I have read at least 3 whitepapers from what I thought to be reputable companies that contain incorrect information. That leaves the question- what exactly is a whitepaper? The internet is full of some useful information and also some total crap information. I have written literally hundreds of articles and whitepapers in my career and go out of my way to assure that information is accurate at the time of writing. Of course, none of us can predict change, but at least mine are accurate at the time of writing.
I think it is a huge problem in this industry that freelance writers, companies, and supposed experts put out information that is false and/or largely inaccurate. Granted not all do, but to the ones that do, shame on you!
The information super highway should be viewed as information – correct! information. Of the three that I am referring to this week, two were intentionally incorrect because they cherry picked through the standards to position their products. Either that, or they don’t know what is actually in the standards! Hopefully those reading these papers will view them as product positioning papers and NOT fact.
But that does beg the question, where does one go for accurate information? The standards are a great start. I will admit though, that they are not the most entertaining reading (the meetings where we write them are not always entertaining either!). Cross check facts between vendors. In some cases, you can use social media to get to the right answer. Although I have also read some really hilariously inaccurate answers in some of the linked in forums as well.