Changing Times for the CAD Media

For quite a while now the traditional CAD media has been wondering why they were being sidelined by CAD vendors in favor of bloggers. I don’t think some liked the fact that bloggers were being given press “privileges” at vendor hosted events. Today SolidWorks employee, Mike Puckett, explained in great detail, exactly why he believes that bloggers do a much better job than the traditional CAD media, at least in reviewing software. This is what he wrote on his blog today:

“When the group of bloggers visited SolidWorks earlier this month, they had already been using SolidWorks 2010 for at least a month and a half so the questions they were able to ask were far more advanced then say someone who had just recently seen a demonstration of what’s new. That’s why reading the information these guys and gals will be going to put out over the next few weeks will be invaluable. It will be a review of the next release from a point of view that pretty much can only come from a blogger, that of someone who uses the software full time as part of their job.”

If Mike was speaking in a foreign language and I was the interpreter I would put it this way.

“We wine and dine these CAD press people who designed their last part a decade ago in 2D, if ever. We fly them back and forth and put them up in good hotels where they crib about internet connectivity. We send them demos and betas that they never install, let alone use. And they proudly call our software “shelfware”. We make our best demo jocks give them demo’s. They end up taking down notes and asking stupid questions like whether the next quarter will be any worse than the last one. We end up sending them the Powerpoint presentation so that they can use some of the screen shots for their article. They never installed the software, remember. In some cases our PR people write the damn review themselves and send it across to them along with a check for a couple of full page ads. WTF?”

Normally, I happen to disagree with quite a few things that Mike Puckett says. But not this time. I agree with each and every one of his words that I quoted above. However, I do not think that he will agree with each and every word of my interpretation. At least, not publicly.

Ever since I started blogging, I have received numerous requests to review software. In fact, along with half the world, I received a Spaceball as well (the Notebook version), but never got down to writing a review simply because I did not find myself using it with my notebook. Truth be told, I feel a bit guilty every time I look at it on my desk. However, I do talk about stuff that interests me. For example, the article on Variational Direct Modeling I wrote earlier today. You may be surprised to know that Ledas did not ask me to write about VDM. It was the other way around. I was working with them on a project revolving around VDM and found its innards particularly interesing. So I asked them if I could write about it and they gladly agreed. My point is that a person reviewing something should do so because he wants to and not because he has to or feels obliged to.

I can bet that these SolidWorks bloggers have been bursting to tell the world about SolidWorks 2010. And thanks to the SolidWorks NDA, which expired today, they have probably been rattling out the new features of SolidWorks to their spouses, children, pets and plants.

Having said all of the above, I must add that not all traditional press fit my interpretation above. There is one way to know though. Read their articles and reviews. If you find a key ingredient missing, you will know. That key ingredient is called passion.

  • Deelip,

    I doubt that you would find any CAD vendor that would agree with your interpretation, however close it might be to the truth!

    I agree with you that not all CAD press types fit that stereotype.

  • Deelip,

    I doubt that you would find any CAD vendor that would agree with your interpretation, however close it might be to the truth!

    I agree with you that not all CAD press types fit that stereotype.

  • Matt Lombard

    Deelip,
    It’s always refreshing to hear people say what they mean. I think with real press slowly sinking into the horizon, we will see a rise in people who can speak in plain language, without being cowed by a corporate bully. I have little respect for people who cannot (or simply do not) form or express independent thoughts.

  • Matt Lombard

    Deelip,
    It’s always refreshing to hear people say what they mean. I think with real press slowly sinking into the horizon, we will see a rise in people who can speak in plain language, without being cowed by a corporate bully. I have little respect for people who cannot (or simply do not) form or express independent thoughts.

