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August 29, 2006

Comments

Bob

Trust other CAD users first.

Mark

Anyone remember Joe Greco? He would write about the good AND the ugly in the products he would review.

My 2-cents.

Randall Newton

I have attended events where the vendor paid my basic expenses, and then wrote absolutely nothing afterwards, because there was no real news value. I have attended events on my own dime where I wrote with breathless schoolboy enthusiasm for what I observed. And I have caught ire from various parties in both instances. I learned long ago that I can't make everybody happy all the time. But if I'm honest and faithful in what I do, it all comes out. By the way, I no longer publish "reviews" in AECnews; I consider them "overviews" in which I might express an opinion. But I have not been explicit about it. Until now.

Karl Moffatt

Regrading the issue of Favorable treatment of the media, it is a worthy debate if for no other reason that to remind outselves, on both sides of the aisle, of our own ethics and values.

I would agree that a reporter attending a company paid function feels some pressure to provide coverage but I would also argue that the same reporter might also feel pressure to work even harder to remain objective because he or she is aware of that question mark hanging over their head.

And in some cases this can work against the company sponsoring the event as a reporter may be inclined to dig in thier heels to counter any preception that they've can be had in exchange for a free lunch.

And in defense of the companies who stage such functions and provide airfare, housing and meals, I would argue that small publishing firms might have to forgo, because of budget limitations,covering such events which provide invaluable access to information and contacts if the tab picked.

It's a delicate balance and begs the question as to what cost are we willing to pay to maintain the illusion of complete independence? I once had an editor quesiton my reluctance to attend a free luncheon once by suggesting that that if I could be bought so cheaply perhaps I was in the wrong business.

I would suggest it's a dicey courtship that exists between those companies seeking media coverage and the press as they seek access to information and sources.

And during this courtship I think that both parties are generally working hard to retain their dignity, integrity and independence.

Karl Moffatt
Managing Editor
ConnectPress Publishers of Pro/E Community, CATIA Community, SolidWorks Community, UGS Community, Inventor Connections Community, Solid Edge Community, MicroStation Connections Community, Sun-Enews Community, Green Building Community.

Sean Dotson

Dan,

I was of course speaking hypothetically when I suggested that magazine do not run ads for products they review. Of course they would not survive. However I do not think separating the sales and journalism sides would work either. Would editors allow a bad review to be published if it defamed one of their larger advertisers? Probably not.

Ed,

I'm curious. Have you ever written a bad review, that was published, of a product that advertised in your magazine?

Can someone, anyone point out a BAD review of a product in a mainstream magazine or journal. I know I have never seen one.

Greg Morehouse

I used to love a dirt bike magazine called Dirt Bike, because uniquely in its industry it highlighted the worst as well as the good things about anything it evaluated. If this was done with respect to CAD we would all be better off. One challenge is that CAD is so complicated now. Unless you are an advanced user it's tough to be using the tool correctly, as work arounds are still rife. And CAD bias is also almost impossible to overcome, as the CAD you used first will always be the template for the way you think all CAD should work...

H. Edward Goldberg

As I have mentioned before, I am very company neutral. With that said, if I don't mention a product, you can assume I am not interested in that product. My editor at CADALYST, Sara Ferris, has never asked me to review a product because it was advertised in the magazine, and she has always kept the editoral separate from the advertizing. I think I do a good job of telling the audience what are good products, methodologies, and trends.

Ed Goldberg AIA, NCARB

Dan Dolan

A wise editor/writer of a CAD magazine once reminded me that the business of magazine publishing is selling advertizing and the written article content was only a means to get readers to see the ads.

Yet with that being said, I feel the suggestion of not allowing reviewed vendors to advertise or vendors who advertise not get a review would not work for any of the parties. Some products would not get reviewed. Some products would not be able to advertize. The customer, the magazine and the writer would all lose out.

Having writers/reviewers who are on contract to just write articles is key. Having them divorced from the publishing and selling of advertising is manadatory.

It so happens that we (4D/CADLearning) have had number of our products reviewed by a writer and the articles were published in a major CAD magazine where we had never purchased advertising.

The articles were quite favorable and there had been no enticement by anyone for that review.in fact, the reviews were totally unsolicited.
I believe that honesty and integtity of the writer are key, and I also feel that most of the current trade periodicals offer that honesty and integrity.

The buyer of a software product is only looking for an honest appraisal of the products and does want to read. Not everyone has the opportunity or time to run a full evaluation of a piece of software prior to purchase and others opinions are important. Peer review is vital.

Just my quick thoughts.

Dan Dolan
CADLearning.com

Sean Dotson

>>Have We Failed?

Yes you have. CAD publications are seen as nothing more than 20-30 page advertisements by most users.

You have already pointed out one of my major complaints (that almost all products get a GREAT review). Want to make them honest? CAD magazine should refuse ads from companies whose products they review.

As for the users who makes their CAD decisions based on what they read in the press? They deserve whatever heartache they get. Making a multi-thousand dollar decision based on someone else's (possibly biased) opinions is a recipe for disaster.

Sean Dotson
www.mcadforums.com

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