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If you ever want to see and hear a vibrant community, check out the Twitch music streams. My husband and other friends introduced me to these vibrant spaces, that ranged from trance clubs in people’s homes, with more LED lights than you can imagine and stuffed animals from dinosaurs to space cats, to intimate piano sessions in living rooms, some of which even had kitten guest appearances! (If you can’t tell already, I like cats.) But whether there were a handful of people in the chat or hundred, the energy was the same. Lively conversations. More emoji than sense. Newcomers welcomed in and probably sent a gift subscription. But in a year where many of us lost our real life places to hang out, these not only filled a gap, but became places we still frequent, listening to tunes, chatting with now familiar faces, and making our bank wonder why we’re spending so much on Twitch each month.

The Return of UbuntuOnAir

When I started at Canonical this February, before the community team looked forward to the work ahead for our community, we looked back to some of the things that not only had been successful, but would still be successful for the Ubuntu Community 2.0. One of those things was UbuntuOnAir, which previously hosted things like Q&As, Ubuntu Hours, and lots of good, interactive stuff! This was something the rebooted community team definitely wanted to reboot. And while that may have involved, erm, remembering whose e-mail was attatched to the account and some hilarity in resetting the password, it was definitely worth the effort, and this week, we are not only having our second Desktop Indaba, but launching our first online community office hours. There’s more content planned, from classics like Ubuntu Hours and Bug Days, to new content (all of it community focused) that will include Translation Jams, chats with interesting people in the community, and talks with cool projects like Raspberry Pi.

Something Old, Something New

During my Twitch explorations, I finally did a good thing and watched the Linux Game Cast during one of their streams, and I noticed something in their chat that inspired me. One of their bots was bridging to an IRC channel! While a lot of our community has moved to newer platforms, there’s still a lot of the Ubuntu project that happens on IRC, on both the technical and community sides. And here was a Linux-focused stream that united community people from different platforms - not only IRC, but Discord as well - and let everyone join in the fun.

While the idea of setting up UbuntuOnAir on Twitch, as well as YouTube, had been a bit of a fun idea, this now made it a fun and possibly very useful idea. IRC and YouTube don’t bridge very well, but IRC and Twitch clearly did, and Twitch and YouTube can play well. If nothing else, having a presence on Twitch can help us bridge some of the oldest parts of our community to some of our newest.

We also hope being on Twitch helps bring some of that infectious excitement and energy, even if we don’t have musical LED kittens (yet). It’s a place where we can be a little more casual, where we can connect with other Ubuntu, Linux, and open-source minded streamers who are coding, scripting, creating, painting, gaming, creating, or even just chatting, and hopefully do fun things like raid their streams. It’s an exciting place to be, and we hope you join us there, either on the new UbuntuOnAir Twitch Channel or on IRC at #ubuntu-on-air on libera.chat (here is a handy web link). We might be testing in production for the first dual streams, especially since we just moved IRC networks, so bear with us while we work out any bugs! The end product, aka connecting and highlighting our community, is definitely worth the wait.

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Photo by Javier Esteban on Unsplash

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Monica Ayhens-Madon


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