There's a long list of reasons that we've avoided doing a Tradeshow Awards Issue... We have a unique perspective on awards, because we are not exactly magazine people, and at times it shows, but we hope it shows in some good things like new ways of fresh thinking, too.
We've talked about one of the reasons at length: tradeshows aren't always the best source of information about new products. Not every company's biggest news coincides with a specific calendar date -- a date which sometimes forces companies to rush out products that are not fully baked. In comparison, peer-to-peer forums are better resources for real-time product information and support.
This show felt different, though. This is the first time in a number of years that a show's announcements elicited the kind of deep and far reaching conversations that we have seen throughout CreativeCOW.net. Across thousands of posts, we saw a few overwhelming favorites, DaVinci Resolve on Mac for $995 and the ARRI Alexa camera series, in particular. But we also heard about ingest cards, media management software and other less sexy products that are every bit as transformative in their part of the workflow.
That's when it hit us: if we're going to do an awards issue, we need to do it the same way we do every issue of the COW Magazine -- get out of the way, and let the working pros talk. The myriads of COW members at the show saw far more than we ever could, from far more perspectives. The thousands of replies to their reports, and to the press releases coming out of the show, offer irreplaceable real-world insight into the nuts and bolts of putting these products to work.
The fact is, many Creative COW members have told us that they don't have a lot of use for the opinion of magazine people that don't really make their living from the tools they write about. Admittedly, while we are years away from the decades we spent doing actual production work for paying clients, we used to pay for this gear -- and our readers, and writers, still do. But it gives us a unique perspective on awards because we're not exactly magazine people either, and while it shows in an occasional lack of polish, we hope that it also shows in things like new ways of fresh thinking, too! From our point of view, we recognize that there's a reason to stay out of the way, and let the working pros do the real voting and the real reporting.
Awards issues have also always seemed kind of cynical to us, with some carrying the telltale whiff of using them to troll for ads. But running a multi-million visitor a month community like Creative COW -- with our website, our enewsletters, and Creative COW Magazine -- means that most of the industry's major players already work with us. So, once again, we are in a unique position in this market. We are humbled by the support we get from so many great sponsors. They do it because the COW community is so large and their ads work. Their ads work, in part, because our members trust us to avoid editorial pandering in our articles -- and even if we tried it, our readers would simply measure what they read in ads and articles against what our huge community exposes about the truth of working with all this stuff. Think of this huge body of people as your own built-in manure detector.
But the biggest reason we've avoided awards issues is that there can be a big difference between what's new and what's important. The features in any product -- storage, switchers, software, satellites -- that save your skin every day, have probably been there for a while. They're critical, even if they're not shiny. The new ones are at least as much about future possibilities as solving today's problems. Our peer-to-peer community can solve today's problems, and in this issue, we're grateful to have them point our readers to the future possibilities that most excite them. The fact is, we've just scratched the surface here. We invite you to join us for more online at www.CreativeCOW.net/blueribbon
-- where you'll find expanded versions of many of the articles in this issue, and other products and technologies that we simply didn't have room to cover in the magazine pages.