Salon.com (Nasdaq: SALN; www.salon.com), one of the leading Internet media companies, announced
today that it plans to launch, in early March, a Web site dedicated to the free-software movement, also known as “open source” and widely recognized for its
application in Linux-based operating systems. The newest destination on the Salon.com network — The Free Software Project — will serve as a rich
informational resource on the open-source phenomenon that will appeal simultaneously to Linux devotees and the general reader.
The Free Software Project will draw largely on the reporting and commentary of Andrew Leonard, senior technology writer for Salon Technology. Covering
the news, politics and technology of the burgeoning movement since 1997, Leonard has, according to the Wall Street Journal, generated a “huge following”
among the technology community. For the past few months, he has been channeling his reporting toward a full-length book.
The Free Software Project will combine the professionalism and quality Salon.com’s technology coverage is known for with the all-contributions-welcome
spirit of the open-source world itself. Leonard’s book will be rolled out chapter by chapter on the site, in a new experiment in online journalism. As Leonard
completes each section of the book, it will be uploaded online and subjected to the intense scrutiny and criticism of the Linux community. Special discussion
software will allow readers to post their comments directly to the text of the book, and Leonard will respond to their critique, editing the text in an ongoing
“The open-source movement is one of the most exciting high-tech stories unfolding today,” commented David Talbot, Salon.com chairman and editor in
chief. “Salon.com has established itself as a leading chronicler of this digital revolution with Andrew Leonard’s cutting-edge journalism. We are uniquely
positioned to build a free-software site that will not only have wide reader appeal but also draw in potential new sponsorship revenue.”
A recognized leader in free-software coverage, Salon.com currently provides content to major open-source and Linux sites. “In January, Salon.com agreed to
provide articles to Red Hat’s newly launched news site, Wide Open News,” Russ Mitchell, editor in chief of Red Hat’s Wide Open News, said. “We selected
Salon.com as an editorial partner because of the high quality of their open-source coverage. We’re sure that they will apply the same standard to this noble
experiment in book publishing, and that the open-source community will contribute to making Leonard’s book the best it can be.” Red Hat (Nasdaq: RHAT -
news) is a leader in open-source operating system software, services and information and distributes the popular Red Hat Linux Operating System.
Deepening its coverage of the Linux movement, Salon.com’s Free Software Project will also serve as a hyperlinked library of resources for anyone interested
in learning more about free and open-source software. Incorporated into the site will be numerous interviews with and profiles of the founders and leaders of
the open-source movement, highlighting their colorful personalities, visionary ideas and forceful debates. In addition, the site will feature articles aimed at
newcomers to Linux, leading them through the experience of adopting this versatile but sometimes challenging software.
“As the open-source movement grows by leaps and bounds, Andrew Leonard keeps his eye on the big picture and has been unafraid to ask tough questions,”
said Dr. Larry M. Augustin, president and CEO of VA Linux Systems. “By developing his book in an open forum, Andrew is making a bold move that
should generate a lively and productive discourse on open-source.” VA Linux Systems (Nasdaq: LNUX – news) is a leader in Linux and open-source
solutions and services.
Salon.com (http://www.salon.com; AOL Keyword: Salon) is an Internet media company that produces a network of 11 original content sites and two
communities — Table Talk and The Well. Salon.com was founded by David Talbot, former editor of the San Francisco Examiner. Premier advertisers and
sponsors of Salon.com include IBM, Lexus, Microsoft, Virgin.com, Intel, DrKoop.com, barnesandnoble.com and EDS. Salon.com has relationships with over
325 advertising sponsors. In December 1999, Salon.com’s network of Web sites had 3.4 million unique visitors.
Salon.com recently announced an equity and content agreement with Rainbow Media Holdings, Inc., a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation and
NBC, to develop online content and Salon.com’s first television series, targeted to air on Bravo Networks in Fall 2000.
In January 2000, Salon.com announced a content agreement with Red Hat, a leading provider of OpenSource and Linux software. Salon.com also distributes
its content to leading online and Internet companies such as America Online (AOL). Other Internet sites that carry Salon.com content on a regular basis
include Lycos, GO.com, Alta Vista, Reuters, CNN.com and CNET. In the wireless and handheld arenas, Salon.com has signed content distribution
agreements with both AvantGo and Rocket eBooks. Salon.com also syndicates through United Features Syndicate. Salon.com has an ecommerce ticketing
and advertising sponsorship sales agreement with CultureFinder.
This announcement contains forward-looking statements concerning advertising and traffic growth that involve risks and uncertainties including, among
others, acceptance and effectiveness of advertising, growth in use of the Internet, Salon.com’s limited operating history, anticipated losses, the unpredictability
of its future revenues, successful development of Salon.com’s television show, competition, risks associated with system development and operation,
management of potential growth and risks of new business areas, business combinations and strategic alliances. Actual results could differ materially from
those discussed. More information about factors that potentially could affect Salon.com’s financial results is included in the Company’s filings with the
Securities and Exchange Commission available at the SEC’s Web site ( http://www.sec.gov ). All forward-looking statements are based on information
available to the company on the date hereof, and the Company assumes no obligation to update such statements.