New interactive features are a maintenance manager's vacation destination

Mike Bacidore, chief editor, says brings excitement to the Internet.

By Mike Bacidore, chief editor

Venice Beach. The Las Vegas Strip. Broadway.

Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. Things are happening. Moving. Shaking. Stirring. Action and interaction are everywhere.

Well, our little piece of the virtual world just got exciting, too. doesn’t have a boardwalk, basketball courts or weight lifting area. There are no casinos or showgirls. No first-run plays either. But for a plant maintenance manager, there’s not a more interactive or useful place on the Internet.

In the Trenches, which has been one of our most popular monthly features in the print magazine, is now online and interactive, so you no longer need to be frustrated when you want to chime in with your own opinion. You can do it right there. Just register for your user ID, and you’re ready to tell Acme how it should be treating its employees.

Also, our Best Practices Awards are new and improved. You need to enter. You want to win. Our categories in 2011 include safety; management, staffing and training; sustainability; and energy. It only takes a few minutes to enter.

There’s action and interaction awaiting you at

– Mike Bacidore, chief editor

If you’re using best practices and steadily climbing the predictive maintenance curve, then perhaps you’re a potential Plant of the Month. Our inaugural winner is Kimberly-Clark’s nonwovens plant in LaGrange, Georgia. Each month’s winner also will earn consideration for our Plant of the Year Award. Enter online or contact me directly for the entry form.

If you’re into that sort of thing — contacting me directly — you have a variety of ways to do that. The telephone is always an easy way to reach out and touch someone. I’m usually sitting in sessions or walking exhibit hall floors at most of the major conferences. E-mailing me always is a good strategy, too. But now you can talk back at me in your own time, too. My new blog, Plant Ambassador is your opportunity to read my opinion on a variety of topics, add your own opinions or just holler back about anything you like. I’ll give you a piece of my mind, if you’ll give me a piece of yours.

Finally, our newest addition to is Mechanical Meld, where you’ll find new maintenance gadgets that were created by combining two or more existing tools. Our first meld is the Ultimate Maintenance Vehicle. A heavy-duty hitch, wireless laptop setup featuring a Panasonic Toughbook, retractable safety barriers, retractable power supply cords, ultra-bright headlights, heavy-duty mounted vise, chrome deck, removable ladder holder and customer toolbox are just a few of the included features. Tell us what it’s missing in our interactive comment boxes.

There’s action and interaction awaiting you at