Two things I do every morning no matter what are drink my morning coffee and read the latest Linux news. A day without either of them would be a disaster. Because getting Linux news is so important to me I’ve kept track of several Linux news sites and tested the value and focus of their articles. I’ve also participated in many of these sites and have noted significant traffic changes as we move deeper into the age of social media. As things change it may be time to re-evaluate where your reading and submitting your Linux news.
If you’re just a Linux user looking to brush up on today’s latest Linux news, you’re in luck. You have a ton of options and more every day. Sites like Lxer, LinuxToday, OSNews, Digg, FSdaily and Linux.com will all likely carry the big stories of the day as many of them share the same users. The question is more about how you want your news displayed. Some sites choose to run large ads, small ads, and even full page ads. Other sites offer full communities, article point systems, and an intricate friend networks.
1) LinuxToday has been around for awhile but pushes an aggressive ad campaign and doesn’t offer the community and discussions I’ve enjoyed on other news sites. Still, LinuxToday features top articles related to Linux and is a vet in the news game.
2) OSNews features a community approach to news and offers registered users a chance to comment on articles, make friends, “star” stories, and more. This site is a great resource for users looking for computing articles but my focus is a little narrower.
3) FSDaily is a community type open-source news site that features articles from around the net. This site includes popular this week, popular today and popular upcoming sections that have proven an effective way to display recent articles. I’m unsure of the voting system and how it effects the stories order. I’ve often wondered, “what’s that doing up there”.
4) Digg includes the top articles from Linux, open-source and everything else you’re curious about. You can also take advantage of photo and video diggs as well as the extremely active digg community with many assets including the recently integrated Facebook features. Digg would be my choice for finding news for users that enjoy the friends, the community and the comments. Digg is a little too political for me sometimes but has an unmatched selection of articles.
5) Lxer, has a great mix of it all. Lxer is simple and produces a consistent flow of news worthy Linux and open-source articles. This dependable news press also includes featured, daily story, and weekly round-up articles which I enjoy very much. The smaller community of Lxer is pleasant, helpful and knowledgeable.
6) LinuxFeeds.org is a WordPress site that has indexed hundreds of Linux feeds, although the site is still in its early stages I suspect many visitor hungry Linux sites will be submitting their RSS feeds there soon. If you’re after news, you can find almost all Linux feeds located here including Youtube feeds and podcasts focused on Linux.
7) After being acquired by the LinuxFoundation, Linux.com has been recently re-designed based on a heavily modified version of Joomla. The site includes state of the art features that allow users to interact, participate and even build up Linux guru status. It’s a little too early to asses the quality and dependability of Linux.com news articles, I think they’re on the right track integrating third party applications like Twitter with their community. More on Linux.com in June.
If you’re an article submitter or depend on Linux news sites for traffic you may be interested to know all of these sites will accept article submissions and potentially send some traffic your way. Traffic from these sources is dwindling as social media networks expand however you may be more likely to find a return visitor from a news site than from your Twitter, Facebook, or Myspace page. I’ve also found that bounce rates are higher and time on site is lower when visitors come from social media sites. Another advantage the news site still has is Google’s response when receiving links from high ranked news sites. So before you count out top news sites remember that few places can offer the targeted traffic and other benefits of good old fashion Linux news sites.
If you’re after a site that has all the Linux news you want, friendly staff, and few advertisements, head over to Lxer.com. Lxer is my pick for viewing news because of its consistency and article quality. The site is simple and straight forward while offering all the necessary features for me to enjoy my daily dose of Linux news.
For submitting Linux news articles few sites are as dependable, fair and non-political as Lxer. Traffic and article impressions are often the first thing thought about when submitting articles however as traffic drops on all Linux news sites what would you prefer? A news site lined with more and more Microsoft ads or an honest up front place to submit your articles and meet some new friends?