I’m pleased to report (although a bit earlier than anticipated, on which more later) that the Linux Foundation has acquired the Linux.com URL, and will be hosting a new community site at that address. Needless to say, it’s the premier address to have on the FOSS highway, and we’re delighted to be standing up a new site at that location soon.
Those of you that are long time Linux.com visitors know that late last year SourceForge, the owner of Linux.com, quit posting new content at what had for years been one of the most visited Linux sites on the Web, posting only a cryptic message or two to explain what was going on. Soon, that dearth of content state of affairs will reverse, as we dedicate LF resources to relaunching the site, which is scheduled to occur in a couple of months. Until then, your content contributions will be most welcome, thank you (more on that below as well).
So what’s the deal with all the parentheticals?
The back story is that the announcement of the transfer was not planned to occur just yet, with the rebuild efforts still in process. As it happens, though, Steven J. Vaughn-Nichols sleuthed the transfer out and posted a story to that effect earlier today. As a result, the Foundation issued a press release (also reproduced n full at the end of this blog entry), and stood up a placeholder page at the Linux.com address in place of the inactive pages that have displayed there for some time.
But if you give that placeholder a read, you’ll see that it’s a placeholder with an “Idea Forge” invitation link to offer your own ideas about how we can make the new Linux.com insanely great. As you’ll see, the ideas are already flowing fast.
Which is just great, because we have big plans for the Linux.com site. You can get a peak behind the curtain by reading the press release that LF issued a few hours ago, which is reproduced in full at the end of this blog entry. As you’ll see, SourceForge will remain involved as the ad sales agent for a new site that will be quite different from the old. Or, as the press release states it:
The big question: are we really making this a community-driven site?
Yes, yes we are. And more.
I don’t want to go into specifics yet, because we’re still finalizing the plans for Linux.com. This is often in twice-daily meetings–but the cool kind where usually someone utters "hey, wouldn’t it be cool if we did this?" and the response is almost always positive. To help spark more great ideas at Ideaforge (thanks for those submitted already), I wanted to give a general impression of what sort of tools and information we want to have on Linux.com.
The idea is that simple: if people want to know about Linux–how to use it, where to get it, what applications to run on it, which hardware runs with it–then we want to have that information on Linux.com. Until now, Linux.com has been the host of a great news and features site, but we’re planning to step beyond that and offer up-to-date tutorials, documentation, and features for every part of the Linux ecosphere.
This distinction should be made clear: Linux.com will no longer be a "traditional" online media outlet. While we may offer our take on major news events from time to time, the main goal of the site will be providing information for all Linux users. Someone who wants to write a quick howto on how to get Skype running on a particular distro might not get the chance on a media site. But on Linux.com, we want it, because that’s what our readers will want.
The distinction goes deep: while I will be managing the day-to-day operations of Linux.com, I will not be the "Editor" of the site. My job title will be Community Manager, just as it is on the Linux Development Network and the LF Video site. This is not fancy wordplay. Community is a huge part of what will drive Linux.com forward. It is easy to envision us collecting and displaying this massive repository of howtos and features–because we will. But Linux.com will have much more to offer.
The Linux.com community will be given tools to help foster Linux advocacy and increase communication amongst other community members. As my boss said in her latest blog entry, the Linux community is hardly shy about letting their ideas be known. What we want to do is open up new avenues of communication. Forums are good, but how about other social networking tools, similar to Identi.ca, Pligg, or Facebook, that enable community members to connect with each other in new ways?
So don’t look for Linux.com to be what you’ve been used to seeing at that address in the past. Instead, look for a new and impressive range of tools, services and identity that is informed by, and able to leverage off of, the unparalleled resources, inside smarts and unique field position of the Linux Foundation.
More about that later as well, but this time you’ll need to wait for the announcement.
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Linux Foundation to Build New
SourceForge and Linux Foundation partner to facilitate online community collaboration
SAN FRANCISCO and MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., March 3, 2009 – The Linux Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of Linux, and SourceForge, a leader in community-driven media and e-commerce, (NASDAQ: LNUX) today announced that the Linux Foundation will be the new host for Linux.com, taking over the editorial and community stewardship for the site. The two companies will collaborate to create a vibrant and long-lasting community destination for Linux users and developers.
Effective today, the Linux.com domain, which saw 21% growth in traffic in 2008, will be transferred to the Linux Foundation. SourceForge will support the Linux Foundation by continuing to sell the advertising for Linux.com.
The new Linux.com site will transform in the months ahead from solely being a news source to a collaborative site that will be “for the community, by the community.” Much like Linux itself, Linux.com will rely on the community to create and drive the content and conversation. While the Linux Foundation will host the collaboration forum, the site will feature the real Linux experts – users and developers – and give them the tools needed to connect with each other and with Linux. Linux.com will also extend the Linux Foundation’s existing content and community programs available on www.linuxfoundation.org. Linux.com will provide crucial content, tools and community services to galvanize the power of this group. It will also showcase information for business users of Linux.
“We are thrilled to add Linux.com to our list of programs in service to the Linux community,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation. “SourceForge is demonstrating its commitment to the Linux and open source community with this arrangement. We look forward to showcasing the power of collaboration through Linux.com and our on-going alliance with SourceForge. We intend for Linux.com to be the central forum for Linux information, community and collaboration.”
“For SourceForge, this is both an opportunity to continue serving the Linux community and to represent the Linux Foundation with our company’s media expertise, said Jon Sobel, group president, media at SourceForge. “We appreciate that, on the modern web, doing both things well is a hallmark of good companies, and we look forward to jointly supporting a successful effort for the community.”
Linux Foundation Solicits Community Input for Site
The Linux Foundation is currently working on a new beta version of the site that it will release in a few months. Starting today, it is launching an “IdeaForge” designed to gather opinions and ideas from the Linux user community on the future direction of the site. Users can give feedback today at Linux.com by logging into IdeaForge. Existing forums and content will be made available so as not to disturb existing users of the site.
SourceForge’s media and e-commerce web sites connect millions of influential technology professionals and enthusiasts each day. Combining user-developed content, online marketplaces and e-commerce, SourceForge is the global technology community’s nexus for information exchange, goods for geeks, and open source software distribution and services. SourceForge’s network of web sites serves 35 million unique visitors each month* and includes: SourceForge.net, Slashdot, ThinkGeek, and freshmeat.net. For more information or to view the media kit online, visit www.sourceforge.com. (*Source: Google Analytics and Omniture, January 2009.)
SourceForge, SourceForge.net, Slashdot, freshmeat, and ThinkGeek are registered trademarks of SourceForge, Inc. in the United States and other countries. All other trademarks or product names are the property of their respective owners.
About the Linux Foundation
The Linux Foundation is a nonprofit consortium dedicated to fostering the growth of Linux. Founded in 2007, the Linux Foundation sponsors the work of Linux creator Linus Torvalds and is supported by leading Linux and open source companies and developers from around the world. The Linux Foundation promotes, protects and standardizes Linux by providing unified resources and services needed for open source to successfully compete with closed platforms. For more information, please visit www.linuxfoundation.org.
Trademarks: The Linux Foundation and Linux Standard Base are trademarks of The Linux Foundation. Linux is a trademark of Linus Torvalds. Third party marks and brands are the property of their respective holders.