January 12, 2005

Site review: LinuxLinks.com

Author: Tina Gasperson

Sure, LinuxLinks.com has thousands of links, but it also provides helpful discussion forums about jobs, bargains, programming, and how to get started using Linux. There's a newsfeed and a wiki, too.Some sections of the links collection are well-tended and up-to-date, like the Latest Links section, which showed about 20 new links added on a recent day. Some sections, like Events, are a mixture of stale and fresh. There are a few events listed for 2004/2005, but most are much older.

The wiki is where visitors can add their own links, pages, and other information, but unfortunately the most recent addition on the day I visited was a large collection of porn links that had nothing to do with Linux. The cool thing about wiki, of course, is that you can just delete anything you don't like. The wiki has been around only since October, and it needs a lot more activity to make it worthwhile.

The polls section is curiously empty as well. There are only two undated polls, each with fewer than 500 votes.

Forums are fairly active, with categories including Reviews, Beginners, Distributions, Networking/Security, Software, PDAs, Jobs, Bargains, and Programming. Bargains was the forum I enjoyed the most, with its interesting chatter about the cheapest places to get things like DVD media or graphics cards, as well as offers to sell Linux CDs and tips on good systems to buy.

One of the more interesting features of LinuxLinks.com is the new Linux Guide, launched just last month. It is a glossary of all Linux-related terms, phrases, words, and personalities. You can add entries by sending them to the webmaster. Then there is MyLinks, a feature that allows registered users to subscribe to any of the links categories and receive email messages when that section is updated with new links. With MyLinks, users can also store a collection of their favorite links on a personal page right at the LinuxLinks.com site, so they can access them from any online computer.

LinuxLinks.com got its start as the private home page of Steve Emms more than 10 years ago. When Linux started to get big, Emms decided it was time to get organized and go public with the collection. Now LinuxLinks.com boast more than 9,200 registered users and some 20,000 links.

LinuxLinks.com says it is always looking for donations. It says it shies away from placing pop-up or -under ads on the site in order to protect visitors from intrusive advertising experiences. LinuxLinks is sponsored by Chessclub.com, but that's not enough to pay for everything. Other ways users can help, according to the webmaster: writing a review, posting links, correcting out-of-date URLs, posting news stories, offering support in the forums, or recommending the site to friends and colleagues.

Overall, LinuxLinks is a good and useful resource that's simply in need of some attention.

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