Brief: Financial issues force Linux Journal to cease its publication after 23 long years in the market.
Update: Linux Journal has been backed by Private Internet Access group of UK and thus they will continue to publish.
It’s a hard time for veteran publishers. It’s a continuous struggle to survive in this digital age when content is available free of cost on the internet, ad-blockers hurting the ad revenue and the paid subscription number keep going south.
Just search for ‘magazines going out of business’ and you’ll find numerous articles about decades-old magazines shutting down.
Today, Linux Journal announced that it is ceasing its publication. One of the best Linux Magazines, Linux Journal has been in the market for 23 long years, since the time Linux Kernel 1.0 was released.
The publication ran out of money. It was never making a ton load of money if you are interested in that. It was run mostly by volunteers and freelancers and most of them have not been paid recently because of the financial crisis.
While we see a future like publishing’s past—a time when advertisers sponsor a publication because they value its brand and readers—the advertising world we have today would rather chase eyeballs, preferably by planting tracking beacons in readers’ browsers and zapping them with ads anywhere those readers show up. But that future isn’t here, and the past is long gone.
What happens to the existing subscribers?
If you are one of the paid subscribers of Linux Journal, you’ll get six free issues of Linux Pro magazine. Subscribers will also get the 2017 archive that usually costs $25, for free. They will be notified of both options by email in coming days.
In search of serious buyers
Linux Journal may still be alive if a new management takes over. But anyone willing to buy Linux Journal will also have to handle the debts, in addition to the brand, the archive, the domains and subscribers, and readers.
Interested buyers can send an email to [email protected] and inquire about the acquisition.
Will a crowdfunding campaign work? Donations?
We discussed the issue of Linux Journal in our team. The obvious ways of helping would be to donate them generously or create a crowdfunding campaign.
But the question arises how long will it be able to support them. With no clues about their monthly running cost, it will be really difficult to start such a campaign.
What do you think of the unfortunate news of Linux Journal shutdown?
The magazine has been around for around 23 years. It has its loyal followers and subscribers. But 23 years is a long time. Generations change in such a long time. One has to keep up with the time and trends.
I have been following them for some time on social media and in my feed. One thing I can clearly see that they handled their social media channels very poorly. Automated postings, no interaction with the readers. Perhaps, they could not connect with the younger audience and relied heavily on their existing reader base.
Whatever may be the reason for the fall of Linux Journal, it is indeed a sad news for a Linux enthusiast. Imagine all the Linux articles for past 23 years and their historical value. Linux Journal is already aware of that and this is why they have made the entire archive of 23 years in HTML format. You can buy it for $11.99. The entire archive is around 700 MB and it opens in a web browser.
Did you follow them or were you a subscriber? What do you think of the demise of Linux Journal? Do share your views.