What would you do with Open.org?

The domain name is now, well, open to the community

So? What would you do with Open.org? That was the question put forth by members of the Linux Fund organization last night during a Birds of a Feather session at the Southern California Linux Expo (SCALE 9X). The domain name was recently acquired by Linux Fund from the City of Salem, Oregon for an undisclosed amount. Salem's public library was using the domain for a kids-to-Internet program entitled the Oregon Public Education Network. The Linux Fund purchased the domain at public auction. Randall Schwartz, a member of Linux Fund's board of directors, told the session attendees that, having acquired the domain name, Linux Fund was now looking for suggestions on what to do with it. The session last night (and another session tonight) was aimed to begin the discussion. Suggestions at the session ranged from a professionally managed site with content about all things open, to a link farm and aggregation site, to some sort of listserve that could handle messaging traffic for any project that was open in any way. One thing the attendees agreed upon right from the start, however, was that the domain should be used for more than just open source software. Open hardware, open business practices--anything open should benefit from whatever services go at this domain. One attendee pointed out that although he did not always agree with Simon Phipps, Phipps' "open by rule" criteria on what constitutes an open organization could be applied for anyone using this domain. A challenge for the Linux Fund remains: how will the site (assuming that it's a web site) generate enough revenue to be self-sustaining? The Linux Fund is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, so the domain will at least need to earn enough to be revenue neutral. For one possible revenue idea, this writer suggested that the open.org name could be used as a vanity e-mail address based on a low subscription cost, in much the same way the Linux Foundation sells "linux.com" e-mail addresses to annual or lifetime members. Putting aside the issues of revenue and sustainability, how would you use an open.org domain if you had it? The question is intriguing, to say the least.

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