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Editor's Note: Making the 'Planet a Better Place

May 20, 2005, 23:30 (14 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Brian Proffitt)

By Brian Proffitt
Managing Editor

Sometimes, when bad things happen, a spot of sunshine comes along to demonstrate that life is a balance. While no one wants bad things to happen, it's good to know that lessons can be learned, opportunities abound, and life goes on.

And sometimes it pays to think ahead.

Flash to an unseasonably warm day in Toronto last month, as I was walking along with some fellow journalists, looking for a place to eat. After a long day at LinuxWorld Canada, it was definitely time to unwind.

As we walked, we talked of the conference (sort of vendor-y), the city we were in (sort of Toronto-y), and, of course, work. You can't put reporters together without getting some gossip started. My wife, who has witnessed the phenomenon in the past, says it's like a bunch of Brooklyn grandmothers together out on their front stoops. I'll accept that.

One of the group had asked me how things were going with my job, and I said that things were never better. The hardest part was finding enough time and people to get the content out on Linux Today and LinuxPlanet, two of the larger sites I manage. That seemed be be absorbed for a bit, and then they hit me with an idea that would soon change things around here forever.

Later, we sat around the dinner table and hatched out a plan to create an online presence that would focus on high-quality features, reviews, and tutorials, and provide a new place for many talented writers to spead the word about Linux. And, the cool part was, I already had a site to do this: LinuxPlanet. Its editorial mission already closely matched those of the writers my colleague was thinking of: the freelance team from LinuxWorld Magazine.

I knew from discussions with a number of the editors at LWM that they were very unhappy with what had happened with Maureen O'Gara over the last six months. I had seen the notice they put on their site distancing themselves from her, and some of them had privately vented their concerns to me After the evening was over, our brainstorming would be taken to that team and some other writers and see what they thought.

To be honest, the initial enthusiasm about the idea... eh... not so good. I was told that while many of the writers who already knew me would love to work here, they were also reluctant to leave the LWM banner. I don't blame them. While I was certainly disappointed they were going to stay at LWM, it's hard to leave something you have created from scratch.

As it turned out, though, the timing was pretty darn good. Because along came May 6 and the infamous O'Gara article attacking Pamela Jones, which would ultimately prove to be the catalyst to precipiate the resignation of most of LinuxWorld Magazine's editorial staff from Sys-Con.

After a week or so of negotiations and discussion, I am very pleased to announce they have found a home here on Linux Today and LinuxPlanet.

Starting after June 1, eight new editors will join the LT/LP team, each focusing on different aspects of Linux and Open Source. The project will involve a re-working of the editorial process on LinuxPlanet: just as this team had a free hand in organizing the content of LWM, so too will they be managing and creating the content for LinuxPlanet.

Coordinating this effort will be James Turner, who will step in as Senior Contributing Editor. James will act as point for new content on LP, working with a very talented team to deliver information and features that will help all Linux users get the most out of their free operating system.

Editors joining James will include:

Kevin Bedell, Contributing Editor - Open Source Software and Licensing
Steven Berkowitz, Contributing Editor - Science
Martin C. Brown, Contributing Editor - LAMP Technologies
Ibrahim Haddad, Contributing Editor - Telecom
Dee-Ann LeBlanc, Contributing Editor - Games and Multimedia
Rob Reilly, Contributing Editor - High Performance
Maria Winslow, Contributing Editor - Open Source Applications

This list is rather stark and dry, and it does not convey the depth of talent and skill this team has. Rest assured, the content they deliver in the days and weeks to come will be more than adequate to convey that depth.

The list does not convey everyone who will be involved, either, as guest writers will often appear on LinuxPlanet with their own takes on Linux. In the future, you'll see some of the new editors' original work on Linux Today, as well. But for now, LinuxPlanet will be the starting point for this team as they hit the ground running in June.

I would like to take this opportunity to publicly welcome the new editors and state that it is an honor to work with such a distinguished group of people. I am sure we will all be the lucky beneficiaries.