Virtual Community Provides Real Value

Sept. 20, 2010
This area provides visitors myriad opportunities to engage with peers.

Fall always reminds me of back-to-school days. How everything starts off fresh and new, including friendships. A friend of mine's daughter is a freshman at Bowling Green State University. Before she moved to campus, she was very concerned that she'd have trouble finding new friends and groups that shared her interests. Thinking back to my college days, I told her to check out the "Community" board. All the dorms at Kent State University — my alma mater —  boasted a bulletin board on each floor. It served as the town crier for social and academic events as well as mundane requests. Posting that you needed a ride back home invariably led to finding someone willing to give you a lift in exchange for a few bucks in gas money.


My friend's daughter looked at me like I had an extra head on my shoulders. Silly me. In the days of the Internet, bulletin boards have gone the way of the dodo. In their place have arisen online community boards and social media portals.

I’m not sure why I made this faux pas — Chemical Processing has its own Virtual Community located right in the menu bar at the top of the site.

In our Community you can query one of our 28 experts via our Ask the Experts feature. You can get their insights on just about anything you are having technical difficulties with at your facility.

Need a laugh? Check out the Comical Processing Cartoon Gallery. The proverb "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" comes to mind for this section. Taking a mini-break from work may make you more productive.

Also located under the Community tab are our two blogs — Chemical Reaction and Chemical Security Action. Here you can comment on current events, upcoming legislation or interesting news centered on the chemical industry. All you need is a username and password (Registration is free. You can register as a member by following the link on the homepage — top right corner.)

Want to know what conferences and seminars are on the horizon? Our Events Calendar houses a multitude of shows (in person and online) that will enable you to stay up-to-date on skills important to your career as well as the latest technology and trends.

Interested in which associations are geared toward your field? Our Industry Links tab features oodles of information from various organizations.

Have a specific plant problem you'd like to pose to your peers? Or want to find out what’s perplexed other engineers? Our Process Puzzler link will take you to a host of vexing issues and reader insights on them, or give you the opportunity to launch your own troubleshooting mission.

And to ensure you are among the hip social media crowd, you can access the Chemical Processing Facebook and Twitter pages from the Community center. That way, if the youngsters in your life look at you like an alien creature, you can at least tell us all about it in a safe, virtual environment.

Traci Purdum is Chemical Processing's senior digital editor. You can e-mail her your thoughts on community at [email protected]. Just don't comment on the extra head she has on her shoulders.