Several years ago I came across a quote attributed to Michelangelo — Ancora Imparo. It means "still learning."
Whether or not Michelangelo uttered those words is debatable. But the notion that the Italian Renaissance artist, architect, poet and engineer was still learning despite a prolific career that produced masterpieces including the Statue of David and the Sistine Chapel is enough to keep me on the path of continued enlightenment.
On a personal level, I just enrolled in an American Sign Language (ASL) class with a good friend of mine. Our goal is to become proficient enough to carry on basic conversation. I took an ASL class in college, but at the time I was too focused on other classes to really appreciate the beauty of the skill. I do, however, remember my final assignment: Signing the words to the song "Happy Together" by The Turtles.
On a professional level, I just returned from a day-long Online Marketing Summit, which recharged my excitement for all the great things we are either already doing at ChemicalProcessing.com or about to embark on in the near future.
The theme of the day was social media (think Facebook, blogs, Twitter and YouTube.) While we have actively participated in these media for a while and I feel I am much more than a novice, I was reminded at this summit that there's always a better mousetrap. Or at the very least, there're better ways to reach out to readers to engage them in the conversation.
And since you are one of the readers I am speaking of, I encourage you to visit our social media sites and tell me what you'd like to see happening. Do you want How-To videos on our YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/ChemProcess)? Or would you like to see more conference coverage? Would you like me to interview your peers regarding their best practices?
Would you like me to take the skill of writing in 140 characters or less to a new level and comment on all things chemical processing via our Twitter account (http://twitter.com/Chem_Processing)?
Regarding the Chemical Reaction blog (community.ChemicalProcessing.com/chemical_reaction), what topics interest you? From the number of views, it seems that readers like off-the-wall content that relates to the industry in posts like "Study Shows Cigarette Butts Prevent Rust" (community.chemicalprocessing.com/content/study-shows-cigarette-butts-prevent-rust).
In terms of Facebook (http://tinyurl.com/chem-processing-fb), be on the lookout for contests and more "fun" posts. You even may see me don a Snuggie and play the ukulele all in the name of engagement. Don't think I'll do it? To quote a different kind of master, "People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing." That's a quote from Dale Carnegie, author of the book "How to Win Friends and Influence People," which is precisely what I aim to do!
Traci Purdum is Chemical Processing's Senior Digital Editor. She still remembers most of the signs to "Happy Together." You can e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.