More than fourteen years ago, I was configuring Linux-based server systems for customers. I was quickly losing track of the then-current versions of the applications I needed to install in order to make those servers perform their intended tasks. Those were the early days of the Web, database-driven websites were almost unheard of, and I didn’t have the slightest idea about programming.
One night during the fall of 1997, I started cobbling together a static HTML page containing the latest version numbers and links to the websites of the Linux kernel, the Apache webserver, and Vi, respectively. The page was using a table-based layout, used
<font> tags all over the place, and was in desperate need of a name.
Tossing around a few combinations of words in my sleep-deprived head I came up with a working title for my little version-tracking page – and freshmeat was born. Little did I know that this brand would survive the dot-com bubble, see services like Google, Wikipedia, and Twitter grow to a massive scale, and be accessed from mobile phones and tablet computers over fast broadband connections.
freshmeat has operated under the radar of its parent company Geeknet for more than a decade, while numerous sales teams have struggled to position the freshmeat brand appropriately among potential sponsors in the United States. Outside of our very own small niche of the Web, people have all sorts of associations with the name freshmeat, most of which have nothing to do with a free, open source software directory.
Due to the nature of our offering, which makes content and services available to developers and end-users for free, we rely on ad revenue to keep the lights on.
Since all of us at Geeknet agree that this site and the community powering it have tremendous potential, even after more than 14 years of existence, we decided to change the name of the site, effective immediately, to Freecode.
With this new name we expect a huge leap forward in the ability to position the site commercially, without additional efforts required to explain the name. This should result in better ad products displayed on the site, which means a better site experience for you, our users, and more resources for our community. Freecode will also be more attractive and less ambiguous to new users.
I am the first to admit that it took me a moment to realize that this change was needed. I hope I can count on you for your continued support of our efforts, now under the new name Freecode.
Site director Freecode