techcrunch for the open source desktop

Someone asked in comments what I meant about a techcrunch for open source; while I sit at halftime of US-Greece (basketball world championships) I thought I’d answer. Note that there are many linux reviews that do one or more of these things, but none (as far as I know) that put them together like techcrunch does. Of course, if it does exist, put it in comments :)

  • user/feature-focused, not tech/people-focused. LWN’s grumpy editor series is quite good at this, but most other linux software reviews are not. Techcrunch will occassionally mention a technology used to build a site, but only rarely.
  • global perspective: I don’t care whether you like it. I care whether you think other people will like it. Distro reviews are the absolute worst genre of reviews on the entire planet for this; techcrunch is uniformly quite good at this.
  • business-conscious: techcrunch is good at explaining why a site exists. linux desktop software reviews are usually pretty poor about this, especially in the corporate context- if a business is sponsoring development of a tool or feature, a good review should include why that is.
  • concise: techcrunch gets to the point quickly- not much fluff; high information density.
  • focused: techcrunch does one thing- web 2.0-y startup sites- and does it well. I’d like a linux desktop software review site; ignore distro reviews (except to focus on the desktop integration of new distros); ignore web stuff and CLI bits (unless critical to the desktop for some reason). This helps with…
  • consistency: this is huge. If I read techcrunch, I know exactly what I’m getting…
  • timely: … and I’m getting it several times a day. This would be the hardest thing for a linux review site to duplicate, actually, since the combination of consistency and timeliness implies full-time staff, or very, very well coordinated/edited volunteers.

It is probably worth adding that I think the linux desktop needs this as part of the move to broaden its appeal- a site like this allows you to reach out to those who are interested in improving their linux desktop experience, but doesn’t want to dig too deep to figure out how to do that.
(By the way, a truly great techcrunch-like site would build everything they review with autopackage or something similar, to help people try out whatever the reviewer used. The real techcrunch has a huge edge over any linux desktop site that way, generally.)