  • Deelip,

    To me it seems like CAD madia has been changing for the past few years and is pretty much changed. When I first got into blogs and blogging my perspective was that the traditional CAD media was great for industry news like how much company A earned, or what company was sueing another company, etc. I looked to the blogs for pure technical content in terms of ‘how do I do this in SolidWorks’. Thats not to say that traditional CAD folks have no clue how to run the CAD programs they write about, they just simply don’t. So even today I look to traditional sources to read industry news, but it’s the blogs with their videos or step by step how-to’s that I add to my favorites and really pay attention to. There is one exception out there though, and thats Develop3D which has done an excellent job of basically taking a CAD technical blog, and publishing it in paper form. It’s an industry magazine that does things to shed some of its seariousness while doing a good job of providing technical information. Thankfully I’m not a PR person because they have a tough job and they do their best, so I will have to leave it up to them as to how spot on your interpretation is.

  • Deelip,

    To me it seems like CAD madia has been changing for the past few years and is pretty much changed. When I first got into blogs and blogging my perspective was that the traditional CAD media was great for industry news like how much company A earned, or what company was sueing another company, etc. I looked to the blogs for pure technical content in terms of ‘how do I do this in SolidWorks’. Thats not to say that traditional CAD folks have no clue how to run the CAD programs they write about, they just simply don’t. So even today I look to traditional sources to read industry news, but it’s the blogs with their videos or step by step how-to’s that I add to my favorites and really pay attention to. There is one exception out there though, and thats Develop3D which has done an excellent job of basically taking a CAD technical blog, and publishing it in paper form. It’s an industry magazine that does things to shed some of its seariousness while doing a good job of providing technical information. Thankfully I’m not a PR person because they have a tough job and they do their best, so I will have to leave it up to them as to how spot on your interpretation is.

  • “Thats not to say that traditional CAD folks have no clue how to run the CAD programs they write about, they just simply don’t. ”

    There should have been the words “write about it” added to the end of that sentance and read: “Thats not to say that traditional CAD folks have no clue how to run the CAD programs they write about, they just simply don’t write about it.”

    Missed that mistake when proof reading!

  • “Thats not to say that traditional CAD folks have no clue how to run the CAD programs they write about, they just simply don’t. ”

    There should have been the words “write about it” added to the end of that sentance and read: “Thats not to say that traditional CAD folks have no clue how to run the CAD programs they write about, they just simply don’t write about it.”

    Missed that mistake when proof reading!

  • Mike: “Thats not to say that traditional CAD folks have no clue how to run the CAD programs they write about, they just simply don’t write about it.”

    Maybe it will be a good exercise to try and find out exactly why they do not write about it.

    ===

    Matt: “I have little respect for people who cannot (or simply do not) form or express independent thoughts.”

    I have no problem with people who “cannot”. I do have a problem with people who “do not”.

  • Mike: “Thats not to say that traditional CAD folks have no clue how to run the CAD programs they write about, they just simply don’t write about it.”

    Maybe it will be a good exercise to try and find out exactly why they do not write about it.

    ===

    Matt: “I have little respect for people who cannot (or simply do not) form or express independent thoughts.”

    I have no problem with people who “cannot”. I do have a problem with people who “do not”.

  • Steve

    Company employee bloggers are not independent or journalist. They are part of marketing. There should be a seperate term. I suggest: “mogger”.

    “Mogger” is a marketing employee blogger.

  • Steve

    Company employee bloggers are not independent or journalist. They are part of marketing. There should be a seperate term. I suggest: “mogger”.

    “Mogger” is a marketing employee blogger.

  • Hi Deelip,

    I Love this topic.

    Great post – and I’m going to share it with my team (most are already following you) – it’s great support material for us to get closer, more understanding of the products, and better aligned to our users/readers to deliver valuable information that can help folks do their jobs. Awesome challenge.

    Media along with consumption habits for information has forever changed – you can read more about my thoughts here – for what its worth we started Design World in 2006 against public opinion on the thoughts shared in this article –

    http://www.foliomag.com/2009/so-what-business-are-you

    I certainly don’t have all the answers and am very open for suggestions -I think we are doing some really good stuff and also have plenty of areas to work on….although Josh at SolidSmack referred to us a conglomerate (which was great for my ego) we are a small, but growing team trying to do something different and better than the perceived market leaders, so don’t be afraid to share your thoughts and issue challenges.

