October 6, 2000

How to submit stories to NewsForge

Author: JT Smith

If you are the first person to send a relevant story to NewsForge, chances are close to 100% that your submission will be accepted.We want to link to literally everything published online, anywhere in the world, about Open Source, Linux, *BSD and Free Software or that affects the people who use and create Open Source. We have a software crawler (NewsVac) that cruises hundreds of news site URLs as often as every two hours, but it is still growing and does not yet check every single Web site that might publish an article that belongs here.

And no piece of software, given real life bandwidth and hardware limitations, can possibly dig through every small or personal site that might publish an interesting piece about (for example) OpenBSD administration in a private wide-area network.

So we invite you to submit anything you see, anywhere, that you think belongs on NewsForge. Chances are, if you've been checking this site for more than a few days, you have a good idea of what that might be -- except that there are a few areas where we don't see much action yet but would like to see more in the future.

We'd like to see more meeting announcements, for instance, even local ones that may appeal to only a tiny fraction of our worldwide audience. We would also like to see more event notifications and calls for papers.

If you spot a new piece of technology that might be important to Open Source developers or users, we'd love to know about it - so please tell us!

We even accept press releases, whether they're from Free Software developers or commercial companies. If they relate to our core interests, we'll run them -- generally without elaboration or comment. NewsForge is an information supplier, not a source of opinions.

(Of course, if you have an opinion you want to share about something we've published, we have a discussion page where you are welcome to do so.)

Many weblog-style news and discussion sites place strict limits on the number of articles they run every day. Slashdot, a prime example, runs between 10 and 20 per day, and that's all. NewsForge is unlimited. If we find 50 relevant articles in one day, that's how many we run. If we find 100, we run 100. There is, literally, no limit in either direction.

We have a (very small) group of editors who select NewsForge stories and write the summaries you see on our main page, but they do not "judge" submissions in the sense of accepting only a few and rejecting all others. They just try to avoid duplicate submissions as much as possible, and do their best to make sure that most of the words on the site are spelled right. All of our editors are Open Source software users, experienced journalists, or both, and when they are not working on the NewForge feed they are either writing stories or writing code.

Since this is still a new site with comparatively few readers (although the number grows steadily every week), you can use the discussion page to ask questions, and you will get an answer from one of us. Or you can send us e-mail and we will send you a personal reply, usually within a few hours on weekdays, and within 24 hours on weekends.

But the main place we hope you'll get involved with NewsForge is on our submissions page. Slashdot, by dint of its nature, only runs a tiny percentage of what gets submitted so most submittors go away disappointed. NewsForge has only rejected a few submissions, ever, mostly because they were duplicates of stories we had already run.

NewsForge is an experiment; an attempt to create a true "online newspaper" that either links to or directly covers all Open Source news, not just some little bit of it. And with your help, we might just pull it off.

Robin 'roblimo' Miller

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