Our latest, held just before Christmas, was the usual mix of name-calling and chair-throwing, but we soon subdued our publisher and got down to business.
One thing came out loud and clear: things have changed a lot in the world of IT, and they will continue to change. I'm not just talking about the concerns of IT executives, how much software and hardware you plan to buy in the year ahead, how much you plan to pay that smart, young .Net specialist, what the hell is going to happen in the next 18 months.
That’s all still of vital importance to you, and to us, but readers everywhere are demanding more, and different, things. Advertisers, who fund a large part of most publications’ production, are demanding more, and different, things. IT professionals get far more information from the internet, be it news, alerts, product reviews, gossip. But almost none of it concerns what developers and IT departments are doing here and now.
Meanwhile, vendors want to get closer to you, and ads have become just part of a wider mix of publications, events, newsletters.
We had some negative feedback from the summit: we are apparently not always polite to public relations people. While I have my doubts about actual rudeness, part of a PR person’s job is to get a client’s (or employer’s) name in print (www.rainierpr.co.uk/journalist gives an indication of how they're doing). If their client’s activities are going to be of interest to our readers, we’ll speak to the company concerned to see if it’s going to make a compelling story. If what they’re doing is likely to be of less interest to you than other things we’re writing about, we won’t. It really is as simple as that. Oh, and we don't particularly like those people who think it's their job to prevent us writing stories that are of legitimate public interest.
To be of any use to IT decision-makers, we have to come up with news and analysis as interesting, and as untarnished by commercial concerns, as we can.
That’s our part of the bargain. Yours is to tell us, by phone or email, what you’re up to. We want to get to know you and your company. Really.
You can also tell us what you like and what you don't about the paper. We don't promise to change everything -- for every 100 people we poll we get 80 different views -- but we do promise to listen: while we love our advertisers, without our readers there's not much point showing up in the morning.Broatch is Computerworld's deputy editor. Send letters for publication to Computerworld Letters.