What's the next best thing for Linux users who can't attend an open source community conference in person? Online workshops like last week's Ubuntu Open Week, where upwards of 300 participants per session showed up to learn more about the popular Linux distribution, the community, and its teams.
Organizers presented more than 40 events in a dedicated IRC channel over the course of six days. Session leaders spoke to the group in the "Ubuntu classroom" while a second channel was devoted to collecting questions from the group. This kept the learning channel free of chatter and allowed the speaker to proceed without interruption. As each presentation progressed, the moderator in the chatter-channel relayed questions to the speaker, who answered as many as time in the hour-long sessions permitted. At the end of each session the presentation was logged, and all workshops are now available for review on the Ubuntu Open Week wiki.