A week ago, a question was raised by the latest owners of Open.org who go by the name Linux Fund organization, and we are still unsure if we have an answer to that question yet. The question was “What do we do with Open.org?” The question came up on the evening February 25th during a Birds of a Feather session at the Southern California Linux Expo. By now, most of the Open Source followers and enthusiasts know that the domain name of Open.org was recently acquired by Linux Fund from the City of Salem, Orgeon. The primary purpose for which the domain was used by Salem was for a kids-to-internet program named The Orgeon Public Education Network. The amount of money that was spent to acquire it is not disclosed yet and it was an auction at which the domain was purchased by Linux Fund.
The company has posted that Open.org is a new and open community for portal news, editorial blogs and high potential open source projects. What the motto of Open.org as proposed by Linux Fund seems simple and outright, “We want Open.org to be your source on open source.” Though this is what the website says, in actuality there is still not much of clarity on the purpose of existence of Open.org. Soon after the acquisition of the website, Randall Schwartz, a member of Linux Fund’s board of directors, told the Bird of a Feather session’s attendees that, having acquired the domain name, Linux Fund was now looking for suggestions on what to do with it.
The suggestions that propped up were quite insightful in terms of popularizing the site and also ensure that every open source fan is benefitted from it. A professionally managed content site on all the open source things that exist in the world was one suggestion; while another was to make it a link farm and an aggregation site; and there were still others who suggested that open.org could be a sort of a listserve which could handle traffic for messaging of any open source project. One commonality that existed in everyone’s suggestion though, was that the website should not be just restricted to open source software, but must include open hardware, open business practices, hence anything open should benefit from whatever services go at this domain.
As for now the site is open for anyone who wants to know anything on open source and the Linux Fund along with the BSDFund will take care of the website’s financial needs by funding all the open source needs and also by raising funds through direct donations as well as a line of credit cards but under the new banner of Open.org.
Having said that the site is still open for suggestions on its functioning and its primary purpose, it is essential to mention that the vision and mission of Linux Fund shall be embedded in Open.org along with the objective of making itself more accessible to a wider audience.