What Is This Community?
The new online community is Opensource.com, and its stated goal is to provide a "gathering place for many of the open source stories we'd like to share -- through articles, audio, web presentations, video, or open discussion." While open source technology is of course a highlight, the site also points out ways that the open source culture has permeated the rest of society, offering Wikipedia, US President Barack Obama and MIT's offering of its teaching materials freely on the web as examples.
Opensource.com consists of a web site running on Acquia Drupal (news, site) and Red Hat's LAMP stack within Amazon's EC2 and the #opensource IRC channel on Freenode.net. It has sections for open source in general, as well as business, education, government, law and life, each of which contain thought-provoking discussions such as open source textbooks in education.
Do We Need A New Open Source Community?
The Internet is littered with the bodies of slain open source communities. One might even say that Internet is one big open source community in and of itself, since it was both founded and runs on the shoulders of many massive open source projects.
Whether an open source community sponsored by Red Hat will gain traction remains to be seen, but in its short lifetime it's chock full of content and healthy discussions on what the site should be and support. Of course, there's also the religious opener-than-thou arguments appearing, but they're not pervasive throughout the site.
Personally, I'm an open source advocate so I wish them the best of luck. But it's not luck that creates a strong and lasting community. That's up to us, wherever we choose to do it.