Next year I'll have been working on the editorial side of computer-aided design for 25 years. (Sept 1985 was my first month at CADalyst magazine.) In those two-and-a-half decades, the CAD publishing industry exploded, particularly in the area of AutoCAD. Magazines, books, independent and user group newsletters, online forums...
And then the Internet shifted us away from paper-based products, and we now have digital magazines, email and Web-based newsletters, ebooks, blogs, online forums...
The original editors and writers are retiring or (sadder to say) dying. The current group of core editors have one-to-two decades of experience, and are still working hard even as thoughts of retirement flicker through.
I sometimes wonder, "Who will take over?" Which is why I am thrilled to see strong voices emerging from the blog scene, names like Matt Lombard, Deelip Menezes, Steve Johnson, and numerous others. While some of them have been in the CAD biz for a decade or more, it is blogging that lets them speak up in a way never before possible.
None of these guys are parrots, as are too many casual bloggers; their experience lets them think deeply about issues, become outraged at injustices, and pontificate on how CAD software could become better. Over the last couple of years, I've watched with pleasure as their writing improved and became more sure-footed.
What's not for freedom-of-the-press lovers to like about headlines like these?
- 3D Connexion Space Pilot review and abuse of superlatives
- Inventor Fusion Is Finally Out, But...
- A touch of Tehran taints the AUGI Special Election
"Users come first" was the mantra Lionel Johnston had when he launched his fledgling CADalyst magazine in the Kootneys, and it's terrific to see decades later his vision carry on through today's writers.
For some, there is no kneeling at the feet of CAD vendors*.
*) What's that supposed to mean? Here's an example: the media kit of a competitor to CADalyst magazine offered vendors four pages of editorial for $10,000. Similar practices continue today.