You Matter – 1st Annual Ubuntu Community Appreciation Day

The 1st Annual Ubuntu Community Appreciation Day is scheduled for November 20th, 2011. Mark your calendars and think about how you can let people or the whole community know they matter.

How do you tell someone “You Matter”? Many people do this everyday; it’s a polite habit to say “Thank you” to someone when they have helped you in some way, form or fashion. Or there is the opposite and minority (thank goodness) of people that feel like unless you are doing something out of the ordinary why should they tell you “thank you”, or that what you are doing is making a difference.  Why? Well, I am of the opinion that we don’t know what tomorrow brings so tell people today “You Matter” and “Thank You”.

Working (yes this includes volunteering, just because you don’t get a paycheck you can cash at a bank doesn’t mean you don’t work at something) to accomplish anything is just that—work. People need feedback, people need to know they are doing a good job, people need to know they are appreciated—In other words people need to know “They Matter”

On November 20th, 2011, you the community is being asked to remind other community members that they matter. How? As Benjamin Kerensa wrote in his blog post about this it can be through an email, a blog post, a card, a letter, a phone call, a face-to face conversation, invitation to a Google+ hangout, skype call, IRC, etc. Any way you can think to let various people in the Ubuntu Community know that they have impacted your journey and contribution to Ubuntu.

In order to help illustrate this point I wanted to give some examples of people who matter to me, those people that maybe I don’t take the time to thank often enough. Remember these are just a few, but I hope this helps you to think about how you can let people in the Ubuntu Community know “They Matter”.

Elizabeth Krumbach – The first mailing list and IRC channel I joined was the Ubuntu Women Project. I knew nothing about mailing lists and even less about IRC. I made all the rookie mistakes, I said things like “I want to ask a question?” instead of just asking the question. On mailing lists I would top post (oh the horror right?), I would even try to send and attachment through to the mailing list (stone me now – yeah I got flamed for suggesting that maybe that should be allowed). However, Lyz or pleai2 as most everyone in the community knows her as, would quietly discuss these things with me( though on rare occasions I did get the  “sigh, I give up” reaction – sorry about that!) She gave me the opportunity to interview various women in the community for the Full Circle Magazine series, and thus gave me my very first purpose, beyond learning and using Ubuntu. Lyz, you mattered then and “You Matter” now, thank you!

Mike Holstein (holstein) and Daniel Calab (internalkernel) – these two guys are on the NC LoCo team and have been a huge source of encouragement for me. Whenever I was on a tight schedule, or we just needed to get something done, these two just jump in and say, “akgraner how can we help?” and poof just like that things get done. Whether it is helping with UWN, the LoCo team, reviving the WNCLUG group, or just hanging out at Barnes and Noble to talk Ubuntu and laugh a little it all helps. They are part of the community and guys “You Matter” – thank you!

Jorge Castro – Jorge told me once when I was trying to figure what I could and couldn’t do in the community, “Amber, just do shit!” That was probably the most encouraging moment to date. Empowering isn’t it! With 4 words, backed with enthusiasm that makes the energizer bunny look like it’s running on dead batteries, he empowered me. Whenever, I felt like gripping to him, he didn’t let me have a pity party or whine he would just say, “Do it! Who said you can’t?” I admire Jorge – he is who he is, he doesn’t tell me the sky is blue when clearly it’s gray, he doesn’t blow rainbows and roses up my ass in an effort to convenience me I need to see things differently, he accepts people on their terms and for who they are, he lets people know they matter and you know what Jorge, “You Matter”.

There are those people who work tirelessly to moderate IRC channels, they matter! I don’t think I would have the patience to deal with people they way they do – Thank you all.

There are those past CC members who paved the way and laid the foundation for me to become elected to this governing body. Each one of them mattered then and they matter now.

I could talk about Jono Bacon, Mark Shuttleworth, other Canonical people including my husband. While all those people matter, I am sure people on November 20th will be thanking them for their contributions and encouragement. It’s not that I don’t think they matter, I tell them throughout each cycle thank you, I tell them they matter, but I don’t always tell other people in the community they matter.

I have so many people that I have come in contact with in the community, that have played a key role in shaping how, where, and why I continue to participate in the community. I’ll write more on November 20 about other people and the ways they have and continue to matter in not only my Ubuntu Community experience, but also in my life.

One person can make a difference, if someone in the Ubuntu Community has helped you make sure you let them know – “They Matter” – it doesn’t have to be a public thing it can be private as well. I know there are a few people that are going to get some personal letters of appreciation from me as well.

I love being part of the Ubuntu Community and each person I come in contact with matters – Thank you for giving of your time, talent, and treasures to make the community, the project, and the experience all the better not only for me but for all of us involved– “You Matter”

Remember: November 20th 2011 – 1st Annual Ubuntu Community Appreciation Day – Help spread the word and join in on celebrating our community.

More information on this event can be found at: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UCADay

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