    Thanks for the post.

    WTWH, Scott

  • Hi Deelip,

    I Love this topic.

    Great post – and I’m going to share it with my team (most are already following you) – it’s great support material for us to get closer, more understanding of the products, and better aligned to our users/readers to deliver valuable information that can help folks do their jobs. Awesome challenge.

    Media along with consumption habits for information has forever changed – you can read more about my thoughts here – for what its worth we started Design World in 2006 against public opinion on the thoughts shared in this article –

    http://www.foliomag.com/2009/so-what-business-are-you

    I certainly don’t have all the answers and am very open for suggestions -I think we are doing some really good stuff and also have plenty of areas to work on….although Josh at SolidSmack referred to us a conglomerate (which was great for my ego) we are a small, but growing team trying to do something different and better than the perceived market leaders, so don’t be afraid to share your thoughts and issue challenges.

    Thanks for the post.

    WTWH, Scott

  • Hi Deelip, forget to mention that I think you guys should be front and center – saying when we suck and when we do something right – so I’m all for you going to press events and more.

    Next year – I’ll send an open invite for an all out blogfest at our summer meeting –

    WTWH, Scott

  • Hi Deelip, forget to mention that I think you guys should be front and center – saying when we suck and when we do something right – so I’m all for you going to press events and more.

    Next year – I’ll send an open invite for an all out blogfest at our summer meeting –

    WTWH, Scott

  • Ralphg

    It is only natural for SolidWorks marketing to prefer SolidWorks-using bloggers to flood the blogosphere with “The Message.”

    Editors (most of whom have a background in CAD) know about many software packages, and so describe new releases from a broader point of view.

    Two different points of view for two different sets of readers.

  • Ralphg

    It is only natural for SolidWorks marketing to prefer SolidWorks-using bloggers to flood the blogosphere with “The Message.”

    Editors (most of whom have a background in CAD) know about many software packages, and so describe new releases from a broader point of view.

    Two different points of view for two different sets of readers.

  • No matter how you slice it, everything boils down to who readers trust, and where marketers can get the most bang for the buck. I’m not sure your stereotypes generally hold, but for our industry and for our place and time, I can’t disagree.

  • No matter how you slice it, everything boils down to who readers trust, and where marketers can get the most bang for the buck. I’m not sure your stereotypes generally hold, but for our industry and for our place and time, I can’t disagree.

  • Hi Deelip,

    I’ve heard your name from our Machine Design software editor, Leslie Gordon, who speaks highly of you. I especially enjoyed your last paragraph – “Having said all of the above, I must add that not all traditional press fit my interpretation above. There is one way to know though. Read their articles and reviews. If you find a key ingredient missing, you will know. That key ingredient is called passion.”

    As you probably know, Leslie is highly engaged in the software she writes about. In fact, SolidWorks thinks so highly of her that they sent her to a 2 day training session at one of their VARs – which she enjoyed immensely! She takes time to use the software and learn about it before she writes about it. And if she can’t do it, she’ll ask our readers to provide us their hands-on User Reviews.

    I wish the industry marketing people wouldn’t be so quick to shut out the writers/magazines who helped get these software companies to the forefront – Machine Design has been writing about design software from the inception – and has introduced and connected all of the major software companies to hundreds of thousands, probably millions of intelligent and influential design engineers throughout the years.

    Just don’t forget your humble beginnings, guys – and remember, we (magazines) still have the audiences – in print, online and in person – who depend on the trusted source of in depth technical content to help them do their jobs better. Thanks!

  • Hi Deelip,

    I’ve heard your name from our Machine Design software editor, Leslie Gordon, who speaks highly of you. I especially enjoyed your last paragraph – “Having said all of the above, I must add that not all traditional press fit my interpretation above. There is one way to know though. Read their articles and reviews. If you find a key ingredient missing, you will know. That key ingredient is called passion.”

