Back in March we blogged about it being a "Good News Week," so it seems only fair to pass on some bad news.
Last week Penton announced to its subscriber base that the company is ceasing production of its iProDeveloper and Power IT Pro publications. This weekend their forums went read-only. Traffic on the forums had indeed fallen substantially in the last year or two, but frankly we always felt that that was self-inflicted damage. They changed the software they used a few years back and made a complete hash of it. Not only was the new forum truly horrible to use, but they also made a complete mess of linking in the old content. Over time they fixed many of the issues that arose--but in the interim period many folks had "wandered off" and found their technical fixes elsewhere.
We were not really that surprised that Penton pulled the plug on iProDeveloper. There seemed to be less and less content in each issue. In fact with many issues we rarely got beyond scanning the table of contents, there was so little there that interested us.
In part we suspect that this is all related to the vendor consolidation that has been going on in the IBM i space in recent years. When only a relatively small number of vendors own all of the products in the marketplace, it's bound to affect the amount of advertising dollars available. And advertising dollars drive magazine (print or digital) content. No dollars, no content.
As part of these changes, Penton is making all of the previously restricted content on the website publicly available. How long they will continue this service is anybody's guess. So we suggest that if you have any articles on the iProDeveloper website that you reference frequently that you grab yourself a local copy while you can.
But enough of the bad news. Right now we're off to join a great bunch of fellow IBM i fanatics at the annual NEUGC conference near Boston, Mass. That will make us feel better--at least once we get past the frustration of having had our flight cancelled (sigh)--seems to be be just one of those days.