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05.09.09

Who Covers Mono Again? Microsoft.

Posted in Microsoft, Mono, Novell at 4:48 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mono Microsoft brain

Summary: If Microsoft covers Mono, then it must be good for Microsoft

SOME of Microsoft’s own magazines are suffering from redundancies right now. This is a simple fact.

As we argued and showed earlier this week, Novell/Microsoft software mostly receives coverage from the Microsoft and Novell crowd [1, 2, 3]. This is definitely expected for Microsoft Moonlight, but here we see it happening for Mono as well, despite the fact that Microsoft evangelist Robert Scoble once wrote: “I saw that internally inside Microsoft many times when I was told to stay away from supporting Mono in public.”

We still keep track of Mono coverage and we are not selective about it. Therefore, the following new ZDNet review of Mono 2.2 seems a little conspicuous. It seems a little misplaced. At the bottom, however, it clearly states:

Disclosure of industry affiliations: Justin James has a working arrangement with Microsoft to write an article for MSDN Magazine. He also has a contract with Spiceworks to write product buying guides. He is an employee of Levit & James, Inc. in a multi-disciplinary role that combines programming, network management, and systems administration and has been blogging at TechRepublic since 2005.

MSDN Magazine has just been hit by large-scale layoffs, so there will likely be an outpouring of Microsoft employee/writers who spread the company’s message outside literature which is explicitly and directly associated with the company. Another TechRepublic writer was criticised last year for promoting Mono as though it was everything there is to GNU/Linux. Microsoft’s internal evangelism presentations shed light on how the company intends to control developer and trade magazines, so it’s certainly something to watch out for.

Mono is trouble because, to quote further from Robert Scoble, Microsoft reserves the right to sue over Mono. Fortunately, however, Mono relief is still being offered to more GNOME users who embrace Gnote. It’s not an ultimate solution, but it’s a start. With Richard Stallman’s suggestion, I’ve invited Hubert to align his project with GNU.

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3 Comments

  1. Justin James said,

    May 9, 2009 at 10:10 am

    Gravatar

    Wow, I am truly stunned by your absolute ignorance. Let’s review a few actual facts here, as opposed to your factless ranting:

    1. The “other TechRepublic writer” you supposedly taught a lesson to previously was myself. You are unable to check a byline, apparently. I would have thought that the nearly identical bios on the article would have been a clue, but clearly it is irrelevant to someone at your level of fanaticism.

    2. I have never worked at MSDN Magazine. I have never worked for Microsoft. In fact, despite “being under contract to write an article for MSDN Magazine”, I have never seen a cent from them. Let me tell you what happened. A little more than a year ago, I made a pitch to them for a story. We worked back and forth until we settled on a story idea. I write it up, sent it in. Throughout the editing process, a number of questions came up about whether or not the article was a good fit for the magazine. At the “eleventh hour”, *I* made the decision to kill the article, despite the fact that i had invested a good portion of my time into writing it, and I had expected to use the money from it to offset a signficant portion of the cost of my (at the time, now past) honeymoon/wedding. We also loosely decided to leave the door open in terms of writing additional articles. So really, I have never seen a cent from Microsoft. The closest I have ever come to accepting anything from Microsoft is whatever comes in a “goodie bag” for attending one of their events, and winning prizes at my local developer’s meeting, some of which were donated by Microsoft. Now that you know the full truth (I may add, I beleive that only one other person has ever called my integrity into question before around my association with Microsoft), I hope that you see that there is hardly enough connection for me to either have a strong financial incentive or an emotional incentive to promote their “party line.”

    3. No one from Microsoft (or from TechRepublic/ZDNet/CNet/CBS Interactive) has ever once told me what to write, how to write it, what stance they think it correct, or otherwise had influence over the content of my writing. There is an editor I work with, and she strictly checks grammar, looks for sentences that might not be clear, and so on. From time to time, representatives from all of the above organizations (and other groups and companies, or course) offer to put me in touch with people to interview, or send me ideas that they think may make good articles (not the actual content itself, just the concept). Despite the fact that Microsoft advertisements are often found on various CBS Interactive properties (CBSI is TechRepublic’s owner after buying CNet last year), the “church and state” separation between content and revenue has never been breached *in my experience* (some may have different opinions, and I recall there being a stink about this at GameSpot a year or two ago).

    4. Mono is news, and it regards the .Net ecosystem. I cover news, and I focus on the .Net ecosystem. The fact that I cover anything Linux oriented should make you happy, not angry. The fact is, many (if not most) tech writers stick to their “box”. While I most cover .Net stuff, my “weekly roundup” features news from all over the map (although, due to the RSS feeds I subscribe to, it is still rather .Net heavy). This month, I am writing about a system called “OutSystems” and I published a review of a book about an open source, PHP CMS system (which I personally run on FreeBSD on my personal server). Next month I should be publishing a review of “The Ruby Programming Language”. I give coverage to topics based on the following criteria:

    * Does it feel newsworthy? Is it new, or is it a “me too” item?
    * In the past, when I have covered similar (or the same) topics, have the readers seemed interested? Did they click the “thumbs up” button? Did they post comments that showed that they were engaged or cared about the topic, even if they disagreed with me?
    * Is the topic interesting to me personally?
    * Do I have enough experience in the area to write credibly about it?

    This is the second time you have bashed me from your soapbox here. Last time you apologized to me, but judging from what you wrote about how you blasted me previously, if I do get a second apology from you, I am certain that it too will be hollow.

    J.Ja

  2. Justin James said,

    May 9, 2009 at 10:14 am

    Gravatar

    I may also note (somehow I completely forgot to point this out) that my hands-on article on Mono was actually rather negative. I would think that for someone who is so against Mono in the first place, you would be delighted to see a respected, “hands on” writer such as myself actually try it and say some fairly negative things. But I suppose you were blinded by your fury that someone dared to acknowledge the existence of Mono and give it a fair shake in the first place.

    J.Ja

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Hi Justin,

    Yes, bringing up the existence of Mono alone can be harmful. There is no such thing as bad publicity (with exceptions) and Mono is an embodiment of Microsoft in something which it is actively suing and trying to destroy. Mono is the creation of a guy who tried to work for Microsoft and finally he does.

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