LWN too visonary?

MJ Ray markj at cloaked.freeserve.co.uk
Thu Jul 25 22:27:44 UTC 2002

Bernhard Reiter <bernhard at intevation.de> wrote:
> I'm personally willing to pay for high quality information if it stays
> accessible to everybody. LWN offered just this. Only in the recent months
> they've set up an improving system to pay them. Because of the apparent
> urgeny of the matter I've personally payed them today to help to make the
> mircale happen.

Oh well, what a shame, never mind.  Does it really matter that much to us? 
It's not like it's a GNU publication that's folding, is it?  Indeed, they've
been increasing their proprietary software coverage while axing sections
like the mostly-free-software desktop one.  Also, they announced after they
left tucows that life wasn't easy, but they didn't seem to take up any of
the suggestions that I saw (from some quite savvy people, too) about how
they could try to make money.

I've read LWN for some time and I almost posted an item about this too.  Why
didn't I?  Well, I think they've lost sight recently of why people read LWN. 
I read it for an interesting pro-free-software and anti-software-patent
analysis of current major IT stories.  I read it for a more selective review
of Linux kernel development than KT.  I read it for more interesting and
diverse desktop use articles than DesktopLinux.  I read it for a round-up of
development news that I'm not sure even has anything similar out there.  The
sections that they seem to have been focusing on recently (security
databases, press releases, user comments) are all things that are done
better elsewhere.  There's no unique selling point for LWN there.  The
"must-read" has become "just another news site" recently.

Anyway, I feel like the bagpiper at a funeral now.  It's not dead yet and if
it shows signs of springing back to healthy life, I'll probably help it get
up on its feet rather than playing the lament.  I'm reluctant to throw money
away on something with a closure date set, though.


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