Give us a piece of your mind

Aug. 20, 2007
Plant Services adds content focused on getting its readers to contribute. Read about the three new ways to share with us (and everybody) what's going on in your head.

Isn’t it great to feel needed? To know that someone wants to hear what you have to say, values your knowledge and experience, and could really use your advice?

I just welcomed my 53rd birthday, so it’s been quite a while since the last time a pretty stranger gave me a second glance. But I’m enjoying the fact that I’ve developed a reasonably solid grip on how my part of the world works, and that I have the opportunity to share what I know to help and guide others.

Mine is right up there with the average age of the people who do the work we cover in Plant Services (at least the ones who respond to surveys). Some of you are much younger, many are even gnarlier, but we believe every one of you knows some things that would be very interesting and helpful to us and your fellow plant professionals.

So, this month I’m proud to announce three new ways you can clue us in  or share the experiences and wisdom you’ve gathered on your industrial odyssey with your peers.

Using either of the first two also makes you an official citizen of the cool new world of “Web 2.0.” (The third is for people who’d prefer another approach.) Those of us who automatically reject buzzwords might not know that Web 2.0 is an expression used by Web-nerds to refer to the Web they’re obsessed with, as opposed to the same old Web we’ve all been using for more than a decade now. (It’s the second generation of the Web consisting of Web-based communities and hosted services.) Much like your favorite salesman, they regularly bombard my in-box with messages exhorting me and Plant Services to embrace Web 2.0 or we can expect to go the way of the dodo bird. “User interaction and user-generated content are the hallmarks of Web 2.0,” they say.

We love it when you interact, and appreciate every bit of good help we can get with generating content, so if you want Web 2.0, we give you Web 2.0. Our centerpiece and greatest adventure to date is our new Best Practices – Energy Wiki, found at We’ll keep stocking this feature with expert knowledge and references, but the biggest part of its value will be advice based on practical, real-world experience and practices discovered, tested and added by people like you.

We also are eager to start and stock wikis on the other topics where you’d find that kind of information to be most valuable, so let me or Michael know what you want to see. And if you decide to be a regular contributor, it would be great if you would drop me a line telling who you are and why you’re doing it, so I can get a better understanding of how Web 2.0 fits into your world.

A wiki isn’t a place to air an opinion or to start or promulgate a debate. If someone describes the reasons why global warming is a farce and you don’t agree, please just add the solid facts that support your understanding. The place to opine is our second Web 2.0 option, the Plant Performance Web log (“blog”). We’re putting this much-maligned concept to good use -- check it out at

Finally, you’ve always been welcome to call me with your thoughts and suggestions at the number below. Now, for those who’d like to take a break from the keyboard and just pick up the phone without the hassle of a conversation, we have activated a comment line where you can simply leave a message – we guarantee no one will answer. Call (630) 467-1301 ext. 458, listen to our recorded instructions and let us have it. Anything goes, but you’re welcome to start with your thoughts about Web 2.0, wikis and blogs.

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