DOING SOME DIGGING People Get Personal at the PDAC Convention

The Prospectors Convention is over for another year. The annual meeting of the Prospectors & Developers Association...


The Prospectors Convention is over for another year. The annual meeting of the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada at the Metro Convention Centre in Toronto was a roaring success this year. There was a 15% increase in attendance (more than 8,000 delegates, exhibitors and visitors), a 30% increase in the Investors Exchange exhibits (225 companies) and a 10% increase in Trade Show booths (280 exhibitors). These figures are from The Northern Miner newspaper, Mar. 17-23, 2003 issue, so they must be accurate.

CMJ's publisher, Ray Perks, and I were in attendance, mainly stationed at our booth, and we had a chance to speak with many of our readers and advertisers. I want to thank the many people who came up to tell me that they enjoy reading our articles and columns.

The main comment that we heard this year was that people are now receiving our free-of-charge weekly e-mail newsletter "At Your Personal Requestfrom Canadian Mining Journal". This is a new feature that we launched the end of last year, and almost 5,000 readers (most of them CMJ subscribers) receive it. If you are reading this column and you do not receive our e-mail newsletter, you can sign up now through the "E-mail newsletter" button on the left side of our web site home page.

There was one reader, well-known prospector John Larche of Hemlo gold fame, who told me he hasn't "gotten into this computer thing" and does not plan to read our e-mail newsletter. Mr. Larche doesn't have to; he's a fine gentleman anyway.

I learned that some readers harbour misconceptions about this newsletter, which I would like to clear up.

Some people don't read the Net News items on our web site home page (and as headlines in our e-mail newsletter) because they think they will reappear in our print magazine. The truth is, most Net News items appear ONLY on the web site, and do not reappear in our printed magazine. We do reuse some personnel announcements and the occasional "Doing Some Digging" editorial in the print magazine, but nothing else.

Net News items appear on the web site home page for two weeks only, but they remain buried in the archives of our web site for about six weeks. For that period, you can access them via a search through our "Index and Archives" section, or through a hot link from the underlined headlines in our E-mail newsletter (if you save the newsletters).

Expanding this venerable nine-times-per-year print magazine by adding an electronic ultrafresh news product for our B2B audience WITHOUT ADDING ANY STAFF has been a stretch. I believe that our field editor, Marilyn Scales, who writes most of the Net News, enjoys the stretch. She unfailingly includes contact information, usually a web site, where readers can go for further information, and she checks out the sites to make sure they will deliver as promised. As this is an electronic product, you won't even notice when Marilyn moves her home and office west from Kanata, Ont., to a homestead on the banks of the Ottawa River later this month. You will, however, find that she has new communications co-ordinates, which we will publish on the web site and in our print magazine.

As there is no charge to our readers for delivering this news, we have advertisers to thank for their support through banner ads on the web site, button ads in the newsletter and by purchasing online Buyers Guide keywords.

Thanks very much for the personal support many of you gave us at the recent convention, and for the letters that you send us in response to our articles. We will continue to try to serve your business needs, considering you as both clients and partners.

P.S. For a few hours after the convention, I went through the new business cards I had collected and pruned the no-longer valid ones from my card file. I am struck by how many people have changed jobs or companies, and how many companies have changed name or disappeared. But the people don't disappear; they pop up in new places with new titles, or as the perennial favourite, independent consultants. But they are still just as able and willing to work as ever. Perhaps the only cards worth saving are the ones with a person's home address and phone number.


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