There are plenty of reasons for me to want to talk about our plans for Control Design 2010. Let's face it, 2009 can't go away fast enough to suit most of us.
I don't know anyone in the manufacturing space—or this publishing industry that serves it—who thought '09 could be as bad as it turned out to be. We knew it was going to be trouble. Just not this much trouble.
I don't have illusions about the start of 2010. Recovery back toward a healthy order book is going to take a long while. Recovery to a point that you can consider hiring or rehiring needed automation talent is going to take even longer than that.
I hope many of you used the slowdown to evaluate your automation strategy with customer needs going forward. As I wrote before, if you don't get to it now, it might very well be opportunity lost when things begin to bubble again. Your customers, new and old, will be a lot less likely to listen.
We evaluated our Control Design content strategy for next year and decided to try something new with the homegrown videos we provide at www.ControlDesign.com/multimedia. From '07 to '09, we've provided a series of market intelligence reports on particular automation technologies that reported the results of surveys, each including expert analysis by a machine builder or system integrator.
We also shot spotlight videos on machine builder shop floors and at some trade events to examine the automation choices made for those machines and talked directly with the company's automation experts about those choices.
The videos are faithful to our mission to provide user-focused content just as we do with print. We do that better and more zealously than anyone.
We plan to expand the premise in 2010 with videos that reveal key findings from some of the topics we'll address in cover stories. Topics include how to retain automation talent, "green" requirements for machine builders, reducing time to market and industrial machines of the future.
So, I need volunteers, who'll not only contribute as they do with our written articles, but also be up for spending a little time with us in front of a camera.
The machine builders who've made videos with us before tell us it's a real chick magnet for them.
Now that's not even the least bit true, but if you enjoy being quoted in an article and showing it off some, this is way more fun. Best of all, you'll help add to the collective body of knowledge in the subject we're covering.
Ideal candidates probably are those in our geographic area—easier to shoot—or who will be at an event or trade show that we'll be attending. Regardless, tell me if you're interested. We'll arrange it all far enough in advance to handle the busiest schedules.
So get ready to smile, for your closeup among other reasons, as we take on another year.