If it is useful to the reader, we should tell our readers about it, either in the monthly publication or on the Web site.
Last month's issue of this magazine featured a story on the new cabling system inside the headquarters of the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). Not being intimately familiar with the WWF's weekly programs, I deemed it necessary to sit on my fanny for a couple of nights one week and watch them.
They were...interesting. I'll admit, I was a wrestling fan as an adolescent, and spent more than a few weeks' paper route money to go to live events once in a while. So, I was not shocked by anything I saw on RAW or Smackdown earlier this spring. One detail that I found particularly entertaining, however, was that many of the superstars have signature phrases. Whenever a wrestler would say his signature phrase, the arena would erupt into a roar of jubilation that reminded me of Celtics-Lakers playoff games in the Boston Garden in the 1980s.
One wrestler walked into the ring and proclaimed, "I ... am ... the game," to riotous applause. Another taunted his enemy by shouting, "What?!" every time his opponent paused during their spirited debate. The crowd obviously knew it was coming, because all 15,000 or so joined in from the first "What!?"
The funny thing was, I must have been watching the show for 25 minutes before the first actual wrestling match began. Anyway, the signature phrase I really want to tell you about was spoken by The Rock. In a conversation with another grappler, he asked what the other guy thought about one thing or another-I can't remember what it was. The other wrestler got one or two words out when The Rock yelled into the microphone, "It doesn't matter what you think!" Apparently somebody falls for this trick every week.
So, in the world of sports entertainment, as professional wrestling calls itself, it doesn't matter what some people think. Around here, it does matter to us what people think. That's why I'm happy to tell you about a new feature on our Web site, www.cable-install.com. The feature is called "Quick Vote," and it debuted just a couple of weeks ago. It's a lot like other online polls that I'm sure you have seen, which give you the opportunity to cast a vote on issues of personal, political, or social concern.
Our intention is to keep the Quick Vote focused on the cabling industry. You probably won't see questions up there about United States foreign policy, your favorite dessert, or who should receive a rose once "The Bachelor 2" hits the television airwaves.
Not only do we at Cabling Installation & Maintenance want you to vote on our online polls, we would also like to hear from you about the questions being posed in those polls. We have a list of questions, relating to technical and business issues within the cabling industry, that we plan to ask in the coming weeks. We figure that many of you probably have questions, too. Please let us know what they are. The Quick Vote question on our Web page will change at least once per week, so we have the opportunity to cover many topics in the months ahead.
I encourage you to e-mail me at email@example.com with questions you would like to see in our poll. Please understand that the Quick Vote allows voters to select one of several responses, or all appropriate responses to the question posed. It does not allow for narrative responses.
The litmus test that we use when choosing material for publication is "reader usefulness." If it is useful to the reader, we should tell our readers about it, either in the monthly publication or on the Web site. We're taking the same approach to this new online capability. We want the information in our Quick Votes to be useful to you. What better way to ensure that than to develop one of the questions yourself?
And I will make you a promise. If you e-mail me a question that you believe should be posed on our Web site, I promise not to reply with the one-word response, "What!?" Because this is not the WWF, I most certainly am not The Rock, and it does matter what you think.
Patrick McLaughlin is chief editor of Cabling Installation & Maintenance.