Where in the world is Control Engineering?

Just about everywhere! In July we put out the call to our readers to show us how and where they read Control Engineering. Many were eager to not only take us up on the offer, but inject more than a little humor into the process as well. We received dozens of entries, the best six of which we chose to highlight on our cover this month.


Just about everywhere! In July we put out the call to our readers to show us how and where they read Control Engineering. Many were eager to not only take us up on the offer, but inject more than a little humor into the process as well.

We received dozens of entries, the best six of which we chose to highlight on our cover this month. Sprinkled throughout this issue are other submissions that we all enjoyed, but that didn’t quite make the final selection for the cover. (Note: That’s me in the picture having a little fun on the golf course).

So what was the purpose of this exercise? Actually it was quite simple: proof of audience connection and affinity. No media outlet is worth the paper it’s printed on or the energy used to illuminate its online text and images without an audience. In a world where anyone can put up a Website or a blog and consider themselves a publisher, the only thing that serves to differentiate the players from the wannabes is audience.

It’s important to note that the term “audience” does not just mean eyeballs on a site or page. The term’s connotation now represents the biggest potential impact on publishing since the invention of movable type. And that is: Media has officially become a two-way street, not just a loudspeaker pointed one way. Of course, people have been saying this for years, but it has really just begun happening in the past year or two—most noticeably through the rise of social media.

Without a sizable, engaged audience to help direct and develop content and be engaged in the process, a media outlet just doesn’t have that much to offer the 21st century audience. No company operates successfully today at a distance from its customers—and media is no exception.

As you’ve certainly noticed by now, Control Engineering has taken this past, turbulent year to become even more engaged with its audience in nearly every way we could think of that made sense. From social media and surveys, to online contests and user-generated content, these efforts have helped us develop a heavily audience-engaged product plan for 2010. While this plan provides definitive milestones for us over the next year, it is by no means written in stone. If you have some ideas you’d like to share to help us make Control Engineering an even more valuable resource, drop me a line; or better yet, start a discussion on our groups at LinkedIn ( budurl.com/celinkedin ) and Facebook ( budurl.com/cefacebook ) to develop a consensus with your engineering peers.

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