The problem with computer-oriented blogs

I don’t usually visit computer-oriented blogs (mostly blogs that covers Windows softwares, both free and paid) from my country. However, I stumbled upon them sometimes, and I notice that most of them seems to share some unwritten rules when covering a software:

  1. Never mention anything about the developers/companies behind the software.
  2. Never link straight to the software’s official site. Instead, download the software’s installers, archive them into .zip/.rar files, upload them into file-sharing sites, and post the resulting links.

(You can see it for yourself by searching ‘download [software name] terbaru’ on Google.)

I believe those are not the right things to do when you’re writing about a software. By not mentioning or linking to the softwares’ developers or companies, they’re not giving the people behind the softwares attribution for their hard work.

Also, I still don’t know why would they link the installers to the re-packaged versions that they uploaded into file-sharing sites, while the official sites for the softwares are still up and running. Not to mention that there are lots of software download sites (like Softpedia or FileHippo) that offers download links to the software.

Call me paranoid, but a .zip file could contain anything. I think that the safest place to download a software is through the official site. Or, if you want to know if the software is really safe (and worth your time and money), most software download sites would’ve checked them for malwares and have some sort of rating system.

Maybe those bloggers think that they would save people who’re not familiar with downloading softwares from the confusion of having to navigate through the official site (although almost all sites I’ve visited have clearly-labelled download pages and links). The process of finding a good software to do some task, downloading it, archiving it, uploading it to a file-sharing site, copying the download links, and pasting them into your blog post seems to be time-consuming; why don’t you just post the links for the official download sources and write down some instructions to download the installer?

Unless the software is ancient and could not be found on the internet anymore, or that it’s your own software, you should not post your own download links.

This blog gives attribution to the software company and links its downloads to Filehippo.com. I prefer linking straight to the official site, but this is much better than my previous example.

I’ve been putting official download links since my first review, but I’ve only added software summaries (including developer/company, platform, license, size, homepage, etc) on my fifth review. And I’ll be doing it forever.

Note: I’ve found a local download site that seems to be safe. It looks like a local CNET.com – offering news, reviews, and downloads, but without those nasty installers. Also, The Windows Club has tips on how to download safely and a small list of safe download sites.

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