You have in your virtual hands the last issue of Free Software Magazine. But, this doesn't mean that FSM is closing down -- in fact, quite the opposite. However, things are changing.
Let me explain.
Once upon a time, in 2004, we started a new paper publication called "Free Software Magazine". We printed three issues, before realising that printing costs would have killed the magazine -- quickly. We still created "issues" (as a collection of articles) -- we just stopped killing trees in the process. In the meantime, "blogs" became part of the magazine: blog entries went through a much more streamlined process, had lighter editing, and were published as soon as the author had completed them. (As a nice piece of trivia, blogs were added to the magazine by adding b2evolution on top of the static site. It was the biggest kludge ever created, but it worked!)
I never liked the term "blog", especially in the context of Free Software Magazine. While it's true that blog entries weren't planned as carefully as articles, they did get edited. To mark the distinction, we changed the wording to "posts" -- not quite articles, but not quite blog entries either.
Since their introduction, posts have become more and more important -- in fact, more important than magazine issues themselves. For an online magazine it was absolutely crucial to cover hot topics and leave the authors freedom to choose what to talk about with very little planning. This way, inspiration became more important and helped our authors to write better posts they were passionate about.
At this point, we will focus on getting more authors and get more exciting posts. This will limit the amount of bit-rot in Free Software Magazine, and will deliver more high-quality content.
Some may argue that Free Software Magazine is no longer a "magazine" as such. Well, maybe. Or maybe in 2009 the word "online magazine" might mean something else: a collection of edited articles which come out as soon as they are ready. Just a thought...
I can't help but wonder what Free Software Magazine will be like in another 4 years. I have some ideas, and you will see my vision as more features and ideas are added to the web site.
See you around.