Farewell CFDJ: My Last Year on the Editorial Board in Review

Although this is a topic which has gotten much coverage, to the point of beating a dead horse, I felt obligated to comment on it as someone who served on the Editorial Board of the ColdFusion Developer’s Journal until is was recently shuttered.

When I was originally asked to join the board, I had some strong reservations about it for many reasons, but decided to give it a try for the purpose of helping out the community in a constructive way. For instance, I’d heard about a previous editorial board for LinuxWorld who all resigned at the same time, I think not compensating people who contribute to the magazine is completely unethical, and their website reminds me of a “warez” site where popups, videos, and all kinds of other annoying crap invade your computer. Despite all of that, I assumed that being part of an editorial board would help voice developers concerns like “Your site makes the baby Jesus cry, make it stop!”, “What kind of monkeys are editing the articles?”, and “Why do you keep stealing people’s content and publishing it as your own?”.

I thought perhaps as a board member, I’d have a chance to read articles which were still in draft and help with the code and articles, offer suggestions, and maybe even catch some of those typos which seem to plague the CFDJ. Having worked in ColdFusion for (at the time) 8 years, writing somewhat useful blog entries for quite some time, as well as doing tech editing for a ColdFusion book, and having a Computer Science background (kind of a rarity among CF Developers?) this seemed like a pretty good fit.

Instead, I think it just entailed having some community names added to the board to show that they were involved but in reality none of the people listed had any say in anything, nor even had any idea what things were being put in each issue. We never saw any articles, or even previews of what a printed issue would look like. I would have even appreciated a free subscription for writing and editing articles, but I never got that either– it certainly wasn’t worth paying for. I saw the final version of magazines the same way everyone else does, by going to the PDF download site. As others have noted, we had no idea it was being shut down until the entry was posted at the CFDJ itself.

I really never went out of my way to promote the CFDJ or even write new articles for them because it didn’t seem like anything had changed. It fact, it only got worse as time went on– it was hard to even get any sort of e-mail response from anyone on SysCon on the editors mailing list as time went on.

That said, the board really put a lot of time and effort into trying to breathe life back into the publication, but it was for little to no gain. It is with a little sorrow however– I can remember when I was first getting started with CF how valuable the publication was. I’d say most of us were all ready to resign out of frustration, though it wouldn’t have really mattered since communicating with SysCon has been like talking to a black hole for quite some time.

I think the only way I can sum this up is– I for one welcome the Fusion Authority overlords.

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