    As you probably know, Leslie is highly engaged in the software she writes about. In fact, SolidWorks thinks so highly of her that they sent her to a 2 day training session at one of their VARs – which she enjoyed immensely! She takes time to use the software and learn about it before she writes about it. And if she can’t do it, she’ll ask our readers to provide us their hands-on User Reviews.

    I wish the industry marketing people wouldn’t be so quick to shut out the writers/magazines who helped get these software companies to the forefront – Machine Design has been writing about design software from the inception – and has introduced and connected all of the major software companies to hundreds of thousands, probably millions of intelligent and influential design engineers throughout the years.

    Just don’t forget your humble beginnings, guys – and remember, we (magazines) still have the audiences – in print, online and in person – who depend on the trusted source of in depth technical content to help them do their jobs better. Thanks!

  • Liz,

    I think the change in attitude may have something to do with content. I will repeat a comment I just made on Roopinder’s blog:

    “Personally I believe that content is king. Whether it is print, email, web or any other medium. In this internet age there is so much information that readers decide which writers they will read, as opposed to earlier when writers decided what the readers would read.

    These days anyone capable of stringing a few words together (and willing to do so) is a writer. What matters is the value those words offer to the reader, not how and where they appear.”

  • Liz,

    I think the change in attitude may have something to do with content. I will repeat a comment I just made on Roopinder’s blog:

    “Personally I believe that content is king. Whether it is print, email, web or any other medium. In this internet age there is so much information that readers decide which writers they will read, as opposed to earlier when writers decided what the readers would read.

    These days anyone capable of stringing a few words together (and willing to do so) is a writer. What matters is the value those words offer to the reader, not how and where they appear.”

  • Hi Deelip,

    Couldn’t agree with you more on all of your points. Thanks for your update. You’re right – if you have content that inspires people to find you, read you, engage with you – that is what matters. We’re fortunate here at Machine Design to have writers/editors who are technical and engaged themseleves (like Leslie is with software) to inspire engineers – hence, reading time for Machine Design is still on average 65 minutes, per reader, per issue – and engineers find the content so valuable, that they pass their copy of the magazine along to 4 other colleagues. Not sure if blogs, other magazines, other sites have that much traction and loyalty.

  • Hi Deelip,

    Couldn’t agree with you more on all of your points. Thanks for your update. You’re right – if you have content that inspires people to find you, read you, engage with you – that is what matters. We’re fortunate here at Machine Design to have writers/editors who are technical and engaged themseleves (like Leslie is with software) to inspire engineers – hence, reading time for Machine Design is still on average 65 minutes, per reader, per issue – and engineers find the content so valuable, that they pass their copy of the magazine along to 4 other colleagues. Not sure if blogs, other magazines, other sites have that much traction and loyalty.

  • Deelip and all

    CAD vendors, who somehow seem to getting blamed for something here (not quite sure what), have to be realistic about the press available to them and how to work them, and what editorial results in the most success for vendors (success = sales, ultimately).

    Why do many of the more ‘traditional’ CAD media turn into generalists? This is because one person, or even a small team, cannot be fully expert at every CAD, 3D, PLM, AEC, FEA, FEA, PDM and other engineering software placed in front of them. It simply isn’t reality. Al Dean and his team at Develop3D probably do the best job in the industry at testing out as many software products as they can (with Kenneth Wong a decent second to that) but they would not be able explain how to build a 3D spiral in SolidWorks…unless they also got 2 days of training at a VAR like Leslie reportedly has. 🙂

    You want to find instructions to build a spiral? Go to the SolidWorks bloggers who use that particular piece of software every day and know its guts inside out. But don’t expect them to typically be able to chat reliably and anywhere in the same depth about Autodesk Inventor…:)

    So how do we deal with the press? We categorize them and shape each approach to suit their style/expertise. We try and approach everyone with respect and build a presentation/demo that will hopefully speak to them.

