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"Linux Gazette...making Linux just a little more fun!"

Open Source Market Crisis Means Linux Sites Crash?

An Interview with Former Linux Today French Version Editor Cédric Godart

By Paulo Henrique Caruso
Originally published at OLinux

OLinux: Could you tell us about your carreer, professional abilities, etc.?

Cédric Godart I've been a radio presenter and journalist for 3 years since I left the University (I graduated in translation). I'm 25 years old and I live in Brussels, Capital of Europe. My computer skills wouldn't sound very exciting. I've actually been very interested in the Linux and Open Source movement for three years. Honestly I use two different OS on my home computer, ie Linux and MacOS X.

OLinux: What were the main reasons that brought about the extinction of Linux Today French Version?

Cédric Godart: Advertising revenues have been very low since the beginning of the year. will now only focus on profitable sites. International editions of their Linux and Open Source sites are no longer profitable. The decision was expected but it came as a surprise since LinuxToday Fr was only 9 months old.

OLinux: How many people were involved on the website? How do they react to the extinction?

Cédric Godart: I was the only "journalist" to work on LinuxToday French. A daily press review and about 5 articles a week were my main "mission" on the site. A student helped me with the press review when I was on vacation. Technical issues were in the hands of Scott COURTNEY and Paul FERRIS (the "father" of LinuxToday), both working for the Linux & Open Source Channel of, in the USA.

OLinux: What were the most significant differences between the english version and the french version of 1 today?

Cédric Godart: While the English edition only focused on a press review, adding features from time to time, the French edition offered a press review and daily articles. These articles were also posted on the popular France.Internet.Com, that supported us since Version 2, launched in January.

OLinux: Could you expect that French Linux Today wiould be successful so quickly?

Cédric Godart: I was actually very surprised to see how successful the site became in a couple of months only. Companies and Linux users soon became addicted. To me, the French audience was really in need of some kind of professional (-looking) news site about Linux and Open Source. The success of the English edition also helped us reach a wider audience : indeed, the "LinuxToday" brand is a reference. It may be the reason why the popular Linux Mandrake French site decided to display our news on their homepage.

OLinux: Did influence in your productivity and in your editorial board?

Cédric Godart: Never! Kevin REICHARD (Executive Editor, Internet Technology and Linux/Open Source Channels) trusted me.

OLinux: Despite you have received a bunch of e-mails concerning the disapperance of, did you believe for a moment that could change their mind?

Cédric Godart: No, not really. I expected them to "transfer" Linux and Open Source properties to their official French site, But times are bad for those international editions, as well. If Yahoo keeps telling that the advertising model will undoubtedly prove profitable in the future it's still not.

OLinux: Do you think that economic crisis which also involves open source enterprises will be reflected in Linux and open source news sites?

Cédric Godart: Of course. The Linux market is not mature yet. These are bad times for the whole IT economy. Only a limited number of companies focusing on Linux and Open Source solutions may claim to be profitable. Time will tell.

OLinux: How many page views LinuxToday french version have had per month? And how many stories did you publish every day?

Cédric Godart: Pageviews must remain confidential, I'm sorry... Every day, I could find about 15 articles for the press review and at least one real article. It took me a couple of months to find reliable sources to make a comprehensive press review.

OLinux: If choose for keeping the site's archives, and they invite you to continue working on it, would you accept or not? Why?

Cédric Godart: We can dream! I don't think they would ever do it.

OLinux: Taking into consideration the widespread adoption of Linux worldwide, do you think Linux is a adequate solution when we talk about economic advantages for governments and institutions?

Cédric Godart: I don't really agree with "widespread adoption" of Linux. Linux stands for 5 % of today's desktop market. Only a very limited number of people actually use it as their primary OS. The vast majority keep using Windows, because most people don't really care about rebooting their machine from time to time. Linux must remain a professional OS. Only MacOS X may claim to be a REALLY consumer-oriented Unix. Economical assets for governments and institutions, as well as the availability of source codes, are indeed a key factor for the adoption of Linux in the public sector. You've certainly heard that the French government recently announced their decision to support Open Source technologies.

OLinux: What does a Linux news site must have? Could you tell us some tips that you learn while french 1 today editor?

Cédric Godart: 1/ Stay focused but keep on other OS (Windows / MacOS X and BeOS); 2/ Avoid grammar and syntax errors; 3/ Keep distant from stupid OS wars (Windows sucks), leave it only to fat old geeks or newbies using Outlook Express to post messages on Linux forums ; and 4/ Never show any preference for any company.

OLinux: Can you send a message to OLinux users?

Cédric Godart: Yes, of course. Sorry for not replying in Portuguese. I was actually very surprised when I received your request for an interview. I didn't know a French site, located in Europe, could ever interest people living thousands of miles away! My message : use Linux because you love it, not because it sounds fashionable and never use the word "WindBlows" if you send your messages using Outlook Express.

Copyright © 2001, Paulo Henrique Caruso.
Copying license
Published in Issue 67 of Linux Gazette, June 2001

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