Linux Magazines: Something About England

Tux, the Linux penguin

Tux, the Linux penguin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

UPDATE 12/11/2013: Linux Voice has reached its goal, and will be published! I’ve signed up for a digital sub, and all the other perks are still available at the Indiegogo site until December 23.

For some reason, print magazines continue to thrive in Great Britain. Aside from WIRED, practically all the print magazines my wife and I read fly across the Atlantic to my living room (either by mail or book/magazine shop): Doctor Who Magazine, Prog, Linux Pro (which is technically German, but printed in English).

Linux Format is another of those successful magazines based in the United Kingdom, at least until the recent departure of its core editorial staff. Monday, those guys announced their new magazine project, called Linux Voice.

Several things make this project stand out:

  • They are crowdsourcing the funding at Indiegogo (exactly like the Ubuntu Edge, but with a far lower goal).
  • They intend to give half their profits to worthy free software projects (selected by the magazine readers).
  • They will work with their writers to make all the magazine’s content (especially the how-to material) available online nine months after publication.

Those of us in the states have been modestly spoiled by the amount of useful free Linux content at LinuxJournal.com, and other online versions of print magazines. One look at the current Linux Format website, and aside from the TuxRadar podcast, you’re hard pressed to find any content at all!

Brian Fagioli of BetaNews interviewed Ben Everard of Linux Voice, where many interesting things were said. My favorite quote?

It will target the same blend of content and level of difficulty, and it’ll be written mostly by the same team of writers. However, we won’t be hamstrung by a corporate system that puts squeezing out every drop of profit ahead of creating an awesome magazine and supporting the community. In short, Linux Voice will be like Linux Format done properly.

At Indiegogo, would-be print subscribers in the US can sign up for £90 for the first year ($143.14 according to Google). Digital subscribers get in for £35 ($55.66). Other levels are available, with the usual assortment of perks.

Larry the Free Software Guy also likes the project. Larry is something of a free-software purist (which is not to say he’s a bad person), so his support means something. Of course, it didn’t hurt that Linux Voice plans to feature Larry’s favorite distribution in its first issue.

I think this is a worthy endeavor, and hope to squeeze some cash out of my budget to support this.

You can follow the project’s progress on Indiegogo, on the magazine’s website, on Google+ and Twitter.

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2 thoughts on “Linux Magazines: Something About England

  1. Hey, Michael –

    Thanks for the mention! Yes, I use CrunchBang, which is “featured” in the mock-up of the Linux Voice cover, and I am involved in that community (to which the blog “Larry the CrunchBang Guy” will attest). However, I can say with some degree of authority that CrunchBang 12 Janice (based on Debian 8 Jessie) will not be ready by February since the freeze date for Jessie development will be in November 2014.

    But the thing that is of special interest to me, as a journalist by profession (currently a copy editor at the Santa Cruz Sentinel when I’m not advocating for FOSS), is that the Linux Voice project has a wide range of potential for forking the current state of publications into a new, and better, direction.

    As for being a “free-software purist,” thank you for the compliment, though I think RMS and the FSF would take issue with that since I don’t march lock-step with them. One of the underlying themes in my blog is that the differences between “free software” and “open source” are a lot smaller than folks like RMS and EMR, and each of their adherents, make them out to be.

    Thanks again for the mention.

    Larry Cafiero / “Larry the Free Software Guy”

    • Hey Larry, thanks for stopping by, and for the clarifications! I really should try CrunchBang one of these days, though I’m probably an openSUSE guy at my core.

      I heartily concur that the gap is small between “free” and “open source” — perhaps the width of a string of FLOSS? (BTW, that’s Eric S. Raymond) Where you and I may differ is on the degree of evil that Canonical represents. I concede that I may need more education. ;-)

      Yes, Linux Voice does indeed have great potential for providing a new model for 21st century journalism. I do hope it works, and perhaps we both can play a small part in its success.

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