Exercise: try doing a google search for "Linux" and check out the first website that comes out in the results page. It is Linux.org. It is not the official Linux website (there is no such a thing, save maybe kernel.org), but in practice, millions of people believe it is, and for most it represents the very first face of Linux they will have the pleasure to meet.
Is it a nice, modern, exciting page fostering Linux adoption?
Hardly so. Even worse, far too many energies seem to be dedicated to raising money, which would not be not a negative fact per se, if the money bit did not look like the main purpose of the website:
- Banner on the top
- Banner on the left
- Banner on the right
- Banner on the bottom
- ContentLinks in the middle (with all those lovely pop-ups)
- Another banner on the left
- Hardware manufacturers
- Advertise with us
- River Belle Casino
- Lucky Nugget Casino
- Jackpot City Casino
- Gaming Club Casino
- weight loss pills
- online casino
- online poker
- Best online casino
- Health and Fitness Forum
- #1 Best Web Hosting Messenger
- Linux Gifts for all occasions!
- Buy Vitamin Supplements
- Online bingo UK
- Online Casinos
- Online Slots
- Online casino
- Online Backgammon: Linux
- Online Casinos
- Casino Software
- Online Casino Offers
Take your pick. All in the main page of the main Linux website. And remember that we are talking about a website that is #1 in the google search for "Linux", something they are well aware of and monetizing upon:
Linux Online, the primary online resource for the Linux Operating System since 1994, has earned the respect of the Linux community and the media. Our site is featured regularly on television and radio, and in newspaper and magazine stories about the success and popularity of Linux. The major search engines list Linux Online as the first destination when searching for the term "Linux". In addition, both Netscape Communicator and Internet Explorer refer their users to Linux Online when "Linux" is entered in the location field.
The Obvious Way
Linux Online provides an ideal starting point for current and future user's journey into the Linux Operating System. Network administrators, IT managers, and the average user come to Linux Online to find out about the operating system as well as to learn about the latest products and services available for use with this innovative and well-proven OS. With over one million unique visitors per month, Linux Online will give your advertising campaign a much wider audience than any other Linux website available today. Simply put, there is no better opportunity for your company to promote its Linux product or service than Linux Online!
Very Desirable Audience
Linux Online can bring to your company or organization a slice of the most sought after marketing and advertising audience in the industry. Based on a recent survey, we found that the typical Linux Online visitor is male, 31 years old, earns $42,000 US per year, has a post-secondary degree and uses Linux on his home PC. 73% of our Linux Online visitors are responsible for purchasing computer equipment, software, and services for PCs for end-use or for their company. With over 58% of those buyer's responsible for a department or entire company, we've got your market's attention! Additionally, 29% put Linux to use in their work environment.
Linux Online is a popular gathering place for the Linux community where current and potential Linux users can find the latest news and information about Linux and Open Source. You will reap the benefits of our experience with launching successful advertising campaigns by our commitment to making your campaign as effective as possible. Among the benefits you receive by advertising with Linux Online:
- Your advertisements appear on a site designed to connect consumers with valuable Linux resources, products, services, and applications.
- Exposure to over one million unique visitors and five million total hits per month to make sure your product or service is seen.
- Priority listing in the vendors area of Linux Online. Vendors are normally sorted by country and then alphabetically. As an advertiser on Linux Online, you will be placed at the top of your respective country/area ahead of the alphabetical list.
- Free impressions on the Linux Online ad directory. Directly below banner advertisements is a link to a page showing all the current ads on the site at http://www.linux.org/advert/bin/directory.
The official objective is to promote Linux, but is it the only objective?
"You will reap the benefits of our experience with launching successful advertising campaigns by our commitment to making your campaign as effective as possible".
And all this is needed to support the website?
Well apparently it is not enough. Donations are also welcome: "Linux Online is a community supported web site. We need the help of visitors, like you, to pay the day to day costs of operating this site."
Really? Did anybody even bother to look for donated hosting instead of donated money? I have seen far lesser Linux websites hosted for free, would it be so problematic to find a real sponsor for a change?
Moreover, it does not look to me that much has been invested back into the website in the past 12 years. The page looks and feels like a site straight out of the early 90's which is what it basically is, even the information is a bit dated and sometimes even confusing, hardly something to encourage users to try Linux.
How is the image of Linux going to be affected by having casinos and pills advertised on its main page? If an enquiring soul stumbles upon this website when investigating whether to use Linux on his desktop, is the 90's revival feast going to convince him? How many users have already been turned off?
So is Linux.org helping Linux or not?