Lately, some things have been said on Twitter about me and this blog which are, well, patently untrue. As in 100% false. I hate having to write posts like this because, frankly, I shouldn’t have to. (Nor should I have to get civil protective orders, but that’s another issue entirely and why I’ve been relatively quiet of late.) Most people know and understand my policies with regards to advertising and such, and I’ve always been open and honest about them. I could discard them as trolls and fools, but, you know what? I’m tired of people thinking they can just walk all over me, spread whatever lies they want, and I’m done feeling like I can’t speak my mind.
So let’s talk about the outright slanderous claims and statements made by people of late.
Firstly, HP doesn’t sponsor my blog and doesn’t provide any direct funding whatsoever. In fact, the most expensive thing I have received directly from HP is a nice polo shirt to commemorate an event – estimated retail value around $35. Maybe $40 since it’s embroidered. As I’ve mentioned on my disclosure page, the events I’ve attended are organized and arranged by Ivy Worldwide. I am not privy to the details, but my understanding is that HP arranges location and speakers, and Ivy selects attendees and arranges travel. HP might request specific people, but I honestly don’t know. I’m not part of the selection process other than occasionally being asked if there are other individuals I believe would benefit from attending certain events or web presentations.
Secondly, I don’t suck up to vendors, period. Never have, never will. What I write or don’t write actually has little to no bearing on whether or not I work with someone in the future. I only write about products and services relevant to my readers that I have a genuine interest in, based strictly on technology. In fact, there are HP events I have attended which I haven’t written much about outside of Twitter, for various reasons – usually because I didn’t see much value to my readers. The policy on these events has been set in stone for over two years now – attendees are free to write whatever they please without restriction (excepting embargo dates) or even to not write about something. The only actual requirements are attending, listening, and sometimes giving feedback on the events and speakers.
Third, I don’t receive any compensation beyond the aforementioned swag, and I wouldn’t accept it if it was offered. None of us do to my knowledge. We aren’t paid to write about these events, we aren’t paid to be positive, there’s simply no money changing hands at all. It’s the same policy almost everyone else has – generally, we accept travel, accommodations and meals. And we don’t fly first class, or stay at the Four Seasons either. (That isn’t to say we’re at Motel 6 – but it is to say that I spent my last vacation at a significantly more expensive hotel.) In exchange, we pay attention, consider, and write or don’t write as we see fit.
Fourth, people still don’t seem to get it. So let me spell it out. I have been there and I have done that. And in a lot of cases, I did it years before people even thought about it. Me disagreeing with you does not mean I am an idiot, jerk, or any of the things people have called me. It means chances are very good I’ve done it or I know what I’m talking about from research. I spend pretty much all my time learning anything I can get my hands on and my entire career has been spent way past the bleeding edge on technology. End result is that I am a skeptic, I am a realist, I know what businesses are actually looking for and where their concerns are, and I am beyond tired of hyping that I can see through – much less lies, doubly so those based on flawed research. I don’t always communicate what’s false, wrong, or foolish in writing – but I also don’t say anything if I don’t know. (Nor do I waste time on obviously foolish things.)
Fifth, I still maintain the same open door policy I always have. If you think you’ve got some sort of amazing breakthrough technology that I would be interested in or my readers would be interested in? Bring it! Seriously. I don’t care what vendor you are, where you’re located, or what the product is. If you think it’s interesting? Get in touch with me via Twitter or my contact form or email or phone or smoke signals and bring it to a web presentation or an event or loan me a review unit or produce a feature length film! See point four, wherein I explain that I spend a lot of my time learning. If you think your product is sufficiently interesting, then bring it.
And sixth and most importantly; I don’t have infinite bandwidth here. Which is part of why I absolutely hate having to write posts like this – they are a giant time waste. I am in the middle of starting a business and developing software here, after all. I do not have time to read every last circle-jerk press release, track 32 websites, trawl the web, pay attention to the latest feature updates, and then write about all of it. This is my personal blog; that means I only write about things that interest me personally, and that I think merit taking the time to write about. There are plenty of other blogs out there that you can and should read for stuff like “what VMware added in Update 1″ and “How To Shave Bananas In The Cloud.” Most of the things I don’t write about aren’t because I think it sucks, or it has massive flaws, or it’s stupid – it’s because I don’t have time or sufficient information, or because other people with more bandwidth already covered it better.
Crap like this leaves a nasty taste in my mouth. Doubly so when I actually feel forced to write about it. And it’s flat out off the charts when it prevents me from writing the posts I want to. Which this has.