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May 16th, 2015

Why Courtney Love Wants You to Support FOSS Force’s IndieGoGo Campaign

Life is funny. Investors line up to throw millions of dollars at the dumbest projects. “Entrepreneurs” launch startups with the objective of sucking up nice big piles of investor capital and then getting acquired. Building and running a business, and developing a product that people want, isn’t part of the plan. It’s a shell game with everyone snagging as much cash as possible before moving on to the next game.

Carla Schroder

Carla Schroder

Then there are the people who want to do something worthwhile, like Christine Hall and the writers at FOSS Force. FOSS Force is a trusted independent voice, which is rather rare these days. Money and independence don’t often intersect because of the Golden Rule: the one with the gold makes the rules. The bulk of tech “journalism” is not journalism at all. In the olden days of print magazines and newspapers, subscription and classified ad revenues balanced the influence of advertising revenues. As a subscriber you actually mattered because you paid money.

In the Internet economy you are now the product, and marketers are the customers. They have shattered the wall of separation between editorial and advertising, and marketing has invaded and conquered editorial. Tech “journalism” is an extension of marketing. Advertorial. Lead generation. Content marketing. It’s all about selling out readers. They don’t care about you except as fodder for their insatiable advertising overlords.

FOSS Force is one of the rare exceptions. It is a labor of love and dedication to independent reporting, and an unashamed Free/Open Source software advocate. It doesn’t pander to corporate money. It covers the stories that the big-name tech publications will never touch; the stories that are interesting and useful to Linux users, rather than painted-over press releases.

Courtney Love, way back in 2000, saw clearly what the Internet meant to artists, creators and independent journalists. It means we can reach our audiences directly, bypassing the parasites that infest the middle. We can talk to you, and you can talk to us.

Courtney Love also saw that this would result in a tip jar economy. If you like something, you pay the creator directly. If you don’t, you move on.

This only works if you remember to do the “pay the creator directly” part. If you enjoy FOSS Force then send a few dollars their way. Their writers have been working for free since its inception. People need to eat, and nothing says “I like and value your work” like cold hard cash. Don’t wait. People need to eat every day.

Carla Schroder is the author of the "Linux Cookbook" and writes Linux how-tos for several computer publications. In addition, she publishes the blog Carla Schroder's Linux Country.

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