    For example, when you are dealing with a general CAD editor, you talk more in overviews rather than detailed terms, unless they decide they want to get detailed at which point you shift gears and reciprocate.

    Most ‘manufacturing’ publications, which Machine Design is regarded by us, tend towards user stories for software, and typically do not have that many pages devoted to engineering software to make that publication an outright #1 target for vendors. Don’t get me wrong – it’s nice to get editorial in. The questions as to if the editorial was successful are what remain with any manufacturing publication.

    Then there are certain publications that happily take pay-for-play editorial – you know who you are – and that is a budget issue for the CAD vendors, but if it leads to sales, we will do it.

    Some publications are simply looking for decent well-written content, at no charge, and if the vendor can supply it, up it goes…

    CAD vendors have to be realistic about the publications and also the readerships they have. I always take the view that readers of any publication are always brighter than the people that write them, and any publication that does pay-for-play content will ultimately fail because they have no respect for their readers. (But we will use them in the meantime.) This view comes about because readers can at the end, always sniff out paid-for content and will switch off reading that publication and go elsewhere in the long-run.

    And in my opinion that ‘elsewhere’ will be where the readers can get smart, level opinions, unbiased by vendor pressure, where they get educated about the part of the CAD market they are interested in. Who is that going to be? Bloggers? Traditional media? Don’t know – my crystal ball isn’t quite functioning this week:).

    It’s all a bout content, but it’s also all about what vendors get out of it to achieve their commercial needs. Editors shouldn’t forget that either..

    Rach

  • Deelip and all

    CAD vendors, who somehow seem to getting blamed for something here (not quite sure what), have to be realistic about the press available to them and how to work them, and what editorial results in the most success for vendors (success = sales, ultimately).

    Why do many of the more ‘traditional’ CAD media turn into generalists? This is because one person, or even a small team, cannot be fully expert at every CAD, 3D, PLM, AEC, FEA, FEA, PDM and other engineering software placed in front of them. It simply isn’t reality. Al Dean and his team at Develop3D probably do the best job in the industry at testing out as many software products as they can (with Kenneth Wong a decent second to that) but they would not be able explain how to build a 3D spiral in SolidWorks…unless they also got 2 days of training at a VAR like Leslie reportedly has. 🙂

    You want to find instructions to build a spiral? Go to the SolidWorks bloggers who use that particular piece of software every day and know its guts inside out. But don’t expect them to typically be able to chat reliably and anywhere in the same depth about Autodesk Inventor…:)

    So how do we deal with the press? We categorize them and shape each approach to suit their style/expertise. We try and approach everyone with respect and build a presentation/demo that will hopefully speak to them.

    For example, when you are dealing with a general CAD editor, you talk more in overviews rather than detailed terms, unless they decide they want to get detailed at which point you shift gears and reciprocate.

    Most ‘manufacturing’ publications, which Machine Design is regarded by us, tend towards user stories for software, and typically do not have that many pages devoted to engineering software to make that publication an outright #1 target for vendors. Don’t get me wrong – it’s nice to get editorial in. The questions as to if the editorial was successful are what remain with any manufacturing publication.

    Then there are certain publications that happily take pay-for-play editorial – you know who you are – and that is a budget issue for the CAD vendors, but if it leads to sales, we will do it.

    Some publications are simply looking for decent well-written content, at no charge, and if the vendor can supply it, up it goes…

    CAD vendors have to be realistic about the publications and also the readerships they have. I always take the view that readers of any publication are always brighter than the people that write them, and any publication that does pay-for-play content will ultimately fail because they have no respect for their readers. (But we will use them in the meantime.) This view comes about because readers can at the end, always sniff out paid-for content and will switch off reading that publication and go elsewhere in the long-run.

    And in my opinion that ‘elsewhere’ will be where the readers can get smart, level opinions, unbiased by vendor pressure, where they get educated about the part of the CAD market they are interested in. Who is that going to be? Bloggers? Traditional media? Don’t know – my crystal ball isn’t quite functioning this week:).

