25 January 2007

6000 words since my last word count update, giving me a total of 12,450 for the year so far. Again, that's low relative to my target, but quite excellent compared to any month last year. I'll take it. Onward!

Posted 12:44 PM

24 January 2007

Blogging and ethics

There are various rumblings around the blogosphere about objectivity, blogging, and the ethics of taking money or gifts from the companies you write about. In one case, Microsoft gave away brand new PCs loaded with the Vista operating system. In another, they recruited someone to add a pro-Microsoft slant to a Wikipedia entry. (Sorry, no links handy.)

My policy for this site is that I do not accept compensation of any kind for content posted here. Period, full stop, end of story. I'll occasionally link to my own work in other venues, and those other venues may be compensated, but when I do I'll clearly state that I'm doing so.

One blogger posted a similar statement, then received a review copy of a book in the mail the next day. The New York Times views review copies of books, CDs, and software as press releases, and states that the reviewer can keep them or give them away, but not sell them. Should the situation arise, I'll probably do the same, provided the value of the item is less than $100. No freebie electronic gadgets for me.

I will also never use this site to promote my clients or other companies in which I might have a financial interest, unless I clearly state that I'm doing so. However, this one is tricky. Much of my work is covered by non-disclosure agreements. If I can't tell you who my clients are, how can you tell whether they are influencing the content of this site?

The short answer is that you can't. The long answer is that I would hope the content of the site itself, combined with my reputation in the industry, is enough to reassure people that there isn't any funny stuff going on. If you aren't sure, then I've got big problems. The same is also true of any other journalist's work, online or off. That's why trust and reputation are so important in this business.

Posted 02:41 PM

IBM's research capabilities got another vote of confidence this week, with Freescale joining the IBM Alliance. IBM already has quite a few notable technology partners, including Samsung, AMD, and others.

Research has always been a strength of IBM, the challenge has been converting patents into revenue. Alliances like this provide an alternate route: other members can use advances even if IBM itself doesn't.

Posted 10:32 AM


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