Today’s blog post is a mishmash — none of it worthy of an entire post but all in answer to emails you’ve sent:

Why doesn’t this blog allow comments?

There is too much incivility on the web — not that you, personally, would be rude or disruptive, but that guy over there … — and I don’t have the bandwidth to approve or monitor all comments on the hundreds of posts on the site, so I’ve opted to not allow comments. This website carries my company’s name so I am responsible for the content (even if a named person posts a comment). People often use the Comment link on each post to tell me what they like, dislike, or want to share. When there’s serious disagreement, I publish the comment in a response or update blog post. Please continue to send your comments via email; I read every one.

Who reads this blog, anyway?

Since I don’t make people log in, I don’t know exactly. My service provider stats show that it gets roughly 1,000 page views a day by 600 or so people. Since I started this blog, it’s seen nearly 200,000 sessions from pretty much all over the world (mostly .com, .net and .edu but also from Canada, Japan, Russia, Greece and 60 or so other countries). Those folks who check from work come from all over the PLM community, lots of industrial companies and universities around the world. Thank you for reading!

How do I like virtual user conferences?

I tweeted about attending Autodesk University VIrtual a few weeks ago, so this is not as out-of-context as it seems. The technology platform used by Autodesk to stage this year’s event is a vast improvement over what was available several years ago and made the experience much more useful. I chose to attend virtually because I need to hear the content in perhaps a dozen sessions spread over 3 days — doing that in person would take 5 days away from the office rather than 12 hours and time is at a premium. I definitely miss out on a lot of good stuff: interacting with users and Autodesk staff in person, seeing where the buzz is, talking to Autodesk partners and attending events that are not transmitted. VIrtual is not as good as in person, but it does the job.

Why am I writing so often about GIS?

I’ve actually been involved with GIS for a long time; at Computervision, the guy who was our mapping dude had the office next door and we’d commiserate about how slowly his maps and my pipes rendered. At Daratech, I wrote the more or less annual GIS market report for years. GIS is evolving very quickly as location based technologies affect many aspects of people’s lives (even if they don’t know it, they’re using GIS) and bringing a lot of attention to more traditional uses as well. Companies like Autodesk, Bentley and Intergraph/Hexagon are blending design and location technologies even as traditional analytic vendors like ESRI are becoming more visual — it’s an exciting time.

Why don’t I write about [insert company name here]?

This usually comes from PR people who bombard me with press releases and think that this is sufficient to get me to post. It’s not. We can talk at some point about how good PR should be conducted, but the short answer to the question is that I blog about what I find interesting, unique, unusual or think will seem that way to the people who read this blog. What a PR person is paid to push often doesn’t rise to that standard.

That’s it for today. Mailbag closed. Please keep the emails coming and feel free to suggest topics for future blog posts.