Letter From the Editor

We need you! That’s right…you! Come read why we need your help here at the GNOME Journal and what we need help with. The editor, Jim Hodapp, is back with a vengeance.

Welcome back. It’s been quite a while since I’ve been able to write anything for the GNOME Journal, but fear not, for I have returned. The GNOME Journal has been on a rough ride lately due to a lack of people with enough time to give the attention and loving care that a volunteer project like the GNOME Journal needs. And so, this reality gave me the topic for this issue.

The GNOME Journal Needs You!

Let me begin by reminding you that the GNOME Journal is brought to you completely by volunteers. Nobody receives any compensation in any form besides the satisfaction of a job well done. With that in mind, let me be forthcoming with you. We need you; we need you badly. Now, let me explain. We do receive articles from people who are passionate about a certain topic, and took the initiative to write an article and submit it to our mailing list. We greatly appreciate these volunteers, and really, without them we would barely have more than an article or two per issue.

But all of the regular volunteers have a vision for this magazine which celebrates GNOME. That vision is to make it a central source for original and high quality articles about GNOME that naturally lend themselves to marketing GNOME well. It is a place for people to be inspired by the altruism of the community, the dedication to excellence, and the pursuit of helping create something that is bigger than the individual contributors to each project. We have not, and still are not, been able to completely enact this vision yet because of a lack of regular volunteer writers. We have a number of people who are good at editing and helping polish the articles for publishing; but what we lack
are writers.

If you enjoy writing even a little bit, or you don’t know if you like writing but are willing to give it a try, then we need you! Let me spell out what you need to do, if my call to action spurred you on at all:

  • Pick something in the GNOME community that you’re passionate about or would like to learn more about
  • If you need to learn about a topic first, then do the needed research and hands-on experimentation
  • Start writing. If you need help with ideas for sections of your article, ask on the mailing list. If English is your second language and you need help with how to say something, again ask on the mailing list. If you can find someone who can translate your article from your native language to English then please feel free to write in your native language first.
  • Let the project leaders know about your article by submitting a text version of it using the textile markup language that is used by the TextPattern content management system.
  • Work out the details on the mailing list with someone to make sure that your article is edited and ready for publishing in an upcoming issue. To see when a new release is planned and the article submission deadline, refer to the following wiki page.


I realize that to some of you, the thought of committing to writing a regular article for each release of the GNOME Journal sounds like a large task. Let me motivate you by submitting to you that it’s a very rewarding experience. Not only do you get to write about something that you love, but you also get published in a very widely read publication. It can also be a useful experience for showing on your resume to show that you have communication skills, leadership and initiative skills through volunteering; and also it shows that you are organized since you can find the time to regularly write an article on a volunteer basis. All of these are traits that I know a lot of employers look for in potential new employees.

By no means must you make an immediate commitment. Please feel free to write an article or two as a trial and if you don’t like it, or want a smaller commitment then by all means let us know. But don’t let the fear of a commitment stand in your way. I call all of you writers and potential writers to action. Take hold of this opportunity to make an impact on the open source community and ultimately the world by becoming a volunteer writer for the GNOME Journal.

Please send me an email with your thoughts if you would like to discuss this with me.

Discuss this story with other readers on the GNOME forums.


Posted on March 4, 2007, in March 2007. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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