Who Killed CFDJ?

CFDJ is dead. And now SYS-CON wants to play whodunit (as in this editorial with the inflammatory title Adobe’s Decision Upsets ColdFusion Community ). So, who did do it? Adobe’s decision? Can Adobe force an independent company to terminate their own publication? Let’s examine the facts …
FACT: We (as in Allaire, and then Macromedia, and then Adobe) supported CFDJ since its very inception. We advertised in the magazine, and even funded them over and above advertising, so as to ensure that the ColdFusion community was served best.
FACT: Over the years the ColdFusion community has gradually been less and less enamored by CFDJ (and that’s being very generous). Contributing authors (myself included) gradually stopped writing for them, developers stopped visiting their site (loud irrelevant video ads that can’t be turned off are, well, a turn off), and readers stopped reading.
FACT: CFDJ was once the primary source of ColdFusion education, but it has not been so for many years now. Between the Adobe ColdFusion Developer Center, the blogs, and more … CFDJ has long been replaced as the authoritative source of ColdFusion know-how.
FACT: The ColdFusion team (like all product teams) has limited marketing dollars, and has to constantly reevaluate how those dollars are best used.
FACT: Considering the decline in CFDJ relevance, a decision was made to no longer fund CFDJ at the level that we were doing previously.
FACT: The ColdFusion team NEVER suggested that CFDJ be canceled and shutdown. We did however suggest that, in order to cut costs, CFDJ be turned into a digital online magazine rather than a higher cost print magazine. But, again, we NEVER suggested that CFDJ be terminated.
FACT: No magazine relies for 100% of its survival on a single sponsor unless it’s a company’s own magazine. SYS-CON is an independent entity, and CFDJ is their own publication. SYS-CON is the only entity that had the right and ability to terminate CFDJ.
FACT: The first that we knew of the death of CFDJ was the SYS-CON announcement this weekend (the announcement that said that a publication on server-side technologies would be morphed into one on a client-side technology – huh?).
Ladies and gentleman of the jury, these are the facts. Now decide, who killed CFDJ?
Or don’t bother. As was previously stated, CFDJ became irrelevant. And that’s not a cause for concern as there is now more quality ColdFusion information available than ever before.

26 responses to “Who Killed CFDJ?”

  1. Adrock Avatar

    FACT: By the time the CFDJ went online-only, they hadn’t published an issue in 4 months! The February issue came out in May!

  2. Gregory Nilsen Avatar
    Gregory Nilsen

    Well, I guess it’s a good thing I never took the time to waste my time with it!

  3. Todd Rafferty Avatar
    Todd Rafferty

    Ben, all you’re doing is giving sys-con traffic to their already ad infested website and fueling exactly what they want, more ads views. I know you want to set the record straight and that’s awesome, but I’m sure that they’re laughing all the way to the bank on this one as I’m sure this is the most their website has ever been hit in awhile. 😐

  4. David Avatar

    This is f***ing pathetic. Why didn’t they just say "we’re not making enough money" and leave it at that? What’s with all the bellyaching? It’s just making them look like wimps. Enough already, go away, I won’t miss you because I didn’t know you existed in the first place. (oh, and you’ll be the LAST place I’ll go for Silverlight expertize – thanks anyway)

  5. Ben Forta Avatar
    Ben Forta

    Todd, I know, which is why I did not link to them in the first post. But this one ticked me off, and I just had to respond. But. no more links to them.
    — Ben

  6. Alan McCollough Avatar
    Alan McCollough

    I didn’t even know about the Adobe ColdFusion Developer Center, but now I do. Thanks, Ben. Got it bookmarked and will read regularly. I’ve been CFing since the 90’s, and many of us have either subscribed to CFDJ and/or written for CFDJ (I did a couple articles back in the day). And it’s like all the ‘big time’ folks like Ben, Hal Helms,, have long since stopped writing for ’em. It’s pretty clear the powers that be at CFDJ burned everybody and are now blaming those same folks who made their mag great in the first place.
    I do hope that something new and better arises from all of this. An actual print magazine is nice to have, even in the internet age. There -is- room for a good print publication in the CF community.

