We recently put out a New Tech Press article that is starting to filter through our network, but something interesting has happened in the process. Some people are complaining that something got left out.
Here's an analogy. There was a TV show a while back where everyone used Mac computers. That was because Apple had paid for that visibility. Sales started to rise for Macs. At one point, Apple decided not to pay. Little round stickers showed up on the computers, covering the Apple logo. Sales started to drop. Apple recanted and paid the sponsorship and the stickers came off and sales went up.
That's kind of what New Tech Press is all about. We want to put out good information. That process of developing the information costs something and has to be paid for. That's what the sponsors do. In the case of this particular article, we had a lot of companies excited about doing this article. They wanted on board. We decided to break our model regarding commitments and do the whole thing on spec. We did hours of interviews, spent hours writing and editing, called dozens of analysts and industry pundits to verify the information. But only one company had actually committed to being a sponsor.
We produced a three part series on the subject and were about to deliver it to all the potential sponsors, but one by one, they started dropping out. The primary sponsor didn't want to pay the full freight for the three-part series. So we had to start editing. We cut the entire piece by half and folded it all into a single story. That took a lot of work and back and forth with the sponsor to get it coherent. The end product was a good, not great article on a subject that no publication had yet covered. A little choppy, admittedly, but a strong effort. In fact, not a single product of the sponsor was mentioned in the article, although competing products were. And that is to the credit of the sponsor.
So today I get an email from one of the lapsed sponsors wondering why certain things were not mentioned. The answer: you don't support the process, your logo gets covered up.
New Tech Press is in the business of distributing important information to, and fostering discussion within the tech community. But there is no free lunch.