Pete Wright describes on his Weblog, Strange new worlds, and programming languages... how he was used by Microsoft to influence others:
I'm on Microsoft 'influencer' lists, email lists where Microsoft people try to get me to tow the company line and say great things about them and their products because it's perceived that I have an audience.
Do CAD software companies use influencer lists? I am sure they do -- we editors are given special treatment; bloggers are given "news leaks". Can you think of other examples?
So far, CAD marketing departments don't give influencers The Microsoft Treatment, which I have experienced (and documented under The Microsoft Chronicles on my Gizmo Grabowski weblog), and is briefly described by Mr Wright:
The times that I've deviated from that line though I've found myself well and truly out in the cold. One particular 'evangelist' even went completely silent on me after I pulled out of a speaking engagement due to appendicitis. Nothing was said, but the sentiment was obvious.