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Author Topic: Distrowatch is looking for an editor  (Read 2927 times)

40hz

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Distrowatch is looking for an editor
« on: November 17, 2008, 10:04:41 AM »
Distrowatch is looking for a person (or few good people) to take over writing its weekly column. Considering the writing talents (along with a liking for Linux) displayed by many of the regulars up here on DC, this may be a golden opportunity. Especially if you're the sort of person who watches the nightly news; or reads their favorite newspaper's editorial page and grumbles: "I could do it better..." ;D

http://distrowatch.c...sue=20081117#feature

Quote
DistroWatch Weekly - end of an era

I published the very first issue of DistroWatch Weekly (DWW) on 9 June 2003. The introductory instalment was followed a week later with a somewhat "beefier" one, covering JAMD Linux, a distribution that was gathering some momentum in those days. Like many other one-man projects throughout the history of Linux distro development, JAMD disappeared a few months later without a word of explanation or any sort of apology. But these were the kinds of topics that DWW was hoping to bring to the attention of the readers: presenting a new, interesting distribution, giving space to distro developers to explain their work, evaluating the growing number of products vying for our attention, and providing opinions on the current issues. In other words, it meant to serve as a discussion forum on an otherwise facts-only news and reference portal.

For over 5½ years I've never involuntarily missed a single issue - until last week, that is. That was when I found myself confined to bed, for a second weekend in a row, with some nasty infection that made it impossible for me to even look at a computer screen, let alone write articles that tens of thousands of visitors would want to read. As a result, I decided to cancel last week's issue and get myself plenty of rest instead. In the days that followed, I also decided to resign from the position of the editor of DistroWatch Weekly.

Yes, you've read it correctly - I will no longer write DistroWatch Weekly. The reason is quite simple: writing a publication that is read by such a large number of people is a stressful affair. One needs to select an interesting topic, then present it in an authoritative, yet non-confrontational manner - a task that often requires a lot of balancing. Then there is the news section, which is usually just a round-up of events of the past week, but it needs to be compiled and proof-read, and this too takes time and effort. And then there is the deadline factor - as we start approaching Monday around 9 o'clock GMT, I watch with amazement how all of a sudden the site's traffic goes through the roof. It is as if all the visitors were screaming - hey, where is my DWW? All this, week after week after week...

And yet, I think that DWW should continue. Without it, DistroWatch is just another soulless database, not unlike Freshmeat - useful for sure, but hardly an exciting place to visit. Besides, wouldn't you miss all those good, spicy forum fights we've had the pleasure and misfortune to witness over the years?

So here it comes - the official position vacant notice. DistroWatch is looking for a new editor of DistroWatch Weekly. A successful applicant would be someone with knowledge of (and enthusiasm for) Linux, BSD, OpenSolaris and open source software in general, with good writing skills. The duties will be simple - to compile and publish a new issue of DistroWatch Weekly every Monday, complete with a lead story, a news summary, and all the regular columns. For this work I am prepared to offer US$150 per issue (I hope to bring this up to US$200 per issue once the current economic slump is over and online advertising picks up again, but it looks like it may still take a while). Interested applicants should email their applications with links to their articles, blogs, etc. (if available) to distro at distrowatch dot com.

Finally, I wish to express my gratitude to everybody who has contributed to the success of DistroWatch Weekly over the years. I don't intend to disappear from public life completely, but for the foreseeable future I'd like to go through my long and growing to-do list to improve the site and to implement some of the often-requested features. Of course, you can still count on me bringing you the latest release news and to keep all distribution pages up-to-date. With luck, we could have a new DistroWatch Weekly, written by a new editor, next Monday, but a lot depends on how fast we can find the right person(s) for the job. In the meantime, have a nice week and thank you all for your continued support!
« Last Edit: November 17, 2008, 10:06:27 AM by 40hz »

zridling

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Re: Distrowatch is looking for an editor
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2008, 12:46:09 PM »
I love and rely on DistroWatch, but no thanks. Column writing, which usually consists of 900-1500 words once or twice a week, is unusually exhausting. I write like I eat: impulsively. Thus the reason I have a deep respect for [interesting] columnists and bloggers who can consistently post clickworthy content day after day or week after week.

40hz

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Re: Distrowatch is looking for an editor
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2008, 02:57:44 PM »
Column writing, which usually consists of 900-1500 words once or twice a week, is unusually exhausting. I write like I eat: impulsively.

Me too. My Muse is skittish at the best of times.

Still, for somebody who can consistently crank out something worth reading on a weekly basis, this is an excellent opportunity. Distrowatch is an extremely popular and well-respected website. That makes it one of the best places to write about Linux, or to be "discovered" if you have aspirations to become a professional tech blogger or journalist.

And it does pay. Maybe not a lot - but at least it's something. :Thmbsup:

zridling

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Re: Distrowatch is looking for an editor
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2008, 10:39:09 PM »
Could be a good 'jump' job on the resume, and lead to bigger things.