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Why don't we offer Ubuntu membership for helpful members here with good bounties?? Like they do in www.ubuntuforums.org with a new membership icon and an email ID?

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It sounds like you're confusing two things — or at the very least the two are tangled in your question:

  1. Ubuntu membership is open to all. Anybody can apply for it and their work here on Ask Ubuntu can contribute towards that membership application (speaking as an Ubuntu Member who got through almost wholly on his AU work).

    We don't offer membership because we do not have a community council just for us. IRC and UF both have their own councils with which to create members. AU users step through the traditional regional membership boards.

    To pre-empt why don't we have a council?, I think there are three main reasons:

    • Moderatorship and Council member election work completely differently. Moderatordom is permanent (until you die or give it up) while community councils need to be regularly re-elected, with open nominations.

      In short, there could easily be a conflict between the two groups.

    • It's more work its members. CCs are supposed to resolve conflicts, they need to hold regular meetings and in the case of sub-boards (as we would be), we would need to report to a higher board once a month. Assuming this would be moderator lead (at least to begin with), we'd just be wrapping what we already do in a ton more red tape.

    • Do we even need it?

      • For the purpose of becoming a member, you can go through the standard channels.
      • For resolving a dispute you can either come to meta, or if it's deeply personal with one moderator you can go to the Ubuntu Community Council or Stack Exchange. We moderators are already accountable to both groups.
      • For anything else (planning, whatnot) you can just use meta to discuss it.
  2. We don't display membership slang next to users because the only thing that gets displayed next to the username is the post date and their reputation data. That's internal to Stack Exchange and that won't change.

    Ubuntu members are more than free to advertise their membership on their profile.

  • 3
    Just a note. The IRC users and the forums members do have their own separate channel for obtaining the membership.. IRC counciland the forums council. – jokerdino Sep 17 '12 at 10:41
  • @jokerdino hmm that's an interesting point. I was trying to find those pages last night when I was writing this (but clearly failed so assumed the opposite). – Oli Sep 17 '12 at 10:53
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Don't we? Don't you have to apply for an Ubuntu membership, telling about how you've contributed?

See details here about Ubuntu membership. (This question might also help, as well as this meta question.)

I think users who have contributed extensively on Ask Ubuntu, even if they aren't significantly active anywhere else in the Ubuntu community, surely would be eligible for Ubuntu membership.

However, I should add that usually membership is granted based on contribution in multiple areas (see Marco Ceppi's meta answer explaining this).

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    They are eligible, lots of people here have gotten Ubuntu membership via AU contributions, including all the moderators! – Jorge Castro Sep 16 '12 at 18:42
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Small answer, but...

As Oli and other pointed out, Ubuntu Membership is unrelated to Ask Ubuntu. However, in your application for Ubuntu Membership, activities here can be used as part of the "I'm contributing" proof, as contributions here still technically count towards supporting the Ubuntu community. There's just no Ask Ubuntu specific membership track, you apply through one of the regional boards is all.

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