check the bullet points from and point to not Canonical (either directly or staff) then give us the % …

I totally applaud the effort - but I disagree that UWN is now nothing more than really just another Canonical mouthpiece.

Which is sad.

I’d join in, but after 10 years kicking about I don’t really care about anything but where I’ve finished up and the almost inevitable - exhausted, despondent, waiting for the ‘I sold it - have funs kids’ day.

Good luck to you.

You have a point, but a lot of Canonical employees also do stuff in the Ubuntu Community that community contributors could also be doing.

I’ll respectfully disagree with you, I think it’s one of the less Canonical-controlled things in Ubuntu, but thank you for participating in the discussion. :wink:

Moving on from this, right now I’m getting everything prepped to send out to summary writers and I’ll send an update here when it’s ready.

Neither myself nor Simon are Canonical staff, nor have we ever been. (I’m not even a Ubuntu member)

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Time for summary writing! Here is the link to the Google Doc, which we’ll use for this week. The style guide is linked on the Doc, but let me know if you have any questions.

Why do things from Deoimedo never get mentioned - is that because they are often less than complementary? Or am I the only one to read them?

I’ve been around for a long long time - UWN is now just a mouthpiece for Canonical. While I applaud the effort, you give people who think no real reason to read it.


Sorry - would look, but don’t do google docs. Try making it something else.

since #502 selection of articles was mostly me. The wiki provides a list of web sites searched which includes deoimedo’s, however just because we/I see an article mentioning or even about Ubuntu - an attempt to try & include only articles with decent detail, good writing, actual news content & other criteria found at I keep a listing of articles I see during the week, and if two articles contain the same content/facts I use the oldest (first written, or first I see if same date). I comment my thoughts for editors (mostly Simon since #501) who’d make decisions especially where multiple articles contain the same info (who wants to read two articles that say the same?). Before #500 the [blog/pres] list was managed by Lyz (or Paul) though I was adding planet since #487.

Anyone can suggest links, and has always been able to. For example a recent request for FOSDEM 2018 is FOSS heavy but is it Ubuntu specific as UWN tries to be? In the end a decision has to be made …

addition: I just read another Deoimedo article and remembered this question: date of authorship is hard to find; instead listing “updated [date]”. a lot of sites ‘update’ instead of re-write articles; and if i WAS unsure of any date I just ignored them (if the news was in another more-clearly dated article). this is more specific for Deoimedo if you’re interested. I only added blogosphere articles from 502-522 anyway. being date (or week) specific is a key selection criteria for uWn.

I’m no longer an active member of the community I just use Ubuntu and Xubuntu to do whatever I need my laptop(s) to do. However, I contributed to over 150 issues of UWN between 2013 and 2017, mostly credited but a few anonymously where I thought my contributions were too trivial for a credit.

There have been many changes to the newsletter over that time but the most consistent problem has been the acute lack of contributors. Despite there being a short list of contributors at the end of each issue I can assure everyone that most issues of the past couple of years have been put together by just one or two people, one to find articles and write summaries, the other to edit and publish. Others have helped out on a casual basis to write article summaries but simply disappear after a few issues for reasons only known to themselves.

Anyone with an RSS Feed Reader can glean more Ubuntu news than they care to read and at a time convenient to themselves rather than having to wait for UWN to appear on Monday night or Tuesday morning. Apart from items initially posted to the official Ubuntu mailing lists, that’s how most of the articles selected for inclusion in UWN are found anyway!

As other prominent teams are now issuing their own newsletters should UWN now focus on the community and its users and be renamed the “Ubuntu Users [or Community] Weekly Newsletter”?

You think that way because you’ve stuck around and care about the project as do I but with little feedback from casual contributors and readers you have a point. If the very small number of entries to the quiz, held to celebrate issue #500, is indicative of the number of readers then it makes you wonder just how many people are still reading? However, there is an archive of past newsletters which is a useful resource of information relating to the progress of Ubuntu over the years.

Back in 2014 or 2015 I compiled a spreadsheet, for my own use, of people’s involvement in UWN on an issue by issue basis. Apart from a few regular contributors most summary writers stayed for one or two issues and then disappeared without a trace. They never gave a reason for their leaving and few came back. Some of those [summary writers] were very good and were missed when they left. Many more expressed an interest in contributing but never did. Not once!

Agreed. A decision was made to bullet-point sections such as “Canonical News” as the newsletter was starting to look like the “Canonical Weekly Newsletter” but at times of sparse participation other sections got bullet-pointed too. With a tight schedule at weekends there is little else that the editor/publisher can do.

In the main, “bullet-pointing” indicates a failure to produce what the team initially set out to do back in 2006. If it’s not worth summarising perhaps it should not be included?

Google Docs is open to everyone, even to those without a Google account. Other options may not be as open to everyone without “logging in” or users meeting certain criteria.

Hopefully readers to this thread will now have a better understanding of why we are where we are with the newsletter. However, a few points in closing:

  • Summary writers and editors should be kept informed at times when issues are skipped due to a lack of content.
  • There should have been more discussion amongst team members about content and processes especially in the weeks leading up to issue #500. Issues since then have suffered as a result.
  • Implement a contributors mailing list to keep everyone informed of any changes.
  • Documented production schedules need to be adhered to so everyone knows what is happening and when.
  • Jobs should be shared and completed by all established team members. Share the load, responsibilty and skills.

Good luck.


Considering (un)biased people, would you give this link in UWN as an unbiased review on Ubuntu 17.10?

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As an interested former contributor to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, what is the official position regarding its future? Is it likely to return? And under whose leadership?

@tsimonq2, any comment, six months after the last release of UWN ? :roll_eyes:

@tsimonq2, any comment, six months after the last release of UWN ?


I’m Interested, I would like to participate