Exposing The Crap

Tom Charron, COO of Rapidform, left this comment on Ralph Grabowski’s post titled “Desktop Engineering fails to reveal pay-for-play“:

As a vendor, I’ve been approached many times by DE for their Pick of the Week, and it was always quite clear that it was pay for play. I never took them up on it. I figure anyone who cared was well aware that this stuff was all about who paid and not which products are actually the most interesting/promising.

Ultimately, the problem is that the CAD space doesn’t have a magazine that can actually charge subscribers — it costs a lot to print those glossy mags, and all that cost is borne by the vendors. It’s the same reason we can’t get an honest product review or comparison. The mags are too scared to lose advertising dollars if they tick off any vendors.

Today I was having an email conversation with someone who wrote:

I’m kinda bemused by all this “shocked! shocked!” business. What? This is news to you?

No, this is not news to me or to many in the industry. However, what is news is the names that are being mentioned in public. I have been writing about the pay for play that goes on in CAD publishing for quite a while now. Earlier people used to dare me to name names. I got to name Desktop Engineering because they did a really stupid thing by letting that PR guy put his name to a product review (see “Product Reviews In Magazines“). Ralph took it a step further. And now people like Tom Charron are supporting Ralph’s allegations.

If this is the start of something then I like it. You know why? Because there are honest people out there who are not part of this cesspool. And its not fair if they get tarred by the same brush. The good thing is that its not very difficult to find out who they are if you pay close attention to their publications and their content.

And by the way, this crap is not only limited to the media alone. I have heard of obscene amounts being paid to so-called independent “analysts” to cook up white papers and “research” that support a vendor’s claim. I tell you absolutely obscene amounts. That too from people who have signed the checks. I’m not sure if all this is even legal.

My humble request to vendors is to stop insulting your customers and prospects by indulging in pay for play. It is absolutely sickening and reflects very badly on you and your products. It may help to keep in mind that your target audience is not bunch of freaking idiots.

Bottom line. It takes two hands to clap. And yours is one of them.