For a short time the ProTalk resource founded by Chris Rand and Andy Pye in the final years of the last millenium was a unique feature on the internet skyline. We used it ourselves to publicise various issues or functions and it proved a usefule archive as well. We used two of the talk sites EngineeringTalk, edited at the start by Chris himself and ProcessingTalk which was edited by Nick Denbow, now editor on Industrial Automation Insider. Chris Rand is now Business Marketing OnLine (BMON) and Andy Pye is with Carosel Internet Publishing.This resource was sold to Centaur Media about five years ago and proceeded as before for a while then we noticed that releases from ourselves were being rejected as “unsuitable” for reasons which may have been understandable to the management but certainly not to this correspondent. “I was responsible for removing your story which I did not feel was suitable for the site…as managing editor, I have shifted the emphasis of the site to a harder concentration on product and service news, and application stories.” (email 22 Oct 2010). It appeared to us, perhaps wrongly, that editorial decisions were being made by people other than the appointed editors and which tended to undermine them. The result, whatever the reason, is that we stopped altogether from using this and indeed eventually they appeared to discontinue sending us the weekly issues. However we have since discovered that in fact they had not done so but that it was been sent from a different email address which was being caught in our spamarrest system as junk. But that is a completely different kettle of red herrings!
The result was that we started to publish press releases which we received on our own blogspot – instsignpost. This site which, while it does not set the automation world on fire, is a useful resource with a steady stream of visitors.
Today we received the latest issue of BMON’s emessage – usually, short succint and only takes a minute to glance through – Evolution – or even revolution – for the Pro-Talk websites, in which were links which we found interesting on the transition of ProTalk from a number of different strands or sectors “into a more centralised resource, closely linked to The Engineer, Centaur’s flagship engineering publication.” This new entity is called The Source.
One of the sites he links into is an examination of the philosophy which led from ProTalk to Source by Richard Stone in his Stone Junction blog. His blog concludes with a wish which expresses this writers hope too! “Whether Source can achieve anything like the dominance that EngineeringTalk had is a real question. I hope either it, or someone else, can. Because we’ve missed you EngineeringTalk ;-)”