Our reader feedback has been overwhelming that you want more interaction and self-determination with your peers and the industry at large. Therefore, Wood Industry is staging a series of cross-country roundtables, beginning in Alberta, to move this idea forward. There will be some rules.
First, each event will be manufacturers-only for subscribers to Wood Industry. There will be no supplier sponsorships, no government assistance and no trainers, educators or consultants. Even though Wood Industry staff members are, by definition, media, we will not be reporting information outside of the meetings, while the attendees are free to discuss what they wish, with whomever they wish, whenever they wish. The purpose will be to meet, interact, discuss and propose ideas for moving the industry forward.
The format will be a hybrid between a think tank and a roundtable discussion. Since government types and educators love acronyms, and since I don’t want them to feel slighted because they’re not invited, we will call the series the Wood Industry Think Tank and Roundtables, or WITTR. Cute eh? You have to admit, it’s not as stupid as some. Where educators got the idea that back-forming acronyms was a sign of competence escapes me. I guess that’s why I’m not an educator.
The meetings will be held by region, beginning in February. Attendance will be by invitation, but you can indicate your interest by sending me an e-mail at email@example.com. You will have to be a subscriber to our e-mail list (free), which you can update at our website by clicking on Subscribe.
Finally, the agenda will be set by the attendees. Because of the format, we will not solicit sponsorship or government money, so each roundtable will have a registration fee sufficient to cover the facility and expenses, and we expect to limit participation to between 20 and 30.
More big news. If you have really enjoyed our website, you should drop by and take a screen-shot goodbye. There should be no crowds, as it has been getting fewer than 80,000 hits per month. I have always loved the potential of the web, but have resisted the idea of investing big money in postcards to nowhere. A website that serves no measurable purpose is stupid. We have had a stupid website under pressure from the gods of “progress” to be just like everybody else. The problem is, everybody else is already like everybody else.
Within a few days, a new website will “go live” in place of the old one. Yes, it will have new fonts and all that “great design” claptrap. It will still house the popular Product Source Directory and will have archives of our back issues, popular columnists, new products, editorials and profiles. However, its bones will now be an interactive blog software, following on your desire for input and self-determination. You will be able to search, comment, and engage other readers, our staff and me. We will send out a notice, again by e-mail, so we need your address. To repeat, we don’t sell our list and we don’t spam our readers. You typically get one e-letter a month. This month, you will get two.
As with the WITTR (I had to do that), there will be some rules. For one, everybody will be identified. If your name was Kerry Knudsen and you were obliged to write an editorial every issue in Wood Industry, you would also be obliged to publish your name and contact information so people could find you. It makes you accountable for your words.
We will have categories for Manufacturer (active), Associate (supplier), Educator, Government, Media and Guest. Guests will not be able to post comments, but they will have to register, nonetheless. Honesty thrives in the light of day, and we don’t need blogosfools from hackerstan looking in on Canadian discussions.
See you soon at www.woodindustry.ca.