[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Reply from Esther Schindler (Re: Debian GNU/Linux Article, Please?)

 Esther gave me her permission to forward this response letter to you
 all.  She would like to be Cc'd on any followups, so Please don't
 leave her out of the conversation!

>>>>> "esther" == esther  <esther@bitranch.com> writes:

    esther>    karlheg@microsharp.com (Karl M. Hegbloom) said:
    esther> | I've been told you are a very good writer and that if I ask nicely,
    esther> | you might write a favorable article about Debian GNU/Linux.

    esther> Thanks for the kind words.

    esther> I'm always in favor of writing about something interesting or useful or
    esther> cool. Even though I don't get to write much, anymore; I'm much more of an
    esther> editor these days, which means that I get to tear apart and encourage
    esther> *other* people's writing. (Usually not in that order.) On the other hand,
    esther> I do have input in what InformationWeek covers, both in print and online,
    esther> and previously I have encouraged Linux/Unix coverage (such as a recent
    esther> online roundtable with the guy who runs Lindows.com).

    esther> However: please understand that I'd never go into any assignment with the
    esther> intention of writing "a favorable article." I write with the effort to be
    esther> fair, and accurate, and useful, and interesting to the reader. The people
    esther> who get paid to write favorably are called public-relations flacks. <warm
    esther> smile, and a chuckle> If "fair" turns out to be favorable, that's fine;
    esther> but "fair" is more likely to include both positives and negatives. NOTHING
    esther> is perfect, Karl, with the possible exception of some kinds of dark
    esther> chocolate.

    esther> I confess that, while I'm positively disposed towards Linux in general, I
    esther> don't have a favorite flavor. My Linux server here runs SUSE, only because
    esther> that was the most recent version that I had received from any of the
    esther> vendors.

    esther> So I don't know what's happening in the Debian community, or what makes it
    esther> special, or what story there is to say RIGHT NOW about the topic. You (and
    esther> the other people involved) would have to tell me. You'd also have to keep
    esther> in mind that the official audience for InformationWeek are CIOs, CEOs, IT
    esther> Managers and other people who provide fodder for Dilbert columns. Don't
    esther> tell me about the advantages of the latest kernel. DO tell me about a
    esther> company with a recognizeable household-name that's using Debian to manage
    esther> all its e-commerce and judges that it's saved $13 million in the past year
    esther> by doing so. We're a business magazine for people who use technology, not
    esther> (to my sometimes dismay) a technology magazine for people who say OH COOL!
    esther> a lot. (On the other hand, we're still in business. I consider that a
    esther> significant distinction.)

    esther> But an article may not be wholly necessary. There's another way for you
    esther> (plural) to approach this subject. I have no objection to you starting a
    esther> discussion in the appropriate InformationWeek forum about choosing the
    esther> right Linux, or what makes one distribution "better" than another, or
    esther> something else with a business focus that touches on Debian (or Linux in
    esther> general). That would sidestep the "need" for formal dispassionate
    esther> journalistic coverage, and if the conversation warrants it, the discussion
    esther> can encourage articles. (That's what happened after a very passionate set
    esther> of messages related to the H1B visa program; we have an awesome feature in
    esther> the works about that topic.) Plus, those forums are read by thousands
    esther> (MANY thousands) of IT personnel every week, and it's perfectly fine for
    esther> you-and-friends to offer your personal opinions therein. (I'd hope that
    esther> those opinions would be reasoned, intelligent and eloquent, but then we're
    esther> talking about geeks aren't we? <laughing>)

    esther> --Esther Schindler
    esther>    Site Editor
    esther>    Information Week

    esther> "I don't mind what Congress does, as long as
    esther> they don't do it in the streets and frighten the horses."
    esther>                                      --Victor Hugo

mailto: (Karl M. Hegbloom) karlheg@microsharp.com
Free the Software  http://www.debian.org/social_contract

Reply to: