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Oct 22, 2009

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Matt Lombard

Interesting. Confessions of the professional CAD press. This is an advantage of amateur bloggers that most don't take advantage of. Money really does buy influence, whether you'd admit to it or not. If I'm not making any money from the companies involved, I can't be influenced, and I say what I want to say. To me, the consumer advocate function of independent bloggers is important. I agree with what the FCC is doing trying to get bloggers who pose as independent but really aren't to come clean. When a company buys you plane tickets and hotel rooms and meals, that kind of thing almost guarantees you don't say anything bad about them.

Ralph Grabowski

My worry, as expessed by the blog piece, is being sued out of house and home for something I may have written. I have some protection by operating through a limited corporation in Canada (LLC, in the USA), but this is no guarantee against bankruptcy created by a legal aggressor.

R. Paul Waddington

Got my interest instantly with this piece Ralph.

I can understand where your coming from and equally agree with Matt. But being prepared to say 'something bad' is almost an obligation when discussing products people are purchasing. Else the 'product review' must be ignored by purchasers because it may mislead.

Take the ***** ratings we used to see in Cadalyst articles, as one case in point: and another, the incorrect information that came out of blogs relating to Autodesk's CIP. In Cadalyst there were comments about 'things' that might have not worked great, but in the main that industry mag' completely avoided some really bad points in products - not a good thing to do.
I would argue that it was also part of the reason for the demise of many industry mags - not game enough to tell the whole story, possibly trying to protect advertising revenue - results in readers losing interest. Too much sugar!

Closer to home, for me, is software licencing, if the industry mags, commentators and blogs got stuck into discussing these in an open way we would not have the ludicrous situations we now have surrounding licencing. It is the fear of being sued that has prevented many - who could have had a very good effect in this area - from speaking their minds publicly.
Sticking to the facts about what is good and bad, about products, is what is needed to prevent/avoid litigation.

Yes, your right Ralph aggression can be very damaging but without credibility, and a willingness to put both sides of a story, an industry commentator has nothing more to say than can be read in product brochures or corporate press releases.

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