Introducing Other Voices, a new blog from you

Let's get a bigger conversation started. We want to hear from the materials handling community.

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Tomorrow, Modern is launching Other Voices, a new blog that will broaden our conversation with our readers. Once a week, we’ll open up a spot on our website to a guest contribution from end users, consultants and solution providers, just as the New York Times or Wall Street Journal accepts and publishes columns from guests with an interesting point of view or opinion. These columns will be online, not in the print version of Modern.

This is new for Modern, so you might wonder why we’re doing this. The most important reason is to get a bigger conversation started with the community. Right now, I post a Briefing in this spot two times a week. It’s generally based on a one-person telephone interview around a topic that caught my eye. Sometimes I’m following up on a press release. Sometimes it’s a reaction to something I’ve read in the Wall Street Journal, Fortune or another business publication. Sometimes it’s something I came across on a business trip or a trend that someone has told me about.

Unless, you’re my mother, you’d probably like to hear from someone else now and then. I know I would. So we thought: Let’s find out what the rest of the industry is thinking. 

How will it work? Good question. Let’s start with what it’s not: It’s not a sales job. We’re looking for trends, insights or news you can use. We are not looking for a new product announcement, press releases or something promoting a service your company is offering. Is something changing about retail distribution? Are you seeing more voice or pick-to-light implementations than in the past? Are new requests showing up on RFPs that constitute a trend? Do you have a strategy for Software as a Service or putting a supply chain app on a mobile device? Tell us something we don’t know. 

You also need to keep in mind a couple of ground rules – the kind of rules that apply to me and the professional writers who regularly write for us:

There are no guarantees of publication: At the end of the day, the piece has to be suitable for publication in Modern – just like any other piece that comes in from our regular writers. We will maintain our usual standards, and like any other publication, we reserve the right to pick, choose and reject submissions that aren’t suitable for Modern or that are overtly promotional. We don’t want the column to be a sales pitch.

You will get edited: See above! Magazines edit everything prior to publication; I’m the executive editor, and my submissions are edited by my peers. If you think that your writing is perfect and you want to see it published word for word exactly as you wrote, you need to start your own blog.

We may or may not send it back for a review: See above again! Pros are edited, and editors don’t always send our stuff back to us for a review or approval. We do this for a living, so we will respect your work and your intentions. But, we won’t always have time to send things back and dialogue about it.

Keep it brief: A good column should run 750 words or less. 

Surprise us with an insight: We’re looking for trends and insights, not new product announcements or press releases.

Make sure you give us complete contact info with the submission: That way we can e-mail or call you if we have a question.

Personally, I’m excited about the potential for a wider dialogue between our audience and the solution side of the industry and the chance to publish information that otherwise isn’t coming my way.

If you have a column already written, feel free to send it to me (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)) or Noel Bodenburg (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)).

Let’s get the conversation going.

About the Author

Bob Trebilcock
Bob Trebilcock, editorial director, has covered materials handling, technology, logistics and supply chain topics for nearly 30 years. In addition to Supply Chain Management Review, he is also Executive Editor of Modern Materials Handling. A graduate of Bowling Green State University, Trebilcock lives in Keene, NH. He can be reached at 603-357-0484.

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