Subject: Re: Journal / Trade Mag?
From: Seth Johnson <>
Date: Tue, 01 Mar 2005 14:46:35 -0500




Phil Hughes wrote:
> On Tue, Mar 01, 2005 at 10:22:25AM -0700, John McDermott wrote:
> >
> > Yesterday I was reading a trade computer magazine.  One of those free ones
> > many of us get.  It had a review of SSL VPN gateways.  All were
> > commercial.  No open source products were mentioned.  The commercial
> > products had a base price way over that affordable by most SMBs.
> >
> > I have had clients use expensive commercial products because they were
> > unaware of viable FLOSS alternatives.  Many of us probably have.
> >
> > One client chose products to use based on what one executive read in trade
> > pubs.  Clearly they used little open source because there were few
> > articles about it in the trade pubs he read.
> >
> > Is anyone considering some sort of trade pub to show users how to
> > deploy/integrate FLOSS or even evaluating such software?  It would be very
> > valuable, I think, if we could help businesses see that Open Source is a
> > good business choice and why.
> This isn't unique to software. People buy things because they have
> heard about them. Living in Nicaragua makes me see how "things used to
> be". That is, word of mouth is the most important advertising medium.
> To give you a little Linux Journal history, before LJ was born I was
> talking with half a dozen friends about a "Free Software" magazine. We
> all saw the need but our conclusion was that it would have to be like
> Consumer Reports to work--that is, free of advertising/advertiser
> influence. We decided we would need $10 million to get such a magazine
> going, checked our finances and came up about $9,999,990 short. I
> suggested that we just do a Linux magazine as a joke. Eleven years
> later I guess the joke issue is gone.
> In any case, with LJ we try to balance commercial and free answers.
> That way, people are offered a choice and we can pay the printing
> bills. It also lets us say "this commercial product is a lot better
> than the free stuff" or (more often than not) this particular free
> thing is better than the other choices.
> I still like the idea of "Consumer Reports of Software" where you can
> really compare all the choices--commercial and non-commercial but, for
> a magazine that is mostly reviews to survive, you need to find someone
> to pay the bills. It is hard for an IT manager to justify a subscription
> to a $500/year (random number) magazine when there are all the "free
> answers" out there. Of course, that $500 would get saved very quickly
> but, again, that is hard to explain.
> --
> Phil Hughes,  Phone: 505-841-2675
> Aptdo. Postal 201, Esteli, Esteli, NICARAGUA
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