The More Things Change...
By Doug Kaufman
One of the things we editorial-types like best is hearing from you, our readers. Obviously, we can’t talk with each one of you in person during the week, so it’s always a treat when someone comes up to me at a trade show or business convention and lets me know they appreciate receiving Engine Builder magazine.
Sometimes the meetings result in a request to be included in future feature articles. Sometimes the meetings are an admonishment about clarifying a point I, or one of our panel of experts, made in a recent column. Often a reader wants to tell us about a special shop operation that he uses to remain profitable and productive in a less-than-certain economy.
There have even been times when a reader has seemed awestruck to be meeting me or Senior Editor Brendan Baker in person, as if we’re someone important like Bill Gates or one of the Jonas Brothers. True story, and yes, that autograph and $3.50 will buy you a large coffee in certain cities.
The point is, whatever the reason, we love hearing from you, our loyal readership. For more than 45 years, Engine Builder has valued your opinion on a variety of topics, and has used those opinions, suggestions and admonishments to build our editorial calendar and populate our stable of writers.
Upon visiting our Web site, you’ll notice that we offer a variety of methods for communicating with us. Whether it’s through email or the Combustion Chamber, in which you can post questions and comments for editors and readers for a response, you can instantly (almost) get in touch with us. Believe me, we pay attention to your comments, and appreciate hearing from you.
You can also send us a message on our Facebook Fan Page or on Twitter. Just search “Engine Builder Magazine” and you can join the growing social media community to get our opinions and reaction to industry goings-on with a perhaps slightly less-reverent approach.
Or you can do things the good old-fashioned way. Send us a letter. Each month in our “Shop Solutions” you are invited to contribute your best ideas for shop productivity or technical proficiency. If your letter is printed, you’ll earn some spending money, courtesy of our friends at the Engine Parts Group.
I got a postcard the other day from a long-time reader in Chandler, AZ. He was responding to a question we asked about the economy: “The availability of money from the bank, from suppliers willing to extend credit and from customers paying bills a little closer to the due date seems to have gotten better. Many rebuilders were caught in a financial bind and were forced into bankruptcy or otherwise out of business. Have you been hurt by the recession? Yes or No?”
While I’m not laughing at his answer, I am chuckling at the timeliness of his note. The postcard he sent was from the January 1980 issue of Engine Builder.
We’re asking the same questions these days, and whether it’s in an on-line poll, a request for comments following a column like this or our annual Machine Shop Market Profile (which, like the Census is a critical way of measuring the size of the engine-building aftermarket and will be coming to your shop within the next couple of months), your answers are important to us.
Don’t ever think you don’t have anything to tell us, because for the past 47 years, we’ve learned otherwise.