Welcome to my blog! It's called Heavy Metal because I cover the “machinery beat” here at Plastics News. The Big Iron.
(Of course, it also helps that I'm from in Cleveland and like hard rock music. It fits there, too!).
What can you expect from Heavy Metal? I'll be talking about trends and some of my offbeat opinions, plus stories from machinery people. In my 25 years at Plastics News, I've found that sales people have some of the funniest stories, so get ready because the more hilarious machinery tales I can get from you, the less I have to write!
I could spout off something from Social Media Journalism 101, like “This blog belongs to you, the readers.”…. But this blog will tell it like it really is: Please write in so I have less work! (I'm in my 50s and still learning to Tweet. Help me out. :)
Wow, so this is a social media “dialogue”! I'm embracing it, yes — embracing change. Bring on the “new journalism.” Promise for a better world of reader empowerment. (OK, unfortunately if you've ever read the online reader comments section of a daily newspaper, you'll know they are often filled with racism, sexism and general vile nastiness. But Plastics News readers are educated and first class, so I'm not worried).
That brings up Rule No. 1 for the aging blog-ster: Never write your blog on the weekend. I just read Economist magazine's 2015 outlook and they're saying it's no longer “cool” to work long hours and check your emails while on vacation. It's not “hip” to write a blog off the clock, not when you can be doing something more exciting … like laundry for instance.
But seriously, this blog will be a work in progress. I plan to have regular reports on attracting the “young people” to the graying plastics industry. This is classic social media material — I've already heard quite a few good ideas from readers. Many of them involve reaching out to your local high school and middle school.
The common-sense ideas I've been hearing from readers, just chatting at trade shows, are pretty easy to begin. These efforts deserve a wider audience, and social media is a perfect way to do it.
What should we call this feature? “Attracting young workers” is pretty boring.
How about “Luring the young?” No, that sounds like a way to get the attention of law enforcement trolling the Internet.
Why don't you start by sending in your own suggestions for Heavy Metal's one ongoing feature, ideas for getting the next generation into plastics and manufacturing? Send them to [email protected] or Tweet me at @Machinerybeat25.
Read Heavy Metal if you want to laugh. The world needs more humor and fewer people who are all serious and self-centered. Plastics — and plastics journalism — is really a lot of fun.