Open for Business
Open for Business (OFB) is an online general interest publication with a technology focus. It features articles on a variety of topics, including computers, technology, politics, current events, theology and philosophy. The site also recently launched a new fiction section that will include short stories and poetry.
OFB was founded on October 5, 2001 as the "open-source migration guide". It was started by Timothy R. Butler after a mailing list discussion prompted him to feel there was a need for a site that would point to articles and white papers discussing migration to Linux. Originally, OFB featured very little original content, instead mimicking Slashdot and other similar sites that included little more than a few small comments on the articles posted. Tim was assisted early on by Steven Hatfield, who helped add postings to the site.
The site started to shift early on, as an increasing amount of free and open-source news was included. About a month after the site was founded the first original editorial content appeared and OFB continued to publish approximately one original work per month after that. In late April 2002, Butler announced a relaunch of the site that included a reduction in links to other sites and a further increase in original content. The relaunch also brought forth the first version of OFB's blue sphere logo and the new tagline "the Independent Journal of Open Source Migration".
On July 4, 2002, Open for Business joined with LinuxandMain.com, KernelTrap.org and Device Forge's LinuxDevices and DesktopLinux.com to form LinuxDailyNews (LDN), an aggregation site that was to help increase the publicity of independent open source news sites and raise their stature in a market that had consolidated into a few large networks of sites. LDN featured a center column that showed story highlights and two side columns that displayed all stories from the member sites in blocks. The site was launched as part of DesktopLinux.com's "wIndependence Day" promotion and featured an early spike in popularity thanks to a mention on Slashdot.org. In progressing months, however, the site's traffic decreased and the lack of a common method of promotion and navigation among member sites diminished any real sense of a network. The site would be taken down in 2004 after a hacker managed to deface the site; although plans existed to restore the site, they were never followed through with and Device Forge assumed the rights to LDN's domain name.
Open for Business continued increasing its range of content. In February 2003, the site finalized its transition to an original content provider, as opposed to a site of links, by moving non-original content to a separate "News Watch" section. New contributing editor Ed Hurst began a series on his switch to FreeBSD in September 2003, beginning a long running, extremely popular series of accessible FreeBSD articles that Hurst continued to add to as late as October 2006. Butler also picked up a new operating system around that time, beginning OFB's coverage of Apple computers. OFB's second associate editor, Eduardo Sánchez returned in mid-2004 as a contributing editor, adding to the variety of articles. Hurst was promoted to associate editor simultaneously.
The site continued in a similar fashion, with its mix of coverage on Linux, BSD and Mac OS X through early 2006. During this period it adopted the updated motto "the Independent Journal of Open Standards and Open Source". Due to other obligations, the site's editors ceased writing content for the site in early 2006, though it remained open during this period.
In recognition of Open for Business's fifth anniversary, Butler announced the relaunch of the site on October 5, 2006. The new OFB adopted the site's current general interest focus, continuing, but de-emphasizing, its past emphasis on Open Source and technology. The site shed its purple and blue, PHP-Nuke-based design that had gone with only minor modifications since the site's original launch for a simpler, content oriented design using a custom backend. The old site was archived as OFB Classic to preserve access to popular past articles.
Open for Business has featured a variety of regular and guest contributors during its time in publication. The regular contributors that have garnered a place on the masthead are:
- Timothy R. Butler, editor-in-chief (2001–present).
- Ed Hurst, contributing editor (2003–2004), associate editor (2004–present).
- Eduardo Sánchez, associate editor (2002–2003), contributing editor (2004–present).
- Jason P. Franklin, contributing editor (2007–present).
- Steven Hatfield, associate editor (2001–2002), contributing editor (2003).
- John-Thomas Richards, contributing editor (2002)