Linux Portal Mini-HOWTO

Feature written by James Baughn on Wednesday, May 19, 1999

from the do-it-yourself-portal dept.

If Humorix had a million dollars for every self-proclaimed "Linux portal" that's been launched in the last year, we'd be richer than Bill Gates (give or take a few billion). All of these "portal" websites are trying to cash in on the popularity of Linux. What is ironic, however, is that portals are virtually worthless -- anybody can create their own. As proof, Humorix presents the "Linux Portal Mini-HOWTO", a guide to creating your own portal website and raking in millions from advertisers and venture capitalists.

Step 1. Choose a domain name for your Linux portal.

A long URL is unacceptable in the cut-throat Linux portal market. You'll need to have your own catchy domain name to lure in visitors. Of course, finding a catchy domain name that hasn't been sucked up by squatters is next to impossible, so you'll have to be creative.

After scouring the whois index, we've found some possible names that haven't been registered (yet).

Generic portal names:

  • i-want-a-portal.com
  • open-source-portal.com
  • i-want-a-linux-portal.com
  • portal-portal-portal.com
  • gnuportal.com

Generic names people might type in as a joke:

  • what-the-heck-is-linux.com
  • i-need-linux-help.com
  • i-love-linux.com
  • tuxpenguin.org
  • nudesource.org

Domains that take advantage of the popularity of other sites:

  • slashdont.org
  • slashdotdot.org
  • sashdot.org
  • userunfriendly.org
  • themez.org
  • freshbeef.org
  • fresh-meat.org

Domains that allow you to pretend you maintain something you don't:

  • linux-doc-project.org
  • linux-homepage.org
  • gnu-project.org
  • free-software-foundation.org

Domains that are refreshingly honest (not recommended):

  • linux-news-copied-from-elsewhere.com
  • money-making-linux-portal.com
  • yet-another-ad-filled-portal.com

Of course, you'll want to have your domain and site hosted by an ISP who is fully capable of withstanding the Slashdot Effect. Hint: If they run Windows NT and IIS, they aren't Slashdot-Ready.

Step 2. Download, install, and learn how to use David Coppit's Daily Update perl script.

This program will automatically download news from other sites, neatly format it, and insert it into your own webpages. The cornerstone of any successful portal site is having content stolen borrowed from other sites.

Daily Update has a handler for downloading the latest Humorix headlines, a feature you will certainly want to take advantage of. No self-respecting "Linux portal" is complete without the latest Linux fake news from Humorix.

Step 3. Design your site.

You'll want to create a site that is light on original content, heavy on content borrowed using Daily Update, and extrememly heavy on advertising, marketing, and buzzwords.

Note: It's vitally important that you put the word "portal" somewhere on your site. Sites that call themselves "portals" -- even if they are no different than "non-portals" -- will be instantly successful in today's market.

Warning: Never, ever, never produce pages that contain a .htm or .asp extension! You'll be sorry if you do.

Step 4. Promote your site via the Nerd Grapevine.

You'll definitely want to get your site featured on these sites (in order of importance): Humorix, Slashdot, LinuxToday, Freshmeat, LWN, and any other Linux portal you can find. You may want to purchase the Slashdot Baiting Kit if you have trouble getting mentioned on Slashdot after the first week.

Step 5. Sit back, relax, and rake in money from advertisers and venture capitalists.

You've "earned" it!

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