I've always felt that this blog (with the agreement from Bill Inmon, Shawn Rogers, and Ron Powell) is a place for me to express my guarded, guided, and best possible opinion about vendors, the industry, industry direction. I've also long believed that vendors DO HAVE GREAT PRODUCTS, but sometimes their marketing and sales campaigns get a little over-zelous and advertise "features" that simply arent' quite true, or that the product doesn't behave in the situations they claim it does.
Recently however, I've been getting "flack" from certain areas of the industry because some of the vendors who read my blog don't like what I'm saying. They are exerting indirect pressure on my friends and industry affiliations to "disconnect me, take me off the map." Claiming I have no right to share my information on this blog, and questioning if I should even be an industry analyst in the first place.
This entry is a question to all my readers (vendors included), and I hope you will respond with your thoughts and comments.
I always do my best to represent the vendor and the industry fairly, and when I receive a number of questions from customers about a particular vendor, I do my best to research the information before posting. Now, I don't always get it right - but I'm not here to "slander" anyone, and I'm not here to out-right "bash" anyone either. I hope that my blog entries have been fair, and forward - and oh-yes, I'm human, so I'm positive that I have errors and omissions - to which I have always offered vendors and readers alike to post corrections.
By the way, FULL DISCLOSURE: the ONLY "marketing articles" I've written for money from a vendor are in Teradata Magazine, and for IBI and their SSIS "plug-ins" for data connectivity. Come to think of it, the ONLY other place I've collected money for "material" is from TDWI for teaching classes. In my daily life, I teach a lot of courses professionally around systems design, data warehousing, very large database systems, SEI/CMMI and Project Management, and so on - but we all have a job right? I've not collected or been paid any money by Microsoft, Oracle, Sybase, IBM, Pentaho, Informatica, or other vendors I've wroked with and helped in the past - at least from a context of sitting on their boards (which I don't), or writing marketing articles for them, or writing paid research pieces for them.
I've always tried to keep a level head, and offer a "no-nonsense, cut through the marketing, approach" to all my entries, and I'm sorry if any of these entries appeared otherwise or were mistaken for other pieces.
Question #1: Does the above disclosure make me biased? I would have to say, yes - to some degree, but then again BIAS is the way we live our life. The act of having a job and earning an income makes all of us biased. But what's your vote on this?
Question #2: Is this blog a place for professionally guided opinion? Or should this blog be "controlled" by vendor pressure or any other external pressure? Should I say what the vendors want me to say?
Question #3: I've always tried to make this blog a place where I write "more than a sound-bite", as I don't like to echo news elements or other pieces. Should I change the format of this blog to be more "sound-bites" and less thought and consideration?
Question #4: Do any of my readors (other than vendors) feel as though I've intentionally blogged something here with intent to harm? If so, let's discuss this.
Question #5: Should I continue offering "MY OPINION" (based on free speech) on the blog and continue writing about vendors and disclosing vendor names? Or should I never mention any vendor ever again?
Question #6: TO VENDORS: have I written anything about ANOTHER vendor that you've found interesting or helpful?
Question #7: Should a Vendor have enough power to shut me down, force me to remove blog entries, and try to cut me off from the industry? (this is what is currently taking shape)
I could clearly see problems and issues if I went around bashing, and offering slander, but I just can't see that this is what the blog is about, and certainly: I do not live my life this way.
So there you have it, I'll put it to my readers - please REPLY with comments so that we can take a vote here. Tell us all what you think about this.
Thank-you kindly, with all due respect,
Posted May 7, 2009 8:39 AM
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