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An Architect's View

Sys-Con digs a deeper hole by slamming the ColdFusion community

September 11, 2007 ·

Sys-Con's reaction to all the community vitriol against them is to blame Adobe for the closure of CFDJ: "Adobe's Decision Upsets ColdFusion Community". Having said they (Sys-Con) decided to shut down CFDJ, they've changed their tune and are claiming that "Adobe's recent decision to fold CFDJ upset the ColdFusion Community" and that "... Adobe, which made the decision to kill the title." Lies upon lies. Sys-Con made the decision, not Adobe. If Sys-Con can't make money with such an advertising-driven endeavor, then they are clearly more incompetent than we might think. And here's the really priceless part of this latest Sys-Con drivel-passing-for-editorial content: "SYS-CON's only challenge while serving the CF community was to deal with some members of that very same community, " said industry blogger James Hamilton. Who? Yes, that was my first reaction too. According to Sys-Con's author profile "James Hamilton is a Search Engine Optimization consultant and an i-technology blogger based in Sydney, Australia." Heard of him? Nope, me neither. Nor has Google, beyond a few references to his four articles on Sys-Con properties. What else does Sys-Con say about him? "He occasionally blogs about SOA, mergers and acquisitions, open source and bleeding-edge technologies, companies, and personalities." Ah, yes, he'd be well-qualified to talk about ColdFusion then, wouldn't he? Personalities? Oh yes, he "occasionally" blogs about those. In fact, he says "People like Corfield and Dinowitz could not stand any sort of advertisement in CFDJ. They wanted their magazine delivered for free and hated the adverts that made this possible for them, as if they were two characters from the Dr. Zhivago movie." I wonder which movie character he thinks I am? He's also talking complete bollocks, of course - but we all know that. I had a very low opinion of Sys-Con before this but even I am surprised at the depths to which they have stooped in their pathetic response to the outpouring of "disappointment" against Sys-Con from the ColdFusion community. What happened to honest, ethical journalism? It clearly left Sys-Con's offices a while back.

Tags: coldfusion

13 responses

  • 1 PaulH // Sep 11, 2007 at 10:17 PM

    i guess my main question would be which Dr. Zhivago movie *would* you like to be ;-)
  • 2 Lisa J Wilson // Sep 11, 2007 at 10:21 PM

    I'm really surprised by his comment -
    Hamilton said: "My question is if Adobe does not care about their own community or their own language advancement, why should they expect an outside magazine publisher to do this job for them, and at no cost?" He implies that SYS-CON publications are product-driven enterprises reliant on the parent company rather than independent journals.

    The complaint seems to be that Adobe didn't pay or advertise with them enough. Perhaps it should have been simply stated that the magazine was not making a profit over a period of time so it was cancelled.

    Frankly, I loved the magzine, have every issue but haven't read it for years. With little time to invest, I spend my times on blogs - often trusted
    or referenced by those I respect. Every month I find more CF and Flex blogs that leapfrog my education.

    Maybe what's needed is a new business model for delivering gathered information electronically and finding a way for the community to contribute to compensate the authors and designers.
  • 3 Peter Tilbrook // Sep 11, 2007 at 10:50 PM

    I'm in Australia and have NEVER heard of Mr Hamilton - certainly not in CF circles at least. I have a feeling most CF Aussies won't know him either.
  • 4 Scott Barnes // Sep 12, 2007 at 1:01 AM

    They folded it? crap.. i was still waiting for -A- subscription to arrive :P.

    I'm not suprised as for years i've seen echo after echo of people complaining about "subscriptions never arriving post payment". If i were a publisher, i'd figure out the logistics of delivering a magazine ontime on demand first, content second as something tells me holding a magazine one buys is more enjoyable then holding a reciept for no magazine :P

    I'd also ponder as to the community contribution, i've been approached in the past to write for them and declined or ignored the request. Not because I'm arrogant (which is highly likely) simply because I felt it was a one-sided win.. yeah i could write for them, get some content on the table and all worship me for it (lol) - yet - they get the advertising dollars.

    When I did write for sys-con, i wanted to show potential employers and friends etc so i sent them the link to my prized article.. well i'd usually get "where is it? all i see is ads" response.

    Sys-con ..less is more...

    I agree Sean they dropped the ball and should take ownership for the mess the made.
  • 5 Damien McKenna // Sep 12, 2007 at 7:17 AM

    You'll note that:
    * The article is written by "SEO/SEM News Desk", i.e they're not putting a name to is therefore it legally would be bound to the parent company, SysCon themselves.
    * The article references several well respected bloggers, both yourself, Mr Forta and Michael Dinowitz, but their responses are from an unknown author from Australia, who is called an "industry blogger" but has only written 4 articles, all of which were for SysCon. I believe "lackie" would be a better job description.
    * Mr Hamilton says "People like Corfield and Dinowitz could not stand any sort of advertisement in CFDJ" but doesn't offer any evidence to back his claim.
    * Mr Hamilton says that SysCon were only the "publishers" of CFDJ, despite the fact they were the creators, managers and editors (they didn't listen to / inform their own independent editorial group therefore SysCon controlled it).
    * The article summary picks Michael Dinowitz's paragraph, which isn't representative of the full article.

