Do you feel connected with this blog?

From the film "You've Got Mail"

My 50th High School Reunion of the U-High class of 1962 is coming up at the end of May, but it really has already been happening over the last several months on the Web. A class of 100, which has dwindled to 80 with deaths and disappearances, has magically been brought together on the Internet with people sharing their stories, sometimes with amazing candor and sensitivity, like they never did in high school.

Yesterday, the group received the awful news that the wife of a classmate had died of a heart attack over the weekend. The heartfelt condolences have been pouring in to Bill K., a fellow many of us hardly knew in high school.

My classmate Bill K. has been one of the most open about his life’s triumphs and tragedies on the Web. I barely knew him 50 years ago and never connected with him over the five decades, but I grieve for him today because he has let me into his life with his revealing posts. I felt like crying when I read about his loss because he had shared several colorful and sometimes sad vignettes with the class in his writing.

I have become engrossed in the reunion process and have shared many stories about my life, hoping to move my classmates to tell their stories. Bill K. was one of the few to embrace the opportunity to openly share, including a story about his son’s death and the shattering experience of losing many friends on September 11. The Bill I knew as a funny prankster in school became a sympathetic, fascinating person on the Web, which is why he has received an outpouring of sincere condolences from classmates I am sure he barely knew long ago.

Reading the condolences was another reminder of the power of the Internet to bring communities of people together in a beautiful way. Facebook, though I mock it at times, is an amazing tool to connect people who would not pick up the phone or write a letter.

This blog’s ability to connect a community of disparate readers still surprises me. But it inspires me to push fresh ideas and expose my real feelings and personal stories. When I get 25 comments like I did on the last blog about the Caterpillar strike and several thousand people read the piece I feel good. The Today’s Machining World community is gelling and readers take precious minutes out of their days to share their thoughts. Does it change anything? You tell me if you think it makes the machining world a tiny bit better.

Question: Do you feel connected with the people who read this blog? Do you care about what they care about?

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12 thoughts on “Do you feel connected with this blog?

  1. Bernard W. Goering

    Indeed, I do feel and am connected Lloyd.
    You are binding us together!

     
  2. Eric J.

    Thanks for sharing this with us. In the middle of a busy week, it helps us to slow down and think about the truly important things in life, most of which have nothing to do with coolant, nose radii, or cutting speeds. Thanks.

     
  3. Val Zanchuk

    Absolutely. I look forward to your blogs and gain insight from the many responses. We’re all in the same industry, and sharing perspectives on common problems and issues is incredibly valuable.

     
  4. George Mitchell

    We are indeed connected to one another. A group of stubborn, hard working and intelligent people who rarely have the time to reflex on simpler things. Thank you Lloyd for redirecting our thoughs if only for a few minutes to things more important.
    I have lost many high school friend over the last few years. You always wonder why you didn’t stay in touch. Now it too late.
    Facebook does indeed help bridge this gap. The quick message keeps us somewhat connected with each other.
    I wish all my fellow metal hogs a fine day!

     
  5. Ric Gudell

    A community has a large number of threads connecting the members as well as threads that connect to members of other communities. A blog, a newsletter, telephone calls, letters (are those done anymore?), face-to-face visits – all these threads connect the members (and non-members as well).
    So, yes, your blog does connect members of the machining world. Your rants and raves reveal pieces of who you are. Your observations, because you work somewhat outside of the daily production grind and because you developed the skill of putting words in a meaningful sequence, give those without similar perspectives and talents an opportunity to see and understand their world in a different way than they might otherwise.
    The connections are sure to be abundant. Make more.

     
  6. Natasha H

    Sometimes, the people that feel most connected are those that do not necessarily respond. What you do makes a tremendous difference. If you even if people do not respond. Personally, I had connected through a blog site that wad meant for networking about pregnancy etc. and with being so heavily involved in a male dominated industry I personally needed that. After pouring my heart to strangers about some of the tribulations I am going through in my very personal life, I met some of the greatest ladies and made some of the best longships

     
  7. Natasha H

    Sorry for the imperfections, doing this from my cell phone. Case point is that people need to connect to each other and forums for things they are passionate about, such as the ones you provide for insight on your articles, is a necessity in todays technological world. Not much personal interfacing is done due to technology…

     
  8. Mark Ellenberger

    It is great to know there are people in the machining community with lives. It adds fullness to life, and lets us know we are not alone. Thank You!

     
  9. Jeff Adamson

    I rarely post a response but always read your blog. It does make me feel more connected to the industry I serve and I look forward to the few minutes of diversion from otherwise hectic days.

     
  10. Larry Clayman

    Lloyd, as I have shared with you many times, it was your blog that was the inspiration for my blog. You gave me the idea to not simply share business ideas and concepts specifically related to my profession (advertising and marketing) but to also express my ideas on a myriad of topics from music to sports, TV and movies. I hope people read it but, probably like you, that is the icing on the cake. The real issue is I have to get this stuff out of me.
    Even though I am not part of the machining world, I gain from the perspective that these business owners have as it is insight into the people who comprise my client base.
    Keep up the great work!

     
  11. Jerry Fair

    Lloyd, as you can see by the many responses, there are a lot of us out here that appreciate your blog! I know I look forward to reading it, and it usually gives me a smile or two. Thanks for sharing your years of experience in the machine business… and your many stories of the people that are in it!

     
  12. Peter Frow

    An irresistible blend of the practical and the personal.
    As part of the manufacturing fraternity in South Africa I greatly value being connected to the much larger community in America.

     

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