Home opinion-and-analysis Open Sauce LCA 2011: Lessons from 13 years of web publishing

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Linux Weekly News is, probably, the best known website for geeks from the Linux community when they look for their quota of news about the community.


This, despite the fact that the website is not free for at least two weeks after the articles generated by its staff are posted.

In a world where it is believed that people will not pay for things on the internet, this is something of a paradox. But as the editor of the site, Jonathan Corbet, tells it, his readers are incredibly loyal and he did not even lose subscribers during the financial crisis of 2008.

Corbet had an interesting tale to relate - of 13 years of managing LWN - as one of the speakers at the mini-conference on the Business of Open Source, at the 12th Australian national Linux conference this afternoon.

After working for more than a decade at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, he became a bit restless in the mid-90s as he began to realise that there was little correlation between the work he put in and the rewards he earned.

Initially, when Corbet got tuned into the internet boom in the mid-90s, he says he did not know in which direction to go. He had started messing with Linux (the kernel) in 1993 as he thought it was a project that would go places.

He first went in for Linux consulting but, on the side, decided to have a website as well to show his cleverness. The site was named LWN then but did not have its own domain; it ran as a sub-directory of eklektix.com, using Corbet's own broadband connection.

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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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