    It’s all a bout content, but it’s also all about what vendors get out of it to achieve their commercial needs. Editors shouldn’t forget that either..

    Rach

  • Rachael,

    I appreciate your candor. I am not sure if CAD vendors are being blamed for anything here. You blame people when they do something wrong, right? 😉

    Lets play this out a little. You rightly pointed out that success = sales. A sale is obviously the commercial goal of any advertiser. To sell something you need to tell a prospective customer how good that thing is, and you need someone to convey that message to him.

    So if I want to learn to be a better cook or learn new recipes, I will go buy a book written by the world best chef, not by someone who took a cookery class just yesterday. Especially if I have already been cooking reasonably well all my life.

    My point is that existing and prospective customers are mostly interested in the technical aspects of the software that they work with day in and out, and not with the stock price of the CAD vendor or its quarterly earnings. And they would definitely prefer listening/reading to someone who has more experience than them. Previously, in the days of the print media, magazines were all that they had. The internet has changed that. Forget blogs, online video is just amazing. A user can actually see how a product works, as opposed to deducing it from screen shots and diagrams. Print media is nowhere close to offering customer that kind of experience.

    Personally, I prefer picking up a magazine and reading it. It feels nice and gets my total undivided attention. But when I want some advice on something or news about the latest feature of a product, you will not find me leafing through magazines. I fire up a browser, type in a search phrase and eventually end up at a blog or article that tells me exactly what I need to know.

  • Rachael,

    I appreciate your candor. I am not sure if CAD vendors are being blamed for anything here. You blame people when they do something wrong, right? 😉

    Lets play this out a little. You rightly pointed out that success = sales. A sale is obviously the commercial goal of any advertiser. To sell something you need to tell a prospective customer how good that thing is, and you need someone to convey that message to him.

    So if I want to learn to be a better cook or learn new recipes, I will go buy a book written by the world best chef, not by someone who took a cookery class just yesterday. Especially if I have already been cooking reasonably well all my life.

    My point is that existing and prospective customers are mostly interested in the technical aspects of the software that they work with day in and out, and not with the stock price of the CAD vendor or its quarterly earnings. And they would definitely prefer listening/reading to someone who has more experience than them. Previously, in the days of the print media, magazines were all that they had. The internet has changed that. Forget blogs, online video is just amazing. A user can actually see how a product works, as opposed to deducing it from screen shots and diagrams. Print media is nowhere close to offering customer that kind of experience.

    Personally, I prefer picking up a magazine and reading it. It feels nice and gets my total undivided attention. But when I want some advice on something or news about the latest feature of a product, you will not find me leafing through magazines. I fire up a browser, type in a search phrase and eventually end up at a blog or article that tells me exactly what I need to know.

  • Hi Deelip – your blog item did exactly what you intended: It generated a storm of controversy! Obviously, this is good for your following — not at all a bad thing — but perhaps a tiny bit disingenuous.
    The point of much of the so-called B2B “traditional” technical media such as MACHINE DESIGN magazine is that, by and large, we are paid to take (usually) inscrutable, highly technical content and make it informative and interesting for our readers who, although highly educated, might not be as familiar with subjects such as, say, CFD, as everyday users.
    True, I am not a CAD jockey, but with a MS in Information Architecture and Knowledge Management, I am quite capable of understanding technical concepts. And with a BA in English, I am quite capable of writing about them. Thus, I am part of the journalistic media that lots of the Web-media types seem to be continually bashing.
    I have LOTS of passion about CAD, FEA, CFD, programming, databases, and other engineering-related software topics. Likewise, I love writing about topics such as friction-stir welding, micro-machining, and the electron beaming of engineered lattice structures. In fact, I have 18 years of on-the-floor manufacturing experience, a type of experience that I bet most bloggers lack. Do they know how to read a micrometer, or what an injection molding machine even looks like? Have they ever actually run a CNC machine tool? This kind of knowledge, as you know, is invaluable and garners a lot of respect among industry professionals.
    I agree to an extent that content is king. Today, though, it seems that the bottom line is all about MONEY. Much online content is a bunch of smoke and mirrors, merely thinly disguised advertising. And what about audience? There are people who still enjoy reading well-crafted prose on technical topics. And there are those that would probably prefer to just grab some information from an online video. The upshot – there is room for us all.

