Planet Awesome!

Recently has seen a series of polls posted by Randall Ross. While the questions are interesting and offer some insight in to what the community thinks about what should look like they fall short in truly exploring that question. Survey questions fall short because they limit feedback and frame the question.

Here are the questions so far:

  • How much *non-Ubuntu* content are you willing to tolerate on Planet Ubuntu?
  • Who should be allowed to post on Planet Ubuntu?
  • Which statement applies to you?
  • Please state how you feel about this statement: “Planet Ubuntu is a useful resource for Ubuntu information.”

What is non-Ubuntu content? Would it include the following posts?

All of these were on on October 19th, 2013 at 22:18 GMT -4. I found value in all of them. Did you? I find value from posts on for the following reasons:

  • Getting to know Ubuntu members better. (This is increasingly important since the beginning of the virtual UDS.)
  • Learning how to use open source software with Ubuntu
  • Learning about other open source software

If I wanted to just know about Ubuntu I would read OMG! Ubuntu! or Ubuntu Fridge. In my opinion is not in need of fixing beyond cleaning up the ability of expired members to post.

Yes, is Awesome!

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23 Responses to Planet Awesome!

  1. Online surveys can be self-selecting to an extent. The data should be interesting. What is done with it remains an open question.

  2. ScottK says:

    Peronsally, I agree. I’ve just been ignoring the polls on the assumption it was pretty obvious they were nonsense.

  3. +1 Planet’s were never created to be an aggregation of posts just about the open source communities they are hosted by. They are supposed to be a window into the life of the contributors.

    Quite frankly I enjoy Lyz’s posts about trains and cats as much as I like to see posts about Kubuntu from Ridell.

  4. Randall says:


    Ubuntu content is content that talks specifically about Ubuntu’s:
    Philosophy, Project, Platform, Products, Phenomenon, Paradigm, and how People make it all happen.

    “Ubuntu non-content”, is content which is not about Ubuntu. Cats and trains are in this category.😉

    Now, back to polling!


    • From Planet Ubuntu: “Planet Ubuntu is a window into the world, work and lives of Ubuntu developers and contributors.

      If you are an Ubuntu Member, and would like your blog aggregated here, please see the PlanetUbuntu wiki page.”

      Planet Ubuntu like the original Planet was not created to aggregate content of a certain nature but was created to aggregate the blogs of contributors and open a window to their lives.

      • Randall says:

        I’m not interested in why it was created. I’m interested in what it has become, and what it could become if we re-imagined it. Thus the poll.

        • Charles Profitt says:

          I am concerned with both… why it was created and what it could become. I certainly will be interested in what you conclude from your polls and how you arrive at that conclusion.

    • Charles Profitt says:


      Thanks for clarifying what you define as Ubuntu content. Unfortunately your poll did not define that. Thus, you were leaving that definition open to the reader of the question… and that could be quite broad.

      The wording of the question was also rather ‘rough’ when you used the word tolerate… that phrasing indicated a leaning towards disliking non-ubuntu content. IMHO it was a poorly designed survey question.

      • Randall says:

        You’re welcome. I’ve posted a follow-up question with the definition included. That should help bring some clarity.

        Polling is an inexact science. But, not polling is worse.😉

  5. The fact that they are being done in a series instead of all at once is also confusing. Each question will have a different set of respondents. There’s no way to make any kind of correlation between the questions.

    • Randall says:

      There are limitations, but the questions are posted in a series to make it easier for people, and also me🙂 A question here and there makes for less burden.

  6. Originally, I thought it was fine to only have Ubuntu content on the planet because in my mind, that’s what a planet is for.

    However, Charles brings up a good point on UDSs. Since there’s no longer a semi-annual meetup of people, it’s more important than ever to find alternate ways to really get to know each other.

    I just worry if more and more non-ubuntu content gets onto the planet, that ubuntu-content, which I think we’d all agree is important to have on the planet, will start to get lost in the noise.

    • “Originally, I thought it was fine to only have Ubuntu content on the planet because in my mind, that’s what a planet is for.”

      That is incorrect actually. Planet Ubuntu like the other Planet’s is created as a window into the lives of Ubuntu Contributors not to aggregate Ubuntu-only content.

      • Randall says:

        The historical reason for its creation is likely not serving the current needs of the project. Unless we’re of the opinion that the project has remained static since the inception of the Planet. Are we?

        • Charles Profitt says:

          Here lies another question… is designed to serve the community or the project? Is the community the same as the project? There is also a difference between the technical presentation of the information on vs. what content is included. I am not sure some of your questions have separated those two.

    • Randall says:

      Hi Ricardo,

      Good points!

      There are plenty of way to get to know people without physical UDS’s. Hangouts work well, and so do personal blogs.

      The best way though is to have an Ubuntu group in your town/city and meet people face-to-face.

      I concur that increasing the noise on Planet Ubuntu is problematic.

      • Charles Profitt says:


        Individual blogs, hangouts and local Ubuntu groups would never have allowed me to meet you in person. There are many people that I would not have met if it were not for the physical UDS. You can’t search for blogs created by people you do not know so having a place like to aggregate those blogs is extremely useful.

  7. Chris says:

    I like the polls. There’s nothing wrong with revisiting the usefullness and direction of software every few years. With the rise of social networks, planet software seems to be less important to me. maybe we do need to change the direction.

    • Charles Profitt says:

      I agree it is always good to evaluate the effectivness of a tool, but in this particular case the questions are poorly designed and some show a bias in their wording.

      • Randall says:

        Once completed, the collection of all questions should paint a reasonable picture, at least as a starting point for further analysis.

        Prior to this polling series, no one was asking. I take a poll, even an imperfect one, as a sign of progress😉

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