Red Hat Launches Open Source Gathering Place

by Ostatic Staff - Jan. 28, 2010

No matter what you're pleasure, chances are there is an online community serving it. The open source community has many such places —, for example — that cater to specific elements of the community. Red Hat believes there is room for a larger community for the larger community, however, and have seen to the task themselves with Monday's launch of

Tagged "a Red Hat community service," is to be a hub for open sourcers, providing "a gathering place for many of the open source stories we'd like to share--through articles, audio, web presentations, video, or open discussion." The site is divided into "channels" devoted to various areas of interest: Business, Education, Government, Law, and Life. Articles — several dozen of which are already available — cover topics from vendor lock-in to health care and black holes.

In a blog post introducing the site, Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst said the company's intent is to provide "a connection point for conversations about the broader impact that open source can have--and is having--even beyond the software world." He spoke of creating dialog and connecting people, applying the lessons of open source broadly, and dreams for change.

Though sponsored by Red Hat, Whitehurst stressed that it is a community venture: "[A]ll ideas are welcome, and all participants are welcome. This will not be a site for Red Hat, about Red Hat. Instead this will be a site for open source, about the future." Users will have the opportunity to comment on the site's content, and contribute to it themselves — in the spirit of open source, all content submitted is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike license. (Users must agree to CC licensing during registration.)

That isn't to suggest the site will be a free-for-all, however. Though users can submit content, each channel is moderated by an expert in the subject, drawn from Red Hat's staff — the current lineup includes Red Hat's assistant general counsel, the head of Red Hat Government, and a former Fedora board chairman, among others. The moderator(s) will serve as a point of contact for their channel, and will field proposals from anyone interested in submitting articles.

Whether or not it changes the world remains to be seen, but for the moment, it is certainly headed in the right direction.

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