08.17.19

Concerns About IBM’s Commitment to OpenSource.com After the Fall of Linux.com and Linux Journal

Posted in IBM, Red Hat at 8:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Long history to that domain, from OSI control (not today’s OSI) to Red Hat alias and now IBM’s

OpenSource.com

Summary: The Web site OpenSource.com is over two decades old; in its current form it’s about a decade old and it contains plenty of good articles, but will IBM think so too and, if so, will investment in the site carry on?

PUBLISHING is tough. It’s especially tough when writers expect a salary. Where does money come from? It varies; there are options. A publisher we often link to (because it writes about a dozen articles per day), Common Dreams, apparently has rich donors pumping a million bucks into it every year, but they want something in return (maybe ideological). Maybe the donors are the readers alone. What about GNU/Linux? In its true and pure form nobody ‘owns’ it; it’s not proprietary.

Linux Journal's sad demise just months after Linux.com's demise (the site might go offline permanently within days or weeks due to lack of funds) is very troubling. We already see the effect; there’s a lot less news about GNU/Linux. Here in Techrights, e.g. for the purpose of daily links, we need to dig deeper and deeper in order to find links and picks. There’s an information vacuum and it’s being exploited by few malicious corporations, e.g. for googlebombing. They hijack the narrative and misinform the public.

“IBM has just confirmed nearly 1,000 layoffs in the UK in spite of financial resurgence in that market.”For a variety of reasons we’ve long been sceptical of IBM’s intentions. Will it keep Red Hat’s news sites going (there are several)? And if so, which ones? If there’s no “business model”, then IBM will likely shut it down. IBM has just confirmed nearly 1,000 layoffs in the UK in spite of financial resurgence in that market. That’s just typical IBM. If a site doesn’t help IBM sales, it probably won’t last long. If a member of staff isn’t profitable to IBM, he or she will be handed a pink slip. Last we checked, OpenSource.com had outsourced the technical/back end aspect to Acquia; it is a large Drupal site and it won’t be cheap to maintain it, let alone pay writers to add new articles to it. Without new articles a site becomes merely an archive. It’s less attractive because it’s eternally outdated.

Rikki Endsley, the person who edited OpenSource.com for a long time, retweeted Linux Journal and added: “Well this is sad news. Sending hugs out to the Linux Journal folks.” Jim Hall, who wrote for Linux Journal and sometimes writes for OpenSource.com, wrote about it last week (at OpenSource.com).

Endsley’s relocation or reassignment is curious.

Months ago we noticed that she had stopped writing for OpenSource.com. We asked questions like, did she leave (jump) or was she pushed? Did IBM play a role in this? Nobody from Red Hat is willing to say anything. Some of them saw these questions. Some might even have answers.

“Nobody from Red Hat is willing to say anything.”Her profile says: “Rikki Endsley is the Developer Program managing editor at Red Hat, and a former community architect and editor for Opensource.com.” Twitter says “Editor ✒️ @RHdevelopers”.

She’s no longer listed here in “Meet the team” (of OpenSource.com) however. “Jen Wike Huger is the managing editor for Opensource.com,” it says and many of the articles are nowadays technical posts from Red Hat’s own staff. It’s not what it used to be. Lots of posts are promotion of Red Hat products like Ansible.

It seems clear that Endsley is still with Red Hat, but we wonder what goes on at Red Hat; she still tweets, but there are no posts in the site she edited (since the middle of February). Is IBM committed to it? In October 2018 IBM made its plans known (for Red Hat), but IBM isn’t a publisher and it has lots of financial issues.

“Is IBM committed to it? In October 2018 IBM made its plans known (for Red Hat), but IBM isn’t a publisher and it has lots of financial issues.”Endsley probably knows what’s going on. We contacted her earlier today and have not heard back. The Red Hat developers site she does participate in, possible alongside other Red Hat roles, but the main question is, what is going on at OpenSource.com? They must have published about 10,000 articles, some of them very long and detailed. My wife has read OpenSource.com for about 6 years, almost every day. She says the quality of the articles has vastly decreased and she hardly finds anything of interest there anymore.

Is OpenSource.com potentially the next casualty of the media-pocalypse? We hope not. The people who have closely been involved with the site probably know a lot more and have a rough (if not good) idea what IBM plans for the site. Something must have been communicated to them at some point since last year. Was Endsley reassigned, based on her skills, to another department/site? Did she choose to move. Unless someone opens his/her mouth, we can only speculate. The silence doesn’t inspire much confidence.

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A Single Comment

  1. humourman said,

    August 17, 2019 at 10:38 am

    Gravatar

    why do you want a company like IBM or another one which is listed on the stock market doing such things ?
    IBM has to nothing to win to be in the open source market or help Linux if it doesn’t bring them money.
    If I was a IBM shareholder, I want Return On Investment, nothing else.
    From a personal point of view what happens in the Linux community is sad; but it proves that nobody works for free or want to work for free -> see different websites or linux distros…
    If people give only $1 each month to any Linux project/distro/site, things would be different.
    It should be mandatory to pay minimum $1 if you want to install a linux software on your PC.

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