Editor's Page: What “Focused On the Reader” Really Means

CONTROL has asked some highly-qualified readers to join its Editorial Advisory Board in an effort to help bring even more focused coverage of the topics the industry is most interested about. And the information it most needs to receive.

By Walt Boyes, Editor in Chief


DAM OSBORNE, ONE OF THE FATHERS OF PORTABLE COMPUTING, once said, “He who stays on the cutting edge often gets sliced.” This is known as Osborne’s Law, and Adam himself is its most prominent victim. Faced with the introduction of the PC, Osborne delayed bringing out a compatible portable computer, and Compaq put him out of business. In publishing, we are finding that unless we move at the speed of change, we are likely to be left behind. The speed of change, for us, is measured by the way the requirements of our readers change.

From its very beginning, CONTROL has been different from other trade magazines. A major reason why I gave up a successful consultancy to join CONTROL is the fact that CONTROL is focused on our readers, and not on the products and services of the vendor community.

So, when we decided to create a “trade show” we came up with AutomationXchange … a completely user-focused event with the buyers, not the sellers, in charge. You can read more about the first AutomationXchange in “InProcess.”

As we create our editorial calendar for each year, we work to the goal of providing accurate, timely and relevant information to our readers. I am just in the process of finalizing the 2005 editorial calendar, and I’ve found that my predecessors have carefully crafted one that needed only a bit of tweaking from me. I am already working on stories for next year, and we’ll have some really good ones for you.

CONTROL still does not permit vendor-authored editorial material. We use vendors as sources, but we write and edit our magazine specifically from the point of view of the reader.

And when we write, we ask our end-user readers to comment on their own experiences with processes and process automation products. We do product reviews without all the vendor hype, and we do case studies based on real performance, not “specsmanship.” And we are always asking our readers what it is that they want.

This is why, at CONTROL, we are not just a monthly magazine. We have become over the past few years an integrated system for delivery of tightly focused editorial and highly relevant advertising messages to you, our readers, in all the ways you have elected to receive them. For years we’ve provided you with a print publication, with annuals and supplements, and a web site where you could read the articles, search the archives, and even subscribe to the magazine in an innovative digital edition. We’ve provided a highly-read newsletter that has recently achieved weekly status.

We’ve undertaken an initiative that will ensure that we continue to move at the speed of change, and you are about to see it. We’ve asked some highly-qualified readers to volunteer as our advisors to help us bring you even more tightly focused editorial that covers the topics you are most interested about, and gives you the information you most need to receive. They range from an industry analyst with years of practical engineering experience to a system integrator in the pharmaceuticals market. Their names will appear proudly on our masthead, and we are delighted that they have agreed to help us stay on top of trends and issues in process automation. I am pleased to present the Editorial Advisory Board:




 Gene Giltner

 Patrick Engineering

 Power Systems and SCADA

 Jim Reizner

 Procter and Gamble

 Field sensors and batch processing

 Dawn Schweitzer

 Eastman Kodak

 Engineering Management

 Dan Podkulski


 Analyzers and Sampling

 Larry Wells

 Georgia Pacific

 Pulp and Paper Controls

 Mark Wells

 Runfactory Systems Inc.

 Pharmaceutical Integration, 21 CFR 11

 Dan Miklovic

 Gartner Research

 Manufacturing Integration, MES

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