    I believe Steve Martin's book would be a better title for this fiasco: Pure Drivel.
  • 6 Andy Sandefer // Sep 12, 2007 at 8:00 AM

    Silverlight? Give me a f***ing break. Go to Microsoft's website - where's the tutorial on how to connect to an ORACLE, SQL Server or MySQL database? Give up? That's wise of you because they don't have one. Sorry but this tool is only for developing media content at this point. The people at Sys-Con are dumber than I had originally thought. I would say that they are as dumb as the people at Microsoft who truly belive that they can best Flash. I can see them in their strategy meeting "Hey, let's go head to head with the most widely used and successful Internet plug-in in history. We know that they've got a decade of experience on us and that they've evolved their scripting language, refined their database connectivity and a pile of other things but hey - we're Microsoft - and 3 or 4 happy Vista users can't be wrong."
    This whole Sys-Con thing is getting old very quickly. I had to stop 2 or 3 annoying ass videos from popping off while I went over to read their lies before typing this rant.
  • 7 Jen Larkin // Sep 12, 2007 at 12:46 PM

    Guess we should talk about SYS-CON's integrity. News at 11. :D
  • 8 Jorge // Sep 12, 2007 at 2:36 PM

    It was very nice to read the first issues. But after the first two years and because of such a poor management... they have been in my spam filter for years.
  • 9 Brian Meloche // Sep 12, 2007 at 3:39 PM

    I also blogged about this... I probably wouldn't have if I had seen your blog first! You said it better than I did!

    I did a search for James Hamilton in Google, and the only things I found for him are on I couldn't find a website for him. That would mean that he has a pretty badly search engine optimized blog (ironic for an SEO expert), he blogs on's own blog engine... which sucks... and can't be found... or he's a paid blogger/writer for Sys-Con. James Hamilton doesn't know what the hell he's talking about.

    I didn't have THAT much of a problem with their ads, although the ratio was pretty bad. Their articles were poorly edited, and their website and customer service is among the worst I have ever seen. I said in my blog entry the site looks like it was created by a meth addict. Now, I am starting to think the whole company are meth addicts! :-)
  • 10 Scott Barnes // Sep 12, 2007 at 4:59 PM

    Andy Sandefer: You need to cut back on your <insert drug of choice> intake as what the hell are you on about with Silverlight / Microsoft / Flash rant?

    This is about Sys-con and CFDJ? or did i miss a turn somewhere? :P
    Back to the normality:
    I will say that sys-con represented something that the CF Community needs, a magazine one could leave in CIO's "must read" piles and so on ..something someone could refer to about the industry without relying solely on blogs.

    I don't think Sys-con is up to the task but who is?
  • 11 Jen Larkin // Sep 12, 2007 at 6:38 PM

    Maybe the CIOs would look at it but that doesn't make something relevant. Many reputable CFers refused to write for it due to bad experiences, stolen IP, and misrepresentation. And while Andy Sandefer might seem a bit rabid about SilverLight at first, if you read everything he has to say he has a completely valid point. SilverLight is a version 1 product; Flash is almost version 10. One is tried and true and installed on machines of all three top operating systems, which SilverLight isn't. And you can not replace a server product with RIA because RIA has to connect to a server product. Saying that you can replace a server product with RIA is complete nonsense.

    SilverLight is not a viable solution for a full magazine yet; it is premature to print an entire issue every month for a product that was released SEVEN DAYS AGO. The SilverLight magazine did actually replace the ColdFusion magazine. Adobe wasn't willing to pay them to print the magazine anymore and Microsoft is willing to pay. That is not journalism; it's more akin to bribery.

    It is also extremely underhanded of SYS-CON to publish their retort in an article that has nothing to do with ColdFusion, Flash, Flex, or SilverLight. I expect that they put it there to show to the CIOs and hide it from us. I certainly wouldn't put it past them; I've had too much experience with the company.
  • 12 Andy Sandefer // Sep 13, 2007 at 4:43 AM

    Scott Barnes you did miss something in that the CFDJ is now morphing into the Silverlight Developer Journal. And I can tell that you've lost that lovin feeling as well. LOL
  • 13 Frank O // Oct 15, 2007 at 11:32 AM

    It goes without saying that "James Hamilton" is not a real person. e.g. In this article, he spells Sydney "Sidney". What Australian would do that?