I am hoping for more feedback, and I don’t like to interject constantly while receiving feedback, because it can come across as nitpicky. I do hope that we can improve things, but licensing (among other things) remains a substantial issue.
I’ll use you as a volunteer for nitpicking, because you gave very concrete suggestions.
“Please submit your Creative Commons-licensed music to the Ubuntu Wallpaper Contest” is problematic. The Free Culture Showcase is more than just wallpapers, and it would be counterproductive to limit the name during the 18.04 LTS cycle.
Each category can be branded in more specific ways, but it doesn’t make any sense to call a video or music contest a wallpaper contest.
This is a fantastic idea, and that is why I have been doing exactly that. But each media outlet must decide for themselves whether or not it is newsworthy or relevant for them. Certain photography groups have promoted the wallpaper contest in certain cycles and not others. Some Ubuntu blogs have a specific policy to not report on community events, and I have honored those decisions when the became clear by no longer submitting to them.
Interested Ubuntu community members can certainly contribute by submitting the contest to various photographic, video, and musical communities as opportunities for exposure. This is probably one of the best ways that non-artists can directly contribute.
This is a definite area in need of improvement, and I think a longer submission period will afford better opportunities to do so without spamming resources every week.
As for updating the rules and criteria, that’s something I think will be useful. When I took over the contest from Iain, I felt I needed to keep the same structure. One of the biggest barriers to Ubuntu (or any Free culture) submission is feeling empowered to make changes. It’s funny, because I regularly tell others about this, but I still didn’t feel confident to make unilateral changes.
It’s clear from others that since I’m organizing things, I am empowered to make necessary changes. So I’ll be looking at the FCS wiki page again, although ironically since we want video and audio submissions for the LTS cycle, this increases complexity. So I’ll be looking at getting down to the essence of things.
This was not suggested to me until after the submissions had begun, and confirmation didn’t come until after the submission period had ended. It seemed to me that it was more valuable to make this change then to not solicit their feedback because it hadn’t been announced. And that’s the difficult balancing point between transparency and the ability to seize opportunities as they come up.
I agree. The Ubuntu Design team pools together and jointly returns one slate of recommendations.
I agree, and that’s why I do just that, and link to the results on various places such as the Flickr photo pool. I have some control over /r/Ubuntu, which is why that becomes a pinned topic. Other places are out of my control and can only have links submitted to them.
This cycle, due to an enormous number of other changes and news items swirling around Ubuntu 17.10, I deemed it better to add the Free Culture Showcase to the launch announcements in a staggered fashion. It will probably work out better to announce winners before the 18.04 LTS release as is usual. The announcement had to wait until the wallpapers were packaged, however, which contributed to the announcement timing.
I agree–I love the suggestion, but there is no technical way to accomplish this at the moment. So what would really help are suggestions that could lead to supplementing or replacing Flickr for wallpapers, and we also need to worry about song and video submissions as well. Time is very limited after the submission window closes, so the more we can address particular requirements during media submission, the more likely we can make dramatic changes.
As for publicity, I do the best I can but I still depend on the broader community to help spread the word as far and wide as possible.
Your post was a great example of specific ideas for improvement. In fact, most of those ideas are already implemented with varying degrees of success. But bullet point concepts and further explanations for why the suggester thinks they would be useful is one of the best ways to contribute. In addition, others can feel free to take those suggestions and provide ideas for how to implement them.
I hope to hear even more suggestions over the next month as I evaluate what improvements can be made for 18.04 and which can be made for future cycles. At the moment, I’m still in listening mode.