Now What?

Linux Journal was a print magazine for 17+ years, then a digital one for the next 7+. What shall we be now? That's the Big Question, and there are many answers, some of which are already settled.

For example, we need to remain digital, true to Linux and maintain a journal (or journals) of some kind (or kinds), but those are among the few givens. We can be many other things too. Here's a sampling of suggestions vetted by the few of us internally and the many of us externally (for example, on IRC and in the comments under Carlie's Happy New Year post):

  • Video
  • Blogs
  • Podcasts
  • Reviews
  • Tips
  • Email newsletter(s)
  • Techmeme-like news aggregator(s) or river(s)
  • Events (of our own, plus participating in others)
  • Doing more (or less, or other, than what we're already doing) in "social" media
  • Stuff for wizards, full of code
  • Stuff for muggles, full of stuff other than code
  • Expanding coverage (in various media) of topics overlapping with Linux (such as privacy/anti-surveillance, personal agency, tech policy, cryptocurrencies and distributed ledgers, mobile, languages, business/models, gaming, protocols, standards, system administration, IT, IoT, AI, ML, VR and other two-, three- and four-letter acronyms)
  • Becoming more international
  • Becoming multi-lingual (also -cultural in several senses of that word and others like it)
  • Returning to print again (with the magazine, books or whatever, at intervals tbd)
  • All the above
  • Some of the above
  • None of the above

That list probably ought to be a matrix, perhaps in four dimensions (meaning in no particular order, top to bottom, right to left, front to back, forward through time).

We want and need thoughts and ideas of all kinds, especially from subscribers who have kept us alive long enough to be revived. (Already we've been called "zombie overlords" in comments. Good humor is a good sign, and so is the airing of old and good complaints.)

In the coming days, Carlie, myself and others on our still-small staff will be raising questions here and also answering comments below (and also in our IRC channel at freenode, now a sister of ours).

So please weigh in. We'll be taking copious notes and responding as best we can.

Doc Searls is editor-in-chief of Linux Journal, where he has been on the masthead since 1996. He is also co-author of The Cluetrain Manifesto (Basic Books, 2000, 2010), author of The Intention Economy: When Customers Take Charge (Harvard Business Review Press, 2012), a fellow of the Center for Information Technology & Society (CITS) at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and an alumnus fellow of the Berkman Klien Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. He continues to run ProjectVRM, which he launched at the BKC in 2006, and is a co-founder and board member of its nonprofit spinoff, Customer Commons. Contact Doc through

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