  7. John Dowdell Avatar
    John Dowdell

    Wow. Simply amazing.

  8. Dana K Avatar
    Dana K

    Its not even worth a response to be honest. If you ‘publish’ a ‘professional’ article ending in ‘IMHO’, I think it speaks volumes to the level of quality of the piece more than anything. my .02 anyhow.

  9. Pinal Dave Avatar
    Pinal Dave

    Respected Sir,
    I have been using ColdFusion for many years. Today is the first time I learned about CFDJ.
    I understand your frustration and I stand no where in front of you in terms of knowledge, however as regular reader and fan of your blog I think CFDJ is getting more attention due your post then they deserve.

  10. John Avatar

    just hate its website (SYS-CON): video ads and annoying popups. one of the worst on the web.

  11. John Farrar Avatar
    John Farrar

    This is SYS-CON’s pathetic attempt at marketing. Let’s role play the internal meeting…
    Marketing 1:
    Microsoft is the big money. Can you hear that word. MONEY MONEY MONEY.
    Marketing 2:
    Number 1… snap out of it!
    Marketing 1:
    Sorry, I just get carried away sometimes.
    Marketing 2:
    Well… we are a nobody to Microsoft developers and users.
    Marketing 1:
    Don’t remind me. How can we get some attention in the MS community.
    Marketing 2:
    Why don’t we trigger a flame war with the Adobe/CF community. Let’s lie through our teeth, twist the truth… anything it takes to get our name higher in the Google listings.
    Marketing 1:
    That’s why we hired you. Where do we start…
    Well, maybe that isn’t "exactly" how it happened. But the only alternative is to assume they are as ignorant as they claim they are! If that is so… no wonder they couldn’t put out a good CFDJ!

  12. PaulH Avatar

    just who the hell is this "industry" blogger & how the hell does not wanting a tsunami of ads make you a character from dr. zhivago? and which chars would those be anyway 😉 oh my, sys-con is lame & dim witted right to the bitter end.
    and their stupid video just croaked FF again.

  13. John Farrar Avatar
    John Farrar

    BTW… truth is as many have stated. (aside from my LOL skit about SYS-CON… wonder what the "CON" stands for in their name) The new topic has nothing to do with the old topic. I suppose it could be considered instant reincarnation. Maybe we should consider SYS-CON has a new business model. They went to see Transformers and they are trying morph the CFDJ into … and this should give great confidence to the new readers! There is only one way to describe the whole public thing they are doing.
    (And they sorta knew that CFAQ was the beginning of the end for them. They went from being the only duck in the water to being out classed. You go House of Fusion!)

  14. tony Petruzzi Avatar
    tony Petruzzi

    if they really want to know the reaction to Adobe dropping their POS magazine, they should allow us to post comments to the story.

  15. Tom Muck Avatar
    Tom Muck

    I’d like to know who penned the ridiculous article at Sys-con. It quotes this person "Hamilton" at length, who is supposed to be an expert at something. Who is the anonymous poster?

  16. J.J. Merrick Avatar
    J.J. Merrick

    "We have seen a rapid trend and move from ColdFusion to other emerging rich web technologies such as AJAX, Flex, and Silverlight," said Engin Sezici of SYS-CON Media.
    hahaha Now tell me has ANYONE moved from ColdFusion OVER to "AJAX, Flex and Silverlight"?
    I think it would have been better said that "We have seen the INTERESTS OF TECH READERS move from Back-End technologies such as ColdFusion to more front-end technologies as Flex etc."
    That I will agree with, as one blogger has said anytime he mentions Flex or Air his hits triple. It IS what people are interested in because it is hot and now.
    I have been playing with the AJAX stuff in CF8 and I have to say I am VERY impressed and by no means is this a dying language.

