With all that bloggers are doing, what is left for the traditional press? By their numbers, voraciousness and speed, bloggers seemed to have nailed event coverage. It wasn't even a contest. Ditto, tips and tricks -- the press just cannot compete with hard core users -- which most bloggers are. What about tutorials? Once the realm of CAD print magazines and CAD books, I'm seeing an increasing number of good or good-enough tutorials on blogs. In fact, a recent series of tutorials by Orhan Toker on sectioning of AutoCAD solid models may have saved a recent project!
Hey, what about product reviews? Sure, bloggers may post their impressions of a new release and though it may be technically classified a review, in most cases they fall short of those 5,000 word, comprehensive reviews that were the pride and joy back in the glory days of the trade press. Most blogger 'reviews' end up being short, pithy vignettes, but still one could argue that the collective work of the blogging community reviewing a single product (as happens with AutoCAD releases) more than compensates for the massive reviews of old.
Though trade press may have lost ground in the above types of coverage, one way it could still shine would be to do comparative reviews: looking at rival products that help users make a buying decision. Comparative reviews, aka head-to-heads, are done for other areas, notably software, digital cameras, etc. The traditional press editors seem ideally situated to do this. Most magazine editors are showered with CAD software products and end up with shelves full of them. How about comparing them and helping out the befuddled user who is trying to graduate from 2D and needs to know the best 3D CAD product, for example?
Why are well done head-to-head product comparisons so rare in our industry? Only Cadalyst still does them. Still, I don't recall a comparative review between Pro/E or CATIA, Revit or ArchiCAD. Too big of a project? I don't think so-- there's typically only a handful of major players in any vertical market. Not enough interest? Hardly! MCAD and BIM are hot subjects. Too complicated to pick a winner in something so complicated as a CAD program? Well, I have heard that a lot. Yet, we (as a society) don't have any trouble picking out the best movie, best restaurant, best breed of a dog, Time magazine even picks the Person of the Year.
Care to guess what the real reason you don't see more head to head reviews?