Anyone remember that line from the Jilted John song? If not then it is worth reminding. That’s how it feels trying to answer questions on AccountingWeb about the value prop that SaaS delivers. I’ve clearly gotten under John Stokdyk’s skin such that he’s tossed his toys out of the pram. Heh ho – it happens and knowing John as well as I do then I REALLY have ticked him off. John’s one of the nicest people in the industry so to have ticked him off takes some doing. @john: it aint personal. Here’s the deal.
- AccountingWeb put out an ill conceived yet predicatable pay to play proposition to the vendor community. It got a raspberry on my back channel – something Tom Dunkersley (AW MD) agreed during face to face conversations.
- AW tries to recycle by creating the fringe thingy that triggered David Terrar’s ‘Do They Get It‘ post
- AW’s sales peeps are still trying to resurrect pay to play – don’t see anyone taking notice…
- In the meantime AW tries to poll its punters on the topic. At 120+ subscribers to the SaaS coommunity out of a claimed 90K readership it ain’t going far and nobody’s voting.
- John tosses toys out of the pram. This is goodness. Shows I am digging into something of importance – I comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable. No-one dings me on John’s assertions.
- Back and forth on the same topics the last 3 years. David Terrar tries to respond. I lose interest.
- The same crap comes spewing out via AW – which does nothing to respond in an intelligent fashion and shows zero thought leadership on a topic that matters. Professional concerns matter – but not trying to ameliorate those that don’t wish to be convinced.
As I said – @john -it ain’t personal and as anyone who knows me I’m an equal opportunity flamethrower – so here comes the problem Sift needs to address (and as an aside, I congratulate @tom for coming to me and acknowledging the issues. That’s brave.):
AW understands very well how to report to its members while continuing to convince its advertisers there is a captive audience. It understands little about thought leadership. But then you’d need real understanding of day to day problems professionals manage. AW doesn’t have the people that can parse that issue, instead of which it tries to grab anyone with a modicum of understanding and present them as ‘experts.’ Good for the ego – not so good for the understanding. Hence it looks dopey while selling the page view snake oil pitch to any advertiser stupid enough to buy that line. Yes – I am harsh because in my SaaS world information quality matters and comes at a premium beyond page views.
If you don’t want to be persuaded then fine. In the meantime, it’s worthy of noting that few of the vendors are bothering to answer the questions that AW is raising. Have ‘we’ moved on? I think so.
Do I feel good about any of this? No. It’s a sad testament that while the world has moved on and Sift Media saw the community angle early on (for which it rarely gets credit,) it is being sucked into the vendor pay proposition against a database that attracts little real dialogue about the issues that matter to both end users and professionals desperate to find a way of building sustainable business. Instead, it tries to further it’s research by inviting you/I to give it information that it can monetize without reward and ultimately present as its own. That’s a seriously messed up proposition. It’s not about ‘free’ but about 21st century quality. That’s the differentiator Sift has failed to grasp along with the notion of transparency.
Subscribers/members deserve far better.
Note to @john: I have never deliberately misrepresented you (you were the one who said I’d clean your clock even though that was never my intention) but I am more than happy to go through specifics on the back channel and if necessary ‘print’ something here that explains otherwise. I absolutely respect your journo creds (as I would assume you do mine) but in this world that’s not enough. Experience is critically important and as one who has specc’d, evaluated, implemented and written code, I think I have a demonstrable understanding. If I am wrong then show me how and I am more than happy to redact.
BTW-did you know I am ranked the world’s no.2 tech analyst/blogger? I’m told it matters. None of AW’s writers appear in the top 400.