First blog of the year-- Control's 20th anniversary

Welcome to 2008! I hope all your teams won, all your family events were joyous and unstressful, and that you are all ready to confront another year of challenges and opportunities. We certainly are. This is Control's 20th year. In 1988, a few wild-eyed visionaries got together at Putman Media and decided that it was possible to put out a magazine that was end-user centered, rather than advertiser centered, and make it profitable. Those visionaries were spot on. Control magazine was an instant hit, with its blend of honest reporting, journalistic articles, emphasis on high quality writing both from the editors and from the industry experts who regularly write for the magazine, and a little dose of irreverence thrown in for spice. We wanted to see if we could successfully create and sustain a magazine that wrote from the end-users' viewpoint and spoke for the end-users who work in automation in the process industries. Many awards later, not only are we still here, but we've created the best magazine in the space. We created among the most read blogs (Soundoff! and Unfettered!) in the space,  and a website that defines how a website devoted to process automation should be shaped.  We created a real Readers' Choice Award,  and were the first to bring you the Top Fifty report, so you know what's happening to the vendors you buy your systems from. We produced a Directory of Lost Companies wiki, using the power of Web 2.0, created regular podcasts, videocasts, and we have spun off two other magazines: Control Design and Industrial Networking. And we created the anti-tradeshow, AutomationXchange. Not bad for twenty years. Many magazines would spend this year in an orgy of self-congratulation. But, in keeping with our iconoclastic history, we won't. You won't see any "remember when" articles. What you will see is a detailed and disciplined look into the future of automation in the process industries, by some of the luminaries of the profession. We're going to continue to campaign for those things we believe are of critical importance: educating the public about the value of the automation professional; the need to recruit more young people to the manufacturing industries and the profession of automation; the necessity to avoid "standards wars," and the need to educate both professional and public about what it takes to provide adequate cybersecurity for the process industries. In 1988, we were a North America-centric print publication. We've morphed into a global information source, just like our industries have morphed into global enterprises. We are committed to continuing this metamorphosis as our industries continue to grow and change, and the role of automation professionals grows and changes. We will do this in every way we can: website, webcasts, podcasts, videocasts, articles, and in any other form or media that you, our end-user readers want us to use. I am proud of the heritage of this magazine, and the continuity that we have. Keith Larson, who writes the back page of this magazine, and Paul Studebaker, who now is Editor in Chief of our sister publication, Plant Services, and I  represent almost the entire history of the magazine, and we're all still here, as is John Cappelletti, one of that band of wild-eyed visionaries. We are devoted to continuing to make Control and the benchmark by which all other automation publications are judged. Enough with the shameless self-congratulation. On with the mission.