I am thrilled to welcome back an old friend, Dan Holohan, to pme in this month’s issue. If you think this is a step back to the past, though, stay tuned.
Along with being a friend, Dan’s a terrific writer and keen observer of people and situations. He also knows a few things about hydronic heating.
In fact, hydronics was the subject of my first conversation with Dan more than 20 years ago. I was fresh from the newspaper business when my boss gave me one of Dan’s columns to edit.
I knew next to nothing about the plumbing-and-heating industry, but my boss figured at least I could edit someone else’s copy. In Dan’s case, I didn’t have to do much. I could see immediately that this guy knew how to write.
But what bothered me was this: I never had heard the words “hydronic” or “hydronics,” and I couldn’t figure out when “hydronic” or “hydronics” was the correct word choice. The meaning of the words didn’t bother me as much as Dan using them interchangeably in his column. If you know any copy editors, you understand these dilemmas can drive them to distraction.
So, I called Dan, introduced myself, exchanged a few pleasantries with him and then told him why I called. He chuckled and admitted he hadn’t noticed how he was using the words. He was writing by ear, he said, as if he was having a conversation with his readers.
As an aside, it’s interesting to note that 20 years after our conversation, most people outside the plumbing-and-heating industry still don’t know what “hydronics” or “hydronic” means. Hydronic industry leaders still are struggling to come up with a more customer-friendly term, as we’ve commented on here and at www.PMEngineer.com.
Getting back to Dan, though, his conversational writing style is just part of the package. He also provides you with useful insights and solutions in columns on hydronic and steam heating.
Dan’s columns will complement the writing of John Siegenthaler, who brings an engineer’s solutions to more technical hydronic and solar thermal topics. For the first time, starting this month, you can read both Dan and John’s columns at www.PMEngineer.com, as well as in pme’s print and digital editions.
This should be good news to a growing number of you who prefer to receive information about our industry online. When we surveyed subscribers to pme’s digital edition late last year, for example, four of your top five sources for information on industry products turned out to be electronic.
These information sources are manufacturers’ websites, digital editions of trade magazines, webinars and trade magazines’ websites. The only nondigital source is conferences/trade shows, but that’s about to change, too.
In fact, Dan Holohan will present a webinar on steam heating Aug. 4 during a “Green Schools” virtual trade show produced by BNP Media. You can register for this free virtual trade show at www.thevirtualgreenexpo.com. You’ll get a second chance to view Dan’s webinar Sept. 27.
We’ll continue to explore ways to bring you information electronically with Dan and our other contributing editors, Julius Ballanco, Christine Swanson and John Siegenthaler. So, while we welcome back an old friend with this issue, Dan’s return will be anything but business as usual as we move forward to meet your information needs.