For some time already, it has been evident that #ubuntu-server needs more operators. If you are interested in joining our great team of operators, please see this wiki page for instructions and apply no later than August 5th.

Also have a look at this old post which I wrote a while ago but still has some relevant advice.

Thanks for your sacrifice :)

We need more operators in #ubuntu and #ubuntu-offtopic. If you are interested in joining our great team of operators, please see https://wiki.ubuntu.com/IRC/IrcTeam/OperatorRequirements and apply no later than Saturday the 14th of this month.

Also have a look at http://www.siltala.net/2010/03/24/ops-teams-applications-announcement/ which I wrote a while ago but is still relevant.

Two seats are becoming available in the IRC Council, so we reached out for nominees to serve on the Council. The nomination period has ended,
but the IRCC and the Community Council are unhappy with the low number of nominees. We need more nominees, and are therefore now extending the nominations period until Friday, 2010-12-03, 23:59 UTC.

If you considered nominating yourself for an IRC Council position during the nomination period but decided against it, please reconsider. If you did not think about nominating yourself, please do so now. The election process is described on the wiki.

Here’s your chance to ensure smooth IRC governance and improve it!

Our shiny new Launchpad-ified IRC Teams are now ready to take membership applications. This means that if you want to contribute to Ubuntu by acting as an operator on those Ubuntu IRC channels that you are active on, you can simply say so on Launchpad!

Well, it isn’t really quite that simple, but we do now have a process through which anyone can express their interest in contributing through operator work. Previously our recruitment toolkit has been more primitive and consisted of blackmail, bribery and coercion – in other words, when there was pressure to grow the operator team, we simply begged people to join.

So if you’re active on our IRC channels and you think your channel has too few operators, and if you’ve been aching to help, you should consider applying for membership! You might get your chance if

  • You are great at resolving conflicts
  • You are very patient. Superhuman nerve control is a basic IRC operator feature
  • You can take criticism
  • You are happy when helping and advising others
  • In addition to the Code of Conduct and our IRC Guidelines, you are happy to adhere to some additional guidelines :)

In general, please do not consider becoming an operator because it could be “fun”. It is not, it’s hard work. However, it is often quite rewarding, and you get to operate with a great team of people. You don’t need to be an IRC guru, but you do need to know enough to be able to learn more.

Please be aware that *many* applicants will not become operators for various reasons. This will not necessarily be because we think you would make a bad operator. Only a limited number of operators are ever needed, some timezones are better covered already than others, and so on.

If you feel that you could be a good addition to the IRC Team, please head on to Launchpad and apply to the team corresponding to the channels you want to help in, and create a Wiki page where you explain why you want to join and why you would be a good operator. Think of the wiki page as your resume. Gather testimonials from other people who know you and believe you qualify. Think of those as your references.

Before you do any of the above, be sure to study the official requirements and application process, to ensure everything is well with your application and it will be considered whenever new operators are needed.

Edited on 2011-07-29: fix grammar in order to make more sense.

The IRC Council meetings have public meeting minutes of course, but some of our practical work is never discussed in these public meetings and tends to go unnoticed. Some of this boring behind-the-scenes mundane work has implications to users and operators on our channels, and I decided to write about it here.

So, what has been going on outside the spotlight?

Wiki reorganization

One of the janitorial jobs we’ve done is the reorganization of our IRC related wiki pages. Wikis by nature evolve organically, pages being created by many people over time, and they end up being largely unorganized. So we moved all pages to an old fashioned, boring hierarchy under a common IRC/ name space, and the result is something like this:

IRC/Bots
IRC/Cloaks
IRC/Guidelines

IRC/IrcTeam/
IRC/IrcTeam/Scope

IRC/IrcCouncil
IRC/IRCCouncil/MeetingAgenda

You get the idea. All old pages redirect to the new pages, so we can hope we did not break any of your old links and bookmarks. If something is broken, you can report it, or even better, fix it! It is a wiki after all :)

We have updated several core documents, most notably the operator guidelines and the description of the IRC Council itself. We also created a calendar that will nag us periodically to review all wiki pages, one at a time, to make sure they don’t become too out of date.

Operator teams on Launchpad

Ubuntu’s IRC universe has become very, very large and keeps growing, and so has the need for operators. We can’t possibly know all the potentially awesome individuals who would make great operators, so there’s a need to define a better process to nominate operators than simply giving access to friends that we know will do a good job.

Terence did a terrific job at converting the access lists on our channels into Launchpad team memberships. This makes managing them much easier for everyone. It also makes it possible for people to offer help easier: they will be able to apply for team memberships as a way to announce their willingness to serve as an operator. We will soon have this new process in effect, and it is documented on the wiki already.

IRC Council access in channels

The Council should now have access to all core channels for easy maintenance. Additionally, we strongly recommend adding the UbuntuIrcCouncil and the freenode staff cloaks into your LoCo channel’s access list, so that they may intervene in case of serious disruptions on your channel while your operators are asleep or attending a release party. This is documented in the wiki page for channel creation. When creating channels, make extra sure to have a good read of the document, to ensure your channels fit nicely in the #ubuntu-* name space.

How you can help

Is IRC not working well for you? Do you have a great improvement on your mind that will make it work even better? The IRC Team is easy to contact on #ubuntu-irc, and via e-mail. Most importantly, have fun and help to keep our IRC channels friendly and useful! :)