13 May 2009

Linux.com Gets Community Religion

It's widely accepted that one of the core engines driving the success of free software is the central role the community has there, be it the community of coders or the community of users. The power of the community, even outside the world of software, is demonstrated by the 200 million+ users of Facebook, and the steep ascent of Twitter, not to mention the hundreds of other social networking sites.

So it's deeply ironic that the free software world has no central point where that community can come together, albeit virtually. That lack has been remedied now, at least to a certain extent, with the unveiling of the new Linux.com site. This has been revamped, and now places the concept of Community at its heart. Other sections include News, DistributionCentral, Learn and Directory. Everything's pretty adumbratory at the moment, but that's to be expected.

Two things strike me as particularly good omens. One is that emphasis on community, and the other is the ambition: Linux.com obviously wants to become the first place people should turn to find out more about this strange thing called GNU/Linux, and where people return in order to interact with fellow explorers. It's not quite the be-all and end-all for free software, which obviously extends well beyond GNU/Linux, but it's a good start.

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