Just six years ago this month, I started playing with blogging. I’d been reading Dave Winer, Robert Scoble, Om Malik and a few others. Automation World, my new project, was now up and running. It was time to try something new. I wrote to someone (one of those self-proclaimed experts) about what I was doing sometime in the spring and he said he couldn’t figure out what I was doing. I’ve never heard of him again 🙂

Blogging has gone through many changes over the past half-dozen years. It was originally about linking to other bloggers and adding your own comments. It was, and remains, a personal medium. But there were no other bloggers in the control and automation space. Then companies decided it would be a great way to get out their message. So company blogs sprung up like mushrooms after a Spring shower. Since blogging is really an easy way for publishing your ideas, new companies began using blogging as the publishing platform. Engadget for new products in technology (I’ve been trying Automation Gear for the same thing in our market space). TechCrunch, GigaOm, Huffington Post and many others for news.

After this time and experimentation, only Walt Boyes has kept up the blogging consistently from a journalist perspective–except that blog has morphed into more of a magazine blog than a personal one. But it still keeps going. Most company blogs that I have followed have withered due to the demands of feeding the beast regularly. Jim Cahill keeps the Emerson Process Experts blog going. And Emerson’s Greg McMillan does a good job updating the Modeling and Control blog. Eric Murphy keeps us current with OPC news. Let me know about any I’ve missed.

The other thing about blogs was the able to subscribe via RSS feed and then read the news when I wanted. This worked well–and still does. Of course many people want to know the latest, breaking news. So they also use Twitter and try to monitor a constant stream of real-time news-oh, and still get their work done. It’s a little like the stock ticker. I’m not ADD enough for that. I batch my Twitter reading, too.

This blog has evolved over the years and picked up a fair number of subscribers considering the limited number of automation people in the world. I’ve always tried to mix industry news, manufacturing news, analysis, soccer, personal stuff and thoughts about living.  As I start year seven at the end of a tough economic year, I look forward to seeing what I wind up doing this year.

I always enjoy your thoughts. Please continue to write. And post comments and subscribe to comments to keep the conversation going. I love a thoughtful debate. If you comment and I reply, that doesn’t have to be the end of it. Learning comes through iteration. I was on the high school tennis team (not bad for a geek) and a good rally.

Hope your Christmas (or whatever holiday you celebrate this time of year) was refreshing and fulfilling. I hope your new year is one of hope and growth. May your blessings be plentiful.

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