Automation Experts: It's About Being Your Authority

Feb. 27, 2013
The Authorities Writing for Us Have More Than 375 Man-Years of Experience in Process Automation Between Them
About the Author
Walt Boyes has more than 30 years of experience in sales, sales management, marketing, and product development in the automation industry both for sensors, devices and control systems for industrial and environmental controls, including Executive Committee and Board experience in several companies. Walt currently is serving as Editor-in-Chief of CONTROL and

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Elsewhere in this magazine, I've written about being a finalist for the Jesse H. Neal Awards. While finding another place to pat ourselves on the back is nice, that's not what I am writing about here.  I want to talk about authority and what it means in a time when anyone can be an expert as long as they have an Internet access account and a burning desire to share their opinions. I want to talk about and authority. It is our goal to become your authority for process automation.

Authority is a serious issue today. The Internet's basic anonymity means it's easy to set up as a pundit about just about anything, and nobody's the wiser if you sit your skivvies or are wearing a suit. And often nobody is the wiser—at least for a while—if you actually don't know what you are talking about, but sound (or read) really good doing it.

Essentially, authority means that the people who read your stuff do think you know what you're talking about. It really is something that is difficult to counterfeit for long. Pretending to be an authority in the process automation field is hard to do because the pretenders are easy to spot.

That's why we have so many real authorities writing for Control and Between Béla Lipták, Greg McMillan, Greg Shinskey, Dick Caro, Ian Verhappen, John Rezabek, Joe Weiss, our newest blogger, Dan Miklovic, our publisher Keith Larson and me, we have more than 375 man years of process automation experience.

What this gives us is the ability to answer questions authoritatively, describe applications and share the knowledge we've compiled with our readers. Lipták and McMillan answer questions every month in Ask the Experts and Control Talk. Ask the Experts has answered over 390 questions from concerned automation professionals since it was launched. Greg McMillan profiles and interrogates an automation authority every month.

This is also the reason we do not allow vendor authors in Control and restrict them to white papers and vendor notes on It is certainly true that people in the vendor community have great knowledge and understanding of applications and problems in the process automation space. But sharing their understanding and knowledge with us comes at the potential price of favoritism toward their employer or their employer's favorite technologies. We provide one exception to this policy: If the author in question has achieved induction into the Process Automation Hall of Fame, we believe that his authority in process automation is unquestionable, and his (or her) insights trump employment.

Google respects authority, and when you see Control or high on the response page in the search engine, that means that Google respects our authoritativeness as a magazine and combined multimedia information outlet.

We chose the name specifically to take a North American print magazine and turn it into a global resource for process automation. We've succeeded pretty wildly. More than half of the visitors to come from outside North America. We even have a small Spanish language information channel, Control en Español. We are always researching ways and partnerships to do more in other languages and other cultures. We delight in accepting articles from all over the world. We have had articles authored everywhere from Cleveland to China to Iran, and we want more.

We are determined to provide you with the most authoritative information—resources that you can use to do your job every day, wherever in the world your job may be. Drop me a line and let me know how you think we're doing.