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Re: Linux News Standardization/Distribution Project

Please note that it was not possible to just "Reply" to this message and
have it go to the list.  I had to type in the list address.  I suggest
repairing this, as it should mean more participation.

Roger Dingledine wrote:
> We've been making progress on our proposal to standardize the format and
> distribution of Linux news. Our design uses the NNTP protocol to create a
> network of servers that will quickly and robustly share news that is
> interesting to the Linux community. This will allow websites like Freshmeat
> and Slashdot, as well as lists like Threepoint's and linux-announce, to
> reduce duplication of effort while still customizing their presentation.
> In addition, this will provide a single easy method of submitting an item
> of news, whether it's an announcement about a new software release, or a
> description of the latest article in Forbes magazine.
> The end goal of organizing the Linux announcements and news articles is
> to encourage smaller ISVs to port to Linux, since they will see advertising
> their software to a wide audience as less of an obstacle. 

I have not spoken up before, My name is Mark Bolzern, and I run Linux
Mall, (news on home page), Linux Newsletter, and the currently stagnant
Linux News site which was made available to volunteers to do, but they
all quit.

I'd like to state that the goal above (getting ISVs to port, and then
helping them to sell) is one of the primary goals of Linux Mall, and
having news available is part of that.  We do things that our
competitors do not. Mostly all they seem to know is discounting, eroding
the very margins needed to build the marketplace.  They do not in market
building. We do.

Here are our goals:

Linux Mall serves those interested in Linux with online information
on hundreds of Linux related products, so people can see just how
significant Linux really is, and what is available.
Linux Mall serves users of Linux by providing one convenient place
to buy any and all available Linux Products at a good price.
Linux Mall serves publishers of Linux products by putting them in
front of a larger buying audience than any other company does, and
actually transacting the sales.
Linux Mall serves dealers and consultants who wish to sell      
or support Linux by connecting them with customers and products.

All these things MUST happen together, and cooperation with what you are
doing may well be part of it.

I appreciate everyone's help, and am cautiously supportive of this 
news project.  COLA has not been sufficient, as moderation can get
out of control, and sometimes readership is not what it should be.

Just having people know about products is not enough, we have to make it
easy for them to buy the products, otherwise, once ported, no/few sales
will result in manufacturers being sorry they ported, instead of
ecstatic over their sales.  I know several people who ported that
already feel this way and don't plan on updating the Linux version of
their products due to lack of sales.  I still hope to bring them around.

Much of my energy goes into battling those in the Linux community that
think I am profiteering, yet the truth is very far from this.

> Other important
> benefits include greater robustness (from multiple news servers), less work
> for the moderators (messages will be presorted and people can specialize in
> their favorite type of news, resulting in faster throughput), and a uniform
> comprehensive archiving system allowing people to search old articles more
> effectively.
> We are currently at the point where we are designing the standard format
> for a news item. We want to make it rich enough that it provides all the
> information that each site wants, but simple enough that we can require
> submissions to include all fields. At the same time we're sorting out how
> the NNTP-based connections between the servers should work. We've got
> Freshmeat and Threepoint in on it, and other groups like Debian and
> LinuxMall are interested. We need more news sites to provide input and
> feedback, to make sure everybody will want to use the system once it's
> ready.
> If you're interested, please check out our webpage at
> http://linuxunited.org/projects/news/ and subscribe to the mailing list
> (send mail to majordomo@linuxunited.org with body 'subscribe lu-news').
> Thanks for your time (this is the last mail I will send directly about this),
> --Roger (SEUL sysarch)

From my limited technical standpoint, the mechanics I have seen
discussed thus far are fine, except I do not yet see how the
input/filtering/moderation can be adequatly done to suit everyone.

I applaud your efforts, and continue to watch the process.  If Ya'll
don't mind I may pipe up from time to time.  I wouldn't have this time,
except I saw a goal that I thought needed expanding upon.

           Mark Bolzern                     mark@LinuxMall.com    
                  Linux Mall  --> is The Linux Superstore
           http://www.LinuxMall.com  mailto:info@LinuxMall.com
                Phone: 303-693-3321   Fax: 303-699-2793