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New Linux.com Features Encourage Contribution

When Linux.com first launched, we knew that as feature-packed as the site was, there were some additional features we wanted to add to the site when the time came to make Linux.com even better.

That time has come.

As you can see from the front page, the most dramatic visual change has taken place there, with the addition of eight new modules that allow users to get a quick look at what's going on "inside" the site at any given time. These include:

  • Latest Tutorials. We have a lot of tutorial material on the site, with more coming in all of the time. Our Linux Tutorials, Linux Training, and New Users Guides section are updated quite frequently with really helpful articles. Now readers will be able to see the latest tutorials at a glance.
  • Latest Answers. Our Answers section is an underrated feature of Linux.com; here registered users have the opportunity to ask questions and exchange knowledge on common and not-so-common Linux challenges. Asking a question gives you guru points on Linux.com, and answering others' questions will grant you even more points. See the latest questions that you might answer here.
  • New Directory Listing. The Linux Download Directory is updated daily with user-contributed listings for distributions, applications, hardware, and books. See the latest contribution in this module.
  • Upcoming Event. Interested in what's happening in the conference world? The latest in worldwide Linux, free, and open source events is listed in this section.
  • Recent Directory Activity. If a Directory listing has been updated or reviewed, you'll see what listing was changed and be able to see the most current information.
  • Latest Video. The most recent video hosted on Linux.com is displayed. Play it here now, or follow the link to the video's page to play it in a larger format.
  • Popular Community Blogs. This module lists the Community Blogs posted by our users that have the highest number of page views.
  • Latest Distro Blogs. Team members from Fedora, Ubuntu, openSUSE, Debian, and more contribute regularly to Linux.com. Get the inside story on your favorite distro.

These changes to the site are designed to keep you informed about more of the site's new content than ever before. And while they are very useful, another big change has been implemented on Linux.com that's a little less visible but still as dramatic.

From day one, our mission has been to make Linux.com "By the Community, For the Community." And we meant it. Through our Forums, Answers, Community Blogs, and Linux Download Directory, not to mention all of the other Community tools and applications, there are plenty of opportunities to contribute to and customize Linux.com.

But there has been something missing: the ability to directly contribute articles to Linux.com for publication outside the Community Blogs. Until now, we have asked for contributions to come directly to me for publication, and we've gotten some great content. Now, though, Linux.com will get more.

Registered users can now click the Submit an Article link (login required) on their profile home page and use the simple WYSIWYG editor to write an article or tutorial for Linux.com. It's just that easy: after you have entered the title and body of the article, click Save and the editorial staff will be notified of the article's submission. After review and editing, we will post the article in the appropriate section of Linux.com.

Some hints to make submittals more efficient:

  • Use the HTML Editor tool to enter HTML-formatted content. The simpler the HTML, the better.
  • If you have images, link them from a source site, such as your own site or a third-part imaging site such as Flickr.

While we will try to publish all articles submitted, there will be some articles that simply won't be ready to publish. For more information and guidelines, visit our Editorial Policy page.

The best part of this new Linux.com tool is the opportunity to earn a lot of Guru Points in our Become the Ultimate Linux Guru program, where the top 50 annual Linux gurus on Linux.com will be included in an annual report from the Linux Foundation. The top five contributors to Linux.com annually will receive invitations to the Linux Foundation Collaboration Summit and have a seat at the annual Linux.com planning meeting as community representatives. The top Linux.com user will be recognized each year as the “Ultimate Linux Guru” and be given a fully loaded “dream” Linux notebook, personally autographed by Linux creator Linus Torvalds, as recognition of his or her guru status.

How much is a lot? How about 20 points? That's the amount users will recieve whenever any of their articles are published on Linux.com. While being a part of the community is important, guru status comes more from sharing expertise. This addition to the guru points scale demonstrates that emphasis.

This is one of the main goals of Linux.com: the sharing of knowledge about the Linux operating system. Our new features will now enable you to see and add to that knowledge even more effectively.

 

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