More on You

More on You

Article from Issue 109/2009

Dear Linux Magazine Reader,

Who are all of you out there? Where do you work? What versions of Linux do you use? Why do you read our magazine? You might be surprised at how little we know about these questions.

Of course, we have some idea that you like Linux, and we can make some assumptions about your interests that must not be too far off the mark, considering we have managed to stay in business for 10 years. But the reality is, we invest a great deal of effort into preparing this magazine for the world, and then once it leaves our office, the rest is all pretty fuzzy. The magazine prints, the printer ships it to a distributor, the distributor ships it to other distributors, then it goes on trucks and is delivered to newsstands and mailboxes in dozens of countries, where it waits upon your anonymous, discovering eyes.

The uncertainties of the publishing paradigm bring to mind the words of the American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, who wrote [1]:

I shot an arrow into the air,

It fell to earth, I know not where;

For, so swiftly it flew, the sight

Could not follow it in its flight.

I breathed a song into the air,

It fell to earth, I knew not where;

For who has sight so keen and strong,

That it can follow the flight of a song?

The only way we find out who you are and what you like is if you tell us. Of course, we have our letters line (, which we read all the time, and the information we receive in your letters is very valuable to us. But people tend to write letters to address specific issues – the letters file isn't an especially good place to learn demographic facts, such as what percent of you are programmers and how many of you are using Fedora?

This long introduction is just to invite you to take our online survey and let us know a little more about who you are and how you use Linux. To participate in the survey, visit:

Your responses are anonymous, unless you choose to enter your email address to place your name in a drawing for one of five free subscriptions.

But I guess I haven't quite gotten to the end of the arrow poem, which is perhaps a fitting way to conclude this entangled meditation:

Long, long afterward, in an oak

I found the arrow, still unbroke;

And the song, from beginning to end,

I found again in the heart of a friend.

Be our oak. Be our friend. Fill out the survey…


  1. "The Arrow and the Song," by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

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