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From the Editors

Calling all Cars Readers

by Edward Grossman, Editor, ACM Queue

ACM Queue vol. 2, no. 6 - September 2004

Queue reader, I need your help. Rise ye up, take hold of thy mighty pen (or keyboard), and assist me.

OK, kidding aside, we've got a great VoIP (voice over IP) special report this month, and typically I'd use this space to tell you a little bit about how we (the Queue Editorial Advisory Board) came to the topic, how Lucy Sanders (a former R&D VP at VoIP powehouse Avaya) helped us identify the key areas - and authors - in this industry. Instead, however, I've decided to ask myself, and you (after all, there are more than 30,000 of you), if anyone really cares about all that.

Of course, I know people care about the topic of VoIP itself. That goes without saying, VoIP has far-reaching implications for business telecom. But what of our process here at Queue? Is it enlightening for you to understand how - and why - we approach the topics we do? For many of you, especially those who recognize some of the names on our editorial advisory board, I'm sure the answer is yes. Having a virtual seat at the table with Steve Bourne, Eric Allman, Jim Gray, Stu Feldman, and the others is something I try to provide each month in the editor's note. Still, some of you may be of the mind to "get to the wheat, skip the chaff!" And understandably. In the final analysis, you're reading Queue because you want to find out how technologies impact you and your organization, not because you want to find out what so-and-so thinks about this or that topic.

Part of the reason, however, that I like to share some of the inner workings of the editorial board is because of how important a role the board plays in the shaping of Queue. Unlike many editorial boards, ours isn't simply a list of names on the masthead - and membership isn't for the faint of heart. The Queue board is a working board: we meet, in person, monthly; we e-mail constantly; we hash out upcoming topics, identify authors and articles, review past issues, etc. As you can imagine, when you bring a passionate group together to talk about the topics they live and breathe, heated and enthusiastic conversation ensues. Never, I wager, have you seen so much fist-pounding anger about the lack of a good PKI (public key infrastructure)!

This is what makes Queue special - our board is unparalleled, its involvement in creating Queue's editorial is unparalleled, and the result? Content that is unparalleled.

OK, whew, I kinda got swept up in the moment there. Deep breath.

So here's the question, here's where I need your help: Would you rather this page be dedicated to something else? For example, should I rant about why the technology-du-jour simply seems like a big ol' bunch of marketing hype? Or should we give you a page-worth of server and router reviews? In the end, this is your page; what do you want to see? I think I've made my case that understanding how and why the board came to the topic it did is of interest. It gives some context, some flavor to the issue. But every technology magazine has a "what's in this issue" editor's note up front - maybe you've had enough? Ultimately, we're here for the readers, we're here for you - so let us know what you want: [email protected] I'll be back in a future installment with your responses.

Oh, and by the way, we do have a great issue for you...

EDWARD GROSSMAN is responsible for Queue, so blame him if you don't like it: [email protected] In earlier incarnations he was a development project manager at a still-in-business dot-com and a closet coder (his parents still don't know - "Our son Ed? Oy, he works with computers, doing something").


Originally published in Queue vol. 2, no. 6
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