You know why I like Glass News? No, it’s not because they have a banner on my site – that’s free! It’s because they seem to be the only written publication that tries to do something different in every issue, covering as wide a range of content as possible.

What I find hard to believe is that in an industry where materials like timber, aluminium and even steel and composites are becoming more and more prominent again, the mainstream industry magazines continue to shun them, or shove them right at the very back, squeezed into one “dedicated” page. I’ll just use Glass Time’s June edition as an example. There is just ONE page dedicated to aluminium on page 30 and then 3 timber pages stuffed right at the back on pages 96, 97 and 98.

The Clearview June edition is even worse. There’s not a hint of any dedicated timber sections and there’s only a half page for aluminium right at the back on page 76! I find it difficult to believe that in the diverse industry that we work in, that there isn’t any more aluminium, timber or even steel news or stories to report on. Which is a shame as some of the most stunning architectural, commercial and residential installations are done with these other materials.

How can ‘leading industry magazines’ be truly leading if they only cover the same old sectors with the same old paid for news and advertorials? Mark Warren quite rightly pointed out to me on Twitter that composites get very little coverage too. Yes composites doors do get quite good coverage but they are a well established product now. Product types such as the Internorm product deserve more coverage – true innovation making the very most of what is available in the market place. I would say this is actual news, or something worth doing a report on. Yet nothing.

News really isn’t news any more either, unless it’s big takeovers, big appointments or something similar. Even then we all know about it online before it gets printed. If I were in the steel, ali or timber industries I think I would be justified as feeling like our corner of the sector is getting well and truly the crap end of the deal. There are many, many established companies out there dealing in the alternative materials who have been around long enough to say they could have a dynasty, yet get zero coverage. But when some new screws come out it’s a big deal!?

I guess my point is here that despite such a diverse, innovative market, the current crop of mainstream glossy mags do a very poor job in reporting and highlighting all what goes on in the world of steel, timber, aluminium and composite materials. And advertorials really are starting to take over now.

Those of you who disagree with what I say might accuse me of peddling “news” stories from those that chose to sponsor DGB. What I would say in reply is that my own posts far outnumber the paid-for stories I post on DGB. Also, I would argue that those who have chosen to sponsor the site have been smart enough to take advantage of some very high traffic levels and know that as the site continues to grow and gain more traffic, their exposure increases. Surely something all businesses want? Plus I’m a lot cheaper!

Do I see things improving in the future? No. I believe the best online industry websites now cover the alternative materials best.