New community project targets the Debian user
First I thought about making some kind of new magazine. But that is too much work beside the daily real life and family and such, and the making of a printed magazine was out of question anyway - too slow, too expensive, too yesteryear.
So after sitting down and thinking about it for some time, the thing became more clear:
When I started writing and blogging about what I do with Debian and Free and Open Source Software at work and at home, the numbers of visitors on my personal blog page kind of exploded. There was - obviously - a huge interest in what I did, and what I wrote there. I was looking at the webalizer stats, seeing all the search terms of mostly silent and unknown readers, searching for things like "Windows on Xen on Debian", or "AMD Turion X2", or "Debian Dell Optiplex GX620". At the same time, whenever I told colleagues about what I'm doing even at work, they asked things like: "Sarge? Etch? Sid?", or even: "Debian?". I was clearly using a terminology they didn't understand.
So I thought: "Hmmm yes, there *are* all the fine manuals, the online resources like the Debian web pages, the Wiki, Newsgroups and mailing lists, but what if people simply don't know about this all?". Thinking about how long it took me to find out about which errors *not* to make, which people to ask, and which books to read, thinking about how long it took to even *understand* what these guys on planet.debian.org were writing about, there seemed to be only one solution:
What we need - IMHO - is a community project, targeted at users of all levels (some have to answer, too), and dealing with Debian and its grandchildren like Ubuntu.
You might ask or think: "What? Just another one?". I thought about that as well. There are places like debianhelp.co.uk, debianforum.de, or first and foremost there are the Usenet Newsgroups. But listing just these, you see: the diversity is so great (country-/language-specific, or on networks which not everyone knows or has access to), that I want to kind of "aggregate" it all. Just attract users and point them in the right directions would be a success already.
Plus I want to keep it interesting. Post news and reviews. Interview the gurus (malay word for: teacher). All that stuff. And since it's an open, non-commercial *community* project, I'm open for suggestions, comments, critics etc. as well. Contributions would be wonderful - they are the primary goal.
Until now, I just set up a blog, and I welcome everyone who has something Debian- or FOSS-specific enough to post it there. For the more short-lived things, we could add a planet and so aggregate whatever people are writing on their own pages. A Wiki? No - that exists on the debian.org domain already.
I'm very excited to see what will happen, even if my own personal domain will fall back to hibernation. But then again, there's more than work...
Looking forward to reading your thoughts, comments, or even receiving contributions here or on thedebianuser.org,cheers,
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