  17. Joe Rinehart Avatar
    Joe Rinehart

    I left James Hamilton a comment on one of his other articles asking him to explain a few of the things he said that were not just untrue but offensive. I doubt he’ll see it or follow up, but I’d like to encourage anyone else who feels the same way to do the same.
    You can leave him comments at:
    In a recent editorial on the decision to drop CFDJ, you made a few comments to which I’d like to reply.
    Unfortunately, SYS-CON (and possibly yourself) disabled feedback on this entry. My apologies for using an unrelated article for this comment.
    In your editorial, you singled out members of the ColdFusion community by name (e.g., Sean Corfield and Michael Dinowitz).
    These are people I’ve known for years, and you stated that they "could not stand any sort of advertisement in CFDJ. They wanted their magazine delivered for free."
    Later, you state that "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?"
    You’re putting words in people’s mouths and making statements about a company’s actions that are simply untrue, and it’s an example of Sys-Con’s poor editorial quality that you were allowed to do so.
    Michael Dinowitz publishes (at least one) print publication that contains advertisements, and he does so for profit. He certainly doesn’t feel such things should be free. I’d venture that an informed statement about his opinion would be that he believes the quality and quantity of the publication’s content should be proportional to its advertisements.
    Next, you state that Adobe’s cares about neither its language’s advancement or its community. Only someone who isn’t in the ColdFusion community could possibly think this: one look at the Adobe Developer’s Center, one attendence of a ColdFusion session at MAX or Adobe Developer Week, or one glance at the new capabilities of ColdFusion 8 would save you from scraping a good amount of egg from your face or the pleasure of removing your foot from your mouth.
    It’d be professional of you to post another editorial, allowing two-way communication, in which you defend or otherwise justify your statements.

  18. Craig Mcninch Avatar
    Craig Mcninch

    Frankly, I think it’s nice to see a publication that recently haven’t been fulfilling their responsibility in good, honest journalism to step down and pull the plug. Hopefully this will make room for another publication to fill in the void.

  19. Sean Corfield Avatar
    Sean Corfield

    For those who want an alternative print publication:
    To Joe, I gather Sys-Con removed your comment and then blocked further comments?

  20. Joe Rinehart Avatar
    Joe Rinehart

    Looks that way.

  21. Jeff Avatar

    CFDJ has long been lacking in terms of readership and content. I used to pick them up when I found them for free at conferences. They weren’t good at all.

  22. Kim Cavanaugh Avatar
    Kim Cavanaugh

    Those guys are slime-balls, plain and simple. From the republishing of articles without my (and others’ permission), to scraping posts from blogs and republishing that as original content, to this pathetic attempt to blame Adobe for their own ineptitude, they’ve taken the low road at every opportunity. Sys-Con is dead to me, and has been for a long time.

  23. Darth Sidious Avatar
    Darth Sidious

    A guy on my team actually worked for Sys-Con and there’s quite a bit of shenanigans that went on there back in the day.
    The ads on the site are brutal, extremely difficult to ascertain the content vs the ads – ESPECIALLY those damn video ads… I have to suddenly shut my speaker off if I click on a link to the site and that dog with the newspaper running around the office ads starts playing (it’s so loud the whole office hears).
    *BUT*… I am saddened in the sense that I believe there were a few well intentioned people trying to make the best of it. All of the authors (incl myself), since they weren’t being paid, did it for the love of the community. And it was nice to have at least one magazine for our beloved technology.
    I know there’s Fusion Authority’s Quarterly Update – and I hope this helps clear the path for them to grow the publication.

  24. Tom Barr Avatar
    Tom Barr

    I probably subscribed and let it expire 4 times in ten years. I recently let it expire, I guess I musta knew something.

  25. KEVIN BENORE Avatar

    Now they claim Adobe is killing CF. I guest there is no such thing as journalistic integrity.

  26. Tom Barr Avatar
    Tom Barr

    I recall a few years ago talking to another and mentioning CFDJ. He scowled and explained that they were all set to publish a review his CF application and then they asked him if he wanted the basic $3500 advertising package to complement the article or did he want to upgrade. He said no, they never published.
    On the other hand, I found out how you could get free subscriptions. Send them an email asking about there advertising rates. I asked about CFDJ and got free subscriptions to their Java, Linux, XMl, and .NET journals. I don’t know if it still works but it did a few years ago.

Leave a Reply