Bonum Certa Men Certa

The Spamification of GNU/Linux News Sites (or the Web as a Whole) and Why It's Time to Move on, Writing More Stories and Analysis

posted by Roy Schestowitz on Sep 23, 2023

You Have New Messages

THE Web has been around for over 3 decades and I've been advocating GNU/Linux for more than 2. I remember very clearly the detailed press articles and occasional (very) detailed reviews of GNU/Linux distros. Good reviews take weeks, not hours or days, to produce. In the mid 2000s (as in, around 2005) there were loads of very informative reviews and journalists covered key events, such as Oracle making its own RHEL 'knockoff'. Don't let the the Gell-Mann amnesia effect change this recollection of history.

COVID-19 has killed not only a lot of people but also many businesses, including newsrooms. I dare you to search Google News for "Linux"; 90% of the search results come from about half a dozen blogs. There's not much news. Worse yet, despite our accumulation over over 1,000 RSS feeds, many of now formerly active sites, it's hard to find meaningful/original Linux news. And no, LKML with ads slapped on top of it isn't what we need (looking at you, Michael Larabel).

The worst case scenario isn't sites like these going offline but instead turning themselves into spam domains. Here we have a days-old example from "Empowering Student Success: How Linux Is Transforming Learning Environments"

Just like UNIXMen, they're pretending those are "Linux" articles, but the word Linux is just a cover for spam. Mind the paragraph which says, "if you need expertly done assistance on assignments around Linux, you can look through"

Not only does this kind of junk dominate this domain. We see the same in some other sites that used to cover GNU/Linux. Now they focus on SEO SPAM, instead.

So what can be done about it? If you are an enthusiastic Free software user, consider setting up a blog or GemLog (Gemini log). We need more voices. Consider writing original stories. Doing Daily Links hasn't been easy this past year because relevant content about technology is becoming more scarce. A lot of sites go under.

As part of the upgrade of this site there's a long-planned mission to produce more stories (we may strive for 20 per day). It's something the world needs more than many batches of Daily Links.

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