Even though the Sounder list might seem like an insignificant (and out of place) part of the community, I see this as yet another step that Canonical is taking against the very community that's made Ubuntu so successful. With the debacle that is Ubuntu's switch to Unity already polarizing users and driving many away and now the closing of a social list, it's slowly becoming obvious that Canonical is taking a step away from the happy community project that could take over the desktop and taking one towards corporatism. The community, unless it tows the corporate line, doesn't really matter to them anymore and that's truly sad since it's that very community that helped put the company where it is today.
Personally, I'm feeling more and more torn within the Ubuntu ecosystem. As a developer, I'm thrilled to see the company focus more on growing the business and making Ubuntu more suitable for business (though I'm convinced Unity will derail this effort). But as a user, I'm saddened to see that my voice is no more heard by Canonical than it is by Microsoft or Apple. I am, to them, just a user. They know what's best for us.
I fear Ubuntu is about to meet a fate worse than death: abandonment. By ignoring the community the company is risking losing the community. There are other options out there and some of them are pretty damn good. So users leaving Ubuntu to a more community focused distro (read: Debian) don't need to sacrifice anything to stay cutting edge and relevant. Gone or the days where it was Ubuntu or you might as well go back to Mac or Windows. We have choices now and I'm afraid Canonical is about to see their users start to explore those choices. The company, once the darling of the Linux world, is quickly losing the community's good will and, once that's gone, there's no turning back.
So, while the final chapter in this story is yet to be written, I fear that chapter may be nothing more than a eulogy of what could have been.
Fare thee well, Ubuntu. You will be missed.
Sent on the Sprint® Now Network from my BlackBerry®