Welcome to the last issue of Free Software Magazine

Welcome to the last issue of Free Software Magazine


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.

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Comments

malcarada's picture
Submitted by malcarada on

As long as users of a Unix OS are as much as -1% of total computer users, I highly doubt there will ever be any brilliant future for FSM or any other open source business or magazine.

I would have loved to see a printed FSM like there are other Windows and Mac magazines, but trying to remember the last time I had a friend who used Linux on the desktop, I think it was 4 years ago, I can not say the same of Mac and Windows, this is in my opinion the big problem of any open source business, no users=no consumers.

Timmy Macdonald's picture

1% of all computer users is still a huge number. And Linux users are much more likely to care about articles than Windows users--a lot of people just use Windows because they have to, and don't really care about learning more.
And note that Linux Journal is doing fine as a print publication...

cmccullough's picture

Timmy already hit on the point that I was going make. Linux Journal is doing just fine. Linux Magazine left the print market but is still very popular online, as well. FSM will be fine. I used to read a couple of other online magazines and quickly became bored because I received an email each week telling me that there was a new edition online. Unfortunately, most of the articles were written on subjects that I read about months earlier. Keeping things fresh is hard to do. Like many Linux distributions, release an issue when it's ready. Keep up the good work, FSM.

Author information

Tony Mobily's picture

Biography

Tony is the founder and the Editor In Chief of Free Software Magazine