    Cheers!

  • Hi Deelip – your blog item did exactly what you intended: It generated a storm of controversy! Obviously, this is good for your following — not at all a bad thing — but perhaps a tiny bit disingenuous.
    The point of much of the so-called B2B “traditional” technical media such as MACHINE DESIGN magazine is that, by and large, we are paid to take (usually) inscrutable, highly technical content and make it informative and interesting for our readers who, although highly educated, might not be as familiar with subjects such as, say, CFD, as everyday users.
    True, I am not a CAD jockey, but with a MS in Information Architecture and Knowledge Management, I am quite capable of understanding technical concepts. And with a BA in English, I am quite capable of writing about them. Thus, I am part of the journalistic media that lots of the Web-media types seem to be continually bashing.
    I have LOTS of passion about CAD, FEA, CFD, programming, databases, and other engineering-related software topics. Likewise, I love writing about topics such as friction-stir welding, micro-machining, and the electron beaming of engineered lattice structures. In fact, I have 18 years of on-the-floor manufacturing experience, a type of experience that I bet most bloggers lack. Do they know how to read a micrometer, or what an injection molding machine even looks like? Have they ever actually run a CNC machine tool? This kind of knowledge, as you know, is invaluable and garners a lot of respect among industry professionals.
    I agree to an extent that content is king. Today, though, it seems that the bottom line is all about MONEY. Much online content is a bunch of smoke and mirrors, merely thinly disguised advertising. And what about audience? There are people who still enjoy reading well-crafted prose on technical topics. And there are those that would probably prefer to just grab some information from an online video. The upshot – there is room for us all.

    Cheers!

  • Leslie,

    Like I said, there are exceptions. I cannot comment on Machine Design as I do not get a copy. I do get DEVELOP 3D and I must say that that magazine is most definitely an exception.

    I think you have taken exception to my chef and cookery class analogy. Let me elaborate a little. The other day I sat for two and a half hours with a couple of Kubotek people as they showed me their software. Thereafter, I started playing around with the software and soon realized that I had only scratched the surface. The product is so huge and complex that even if I sat with it for a week, I would not be able to give an in depth review. My point is that only a long time KeyCreator user would be able to do real justice to a KeyCreator review. If I were to write a review based solely on that 2.5 hour demo or the time I spent after it, I would be mainly describing what I saw in that demo and a little more.

    Liz mentioned earlier on that you sometimes ask your readers to do hands on users reviews. That is wonderful. And that’s precisely my whole point. But I have seen magazines (and I bet you have too) where one person does reviews for just about every software that is being advertised on that issue. We all know where that content came from. Short of taking names, Rachael has explained quite clearly what goes on in the print media (pay-for-play).

    You ended by saying that there is room for all of us. I disagree. There is room only for people to serve the interests of readers by offering unbiased useful content and somehow manage to keep their advertisers (if any) happy as well. This is irrespective is whether it is the Machine Design magazine, this blog or any other publication. You must note that the title of this post is “Changing Times for the CAD Media” and I am talking about media in general, not print media in specific. While the people commenting on this post may be targeting print media, I am not.

    Sure printed magazines have some limitations like lack of video, hyperlinks, etc. but I still love them (see http://www.deelip.com/?p=344) because they offer a different experience. And they definitely have a place in an online world.

  • Leslie,

    Like I said, there are exceptions. I cannot comment on Machine Design as I do not get a copy. I do get DEVELOP 3D and I must say that that magazine is most definitely an exception.

