On Tuesday next, the UK IT website scene will be joined by IT Pro, a newcomer from Dennis Publishing. We're all keen to see what it looks like: Dennis tends to know what it's doing, but that's OK — so do we. A bit of competition is nothing to be scared of. Grows the sector, and all that.
That's not necessarily the universal opinion. IT Pro is staffed by escapees from VNU, most notably editor Chris Green who used to be technical editor for Computing magazine before fleeing into the arms of Felix. This got written up in tech PR tip sheet The Fullrunner, which mentioned Mr Green's previous work with the cloggies at VNU — at one point using the word 'substantial'. Good lord, no, said the new editor of Computing's Web site. Nothing of the sort. In fact, so insubstantial was Green's input that we're not even going to bother to replace him.
Catty or what? The saga deepens, though — callers to the Computing offices trying to get hold of Green are being told "he's left the industry", which seems a bit harsh when we haven't even seen the Web site yet. And in any case, it's easy to check what he's up to because there's a Wikipedia page about him.
Ah yes, the good old Wiki. If you dig back through the editing history of that page, you'll see that some anonymous people have been very rude about the chap, impugning his honesty and comparing him to an anatomical item possessed by the gender which rarely plays rugby. Other edits make light of his career history, suggesting that he may have spent more time in retail ambient replenishment (that's shelf-stacking in supermarkets to you and me) than at the keyboard.
Shocking, and of course all the silliness was smartly removed. Wikipedia is a place that believes in keeping track of the truth, though, so it keeps a copy of the IP address from which the edit was made — not that this is always helpful. Usually any vandalism takes place from Internet cafes, via anonymising proxies or through some of the many other options for disguising the naughty. If one were to muck about with another website — to leave satirical blog entries, say, that take the mickey out of a publisher's online strategy — one would not want to be traced too easily.
This basic precaution escaped our cyber-graffiti squad. Type their IP address 188.8.131.52 into a network utility such as traceroute or reverse DNS lookup and just look at what comes clogging back.
Bit careless, chaps. Perhaps you should reconsider filling that technical editor position.