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Linux Today cofounder launches new site

Dave Whitinger fires up Linsight, which currently features a searchable schedule of Linux-related events and a summary of what Linux training and certification programs are available.

After Linux Today was acquired by Internet.com, a cofounder of the online publication has left to form a new Linux information site called Linsight.

Dave Whitinger helped start Linux Today in 1998, and Internet.com bought the publication in October 1999, one of a series of acquisitions. Now Whitinger has launched Linsight, which currently features a searchable schedule of Linux-related events and a summary of what Linux training and certification programs are available.

"I really wanted to fill out the other things that I know the community needs," a plan he had since well before Linux Today was acquired, Whitinger said in an email interview. "I wanted to create a complete Linux information resource that covered all aspects of Linux."

The creation of a Linux jobs site at Linux Today was intended to be "the beginning of our spreading outside of the realm of just reporting the news," but he and cofounder Dwight Johnson agreed such an expansion would spread the resources of the publication too thin.

Linux Web sites are all the rage as companies try to attract as much attention as possible for the newly popular, open-source operating system. Some companies, such as Andover.Net, hope to generate advertising revenue from the sites. VA Linux Systems, a Linux computer seller, hopes its sites will increase goodwill among Linux customers and make Linux a better product overall.

For its part, Red Hat hopes its site will drive sales of its Linux software and, to win more advertising revenue as well, has set up its own news site, WideOpen.

Linsight won't poach on Linux Today's turf, but its plans are broad beyond that, Whitinger said.

"If it's Linux information, we'll have it covered," he said. Having useful information, not just lots of it, will be critical in keeping Linsight alive amid so much competition, he added. "The key to providing a good service is not in having an enormous amount of information, but rather providing the reader with a really powerful front-end to access that content," he said.

For example, the Linux events feature will list items by proximity to the user's zip code. An expansion of the site is scheduled in February.

Internet.com, which hosts numerous high-tech Web sites, has acquired LinuxStart, LinuxPlanet and Linux Central. Andover.Net had a hot IPO in December, driven by investor enthusiasm for the Linux trend.