    I think you have taken exception to my chef and cookery class analogy. Let me elaborate a little. The other day I sat for two and a half hours with a couple of Kubotek people as they showed me their software. Thereafter, I started playing around with the software and soon realized that I had only scratched the surface. The product is so huge and complex that even if I sat with it for a week, I would not be able to give an in depth review. My point is that only a long time KeyCreator user would be able to do real justice to a KeyCreator review. If I were to write a review based solely on that 2.5 hour demo or the time I spent after it, I would be mainly describing what I saw in that demo and a little more.

    Liz mentioned earlier on that you sometimes ask your readers to do hands on users reviews. That is wonderful. And that’s precisely my whole point. But I have seen magazines (and I bet you have too) where one person does reviews for just about every software that is being advertised on that issue. We all know where that content came from. Short of taking names, Rachael has explained quite clearly what goes on in the print media (pay-for-play).

    You ended by saying that there is room for all of us. I disagree. There is room only for people to serve the interests of readers by offering unbiased useful content and somehow manage to keep their advertisers (if any) happy as well. This is irrespective is whether it is the Machine Design magazine, this blog or any other publication. You must note that the title of this post is “Changing Times for the CAD Media” and I am talking about media in general, not print media in specific. While the people commenting on this post may be targeting print media, I am not.

    Sure printed magazines have some limitations like lack of video, hyperlinks, etc. but I still love them (see http://www.deelip.com/?p=344) because they offer a different experience. And they definitely have a place in an online world.

  • Hallo everybody,
    For the first: I’m not engineer, I’m just a journalist. But…
    I’ve read article and comments as carefully as I could (using my poor english) and I have to say that I strongly agree… The future of the CAD media depends on people who are passionated on what they are doing using CAD systems in everyday job, and got time to share their opinion, experiences with the others. So that is the strongest point of each blog focusing on CAD.
    Idea of preparing CAD magazine based on blog in original (like in Develop 3D) was also the point that makes me thinking about e-zin called CADblog.pl (for society of CAD users living in Poland). Registered on September 2008, started on February 2009… And at the moment there are 7 issues available to download, in each of them you can find also my private experience using for ex. BRL-CAD free software, Calculix, but also SW 2010 beta 2, Solid Edge 2D Draftings… Nowadays I’m wornikg also on a blog focusing on SolidWorks and some others in a future… It is a real way to create media which are something betaween blog and magazine. But it is not so easy way :). Especially when you are trying to be as much independent & objective as you could (another – third – point of view), writing not about one system only, but about different products who are competitors for each other…
    Hope it doesn’t sounds like “selfpresentation” or “selfadvert”. If yes – I’m sorry.

    Best regards
    Maciej CADblogger (and journalist) from Poland

  • Hallo everybody,
    For the first: I’m not engineer, I’m just a journalist. But…
    I’ve read article and comments as carefully as I could (using my poor english) and I have to say that I strongly agree… The future of the CAD media depends on people who are passionated on what they are doing using CAD systems in everyday job, and got time to share their opinion, experiences with the others. So that is the strongest point of each blog focusing on CAD.
    Idea of preparing CAD magazine based on blog in original (like in Develop 3D) was also the point that makes me thinking about e-zin called CADblog.pl (for society of CAD users living in Poland). Registered on September 2008, started on February 2009… And at the moment there are 7 issues available to download, in each of them you can find also my private experience using for ex. BRL-CAD free software, Calculix, but also SW 2010 beta 2, Solid Edge 2D Draftings… Nowadays I’m wornikg also on a blog focusing on SolidWorks and some others in a future… It is a real way to create media which are something betaween blog and magazine. But it is not so easy way :). Especially when you are trying to be as much independent & objective as you could (another – third – point of view), writing not about one system only, but about different products who are competitors for each other…
    Hope it doesn’t sounds like “selfpresentation” or “selfadvert”. If yes – I’m sorry.

    Best regards
    Maciej CADblogger (and journalist) from Poland