It's hard for the press to compete with bloggers. There are so many of them. They report on each and everything. Sometimes it's trivia (what I ate for breakfast), sometimes it's borderline news (Lynn Allen attends SolidWorks World), but it can be the real choice stuff (enhancements shown for SolidWorks 2009).
Never was this quite as apparent as during January's SolidWorks World, where bloggers were invited and welcomed.
My own epiphany came during the presentation of the next release of SolidWorks software -- the single most anticipated main stage presentation during the annual user conference. Normally, I make an attempt to note the most important new features of the next release. But all around me were hard core SolidWorks users and many of them were doing the same thing for their blogs. What chance did I have, being a very infrequent SolidWorks user, knowing what was really important and be able to explain it properly?
In the audience were the real experts. I spotted and introduced myself to Matt Lombard, the man who wrote the book (the SolidWorks Bible), and also had the pleasure to meet the prolific Mike Puckett, who may have beat all in the number of blog entries during the conference, and Josh Mings, loved in the SolidWorks blogosphere for his off-the-wall humor. I met Ben Eadie but he was very busy filming every bit of the proceedings. Previously, I had met Ricky Jordan, a blog veteran. There were more, but judging from the ones I met, the bloggers collectively form a voracious and eager group whose product IQ is on another scale.
Maybe its not a fair competition. The press coverage will come later. Or, maybe serve as background for articles they are writing. Unlike the blogger, the press will not bang out a post in between the last class of the day and the first beer. No, they will write articles, thoughtful, considered, insightful pieces that will be on subject and mechanically correct. That is the theory, anyway.
But judging from the comments on this series, who cares? Bloggers are users. They read each others blogs not just because they are brothers, but because they can learn something from other users, something that will help them do their jobs easier or better. I have to presume that like them, users are also reading blogs -- instead of articles by the traditional press.
If that is indeed the case, who is traditional press writing for?