Gain From Different Perspectives

Online content often features more material than can fit in the magazine.

By Traci Purdum, senior digital editor

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It's good to get a different perspective on things – it helps you see the whole picture. This is certainly true for the content accessible via the Perspectives tab on the menu bar of ChemicalProcessing.com.

Having access to past perspectives can prove valuable in the future.

The Perspectives tab gets you to columns that appear in the magazine. The goal is to make it easier for you to find all the content from a particular columnist in one area. That’s handy because many topics covered are evergreen — so, even if you didn’t need the information when a column first appeared you very well may in the future. The content is in alphabetical order beginning with my column Chemical Processing Online. You can click on this link to see everything I have written for the magazine over the last two years. (September 2010 marks my 2nd anniversary with Chemical Processing.)

You'll also find Lynn Bergeson's Compliance Advisor columns dating back to 2004 when she discussed the Federal Government's support of the 21st Century Nanotechnology Research and Development Act that was enacted on Dec. 3, 2003. And the archives of Seán Ottewell's End Point go back to 2007 when he urged readers to ratchet up efforts in both physical and cyber-security. The Energy Saver column and Dirk Willard's Field Notes both extend back to 2006 when Dirk shared his own experience as a start-up engineer to steer readers in the right direction in the column "Don’t let a start-up finish you off." Mark Rosenzweig's From the Editor columns go all the way back to 2003 when he exhorted readers to remain relevant via "Focus, not hocus-pocus." Andrew Sloley's Plant InSites columns started in 2004 when he aimed to save you from a serious problem in "Don't Let Heater Control Get You Steamed."

In some instances the online versions of these columns boast more information than the print versions. After all, space constraints can limit what we can run in the magazine but don’t restrict us online. So, when a figure or illustration doesn't make the cut in print, we note that and send you to our website to see what you're missing.

Process Puzzler, the last column located under the Perspectives tab, takes advantage of the website's unlimited space all the time and also its ease of updating content. This column solicits comments, suggestions or solutions from Chemical Processing readers for process problems. The peer-to-peer forum is popular with readers – so much so that we often don't have room to print all the thoughtful responses. However, we do post all online. Likewise, our editors ask for visual aids (sketches, charts, diagrams or even photos) to accompany solutions and we sometimes only can show these on the website. In other cases submissions arrive too late to make it into the print edition but we update the online Puzzler to include them.

But just because there is unlimited space on the web doesn't mean we toss everything onto ChemicalProcessing.com. Our job as editors still remains: Separate the wheat from the chaff.


Traci Purdum is Chemical Processing's senior digital editor. You can e-mail her at tpurdum@putman.net.
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