How’s your evolution going? Here at National Driller, ours is, um, evolving just fine, thank you very much.

Nothing much stays the same anymore. Overall, that’s a good thing. It means more options, more innovation. It occasionally means more failure. But it also means more potential for success. In 2017, part of that plan for potential success is a new event: the National Driller Workshop, planned in conjunction with an existing environmental remediation event, the RemTEC Summit. I’ll get to that in a minute. First, I want to talk about our evolution.

I took the helm of National Driller in late 2012. It was on smudgy newsprint and just looked old-fashioned. Since then, we’ve redesigned the magazine and upgraded to the nice, glossy paper you hold in your hands.

We redesigned our website in 2013. It went from something on loan from 2007 to a much more polished, mobile-responsive site. That means it looks good on a desktop computer and on a tablet or smartphone, where about 40 percent of our traffic comes from. Readers responded. Our average monthly page views went up 48 percent from 2013 — the year of the redesign — to 2016. It’s a tremendous vote of confidence in what we do on the Web.

In November 2016, we redesigned our National Driller and The Foundations Report eNewsletters. Many people get email on a mobile phone or tablet. The redesigns acknowledge that and try to make it easier for people to click on stories from smaller screens. If you subscribe (and I recommend you do), you likely noticed the difference. Email newsletters are judged by their open rates and click-through rates. Both went up noticeably after the redesigns, so we offer a thank you to readers. Again, it’s a vote of confidence in what we do.

Readers consistently told us they love our Classifieds section. In response, we launched a mid-month eNewsletter that fills in the gap between print issues. Its reception by readers is another vote of confidence.

All of these changes come in the name of serving readers. We think a lot about it. What do readers want out of a publication like National Driller? How can we provide that?

Which brings me back to National Driller Workshop. If you’re in the environmental or remediation drilling sectors (or want to be), you need to be there. It’s next month, March 7-9, in Denver. We partnered with Cascade Drilling and Technical Services to make it happen. But speakers include folks from GEFCO, Geoprobe, CH2M and Directed Technologies Drilling, among others. Topics range from well cleaning to solids separation to a list of things in between. The aim is to give you actionable knowledge to take back to your own business.

National Driller Workshop is our latest attempt at offering a new innovation to serve you, the reader. Nothing stays the same anymore. It’s exhilarating trying to keep up. You know that from trying to keep your own business moving forward. Today’s steady, dependable customer isn’t necessarily tomorrow’s. It’s a daily effort to prove our value. We know readers have options when it comes to where they get industry information and product news. We just happen to think we’re the best out there, and work to act like it each day so that readers see it. This event lets us make that pitch face-to-face.

We think National Driller Workshop will be another opportunity for you to give us that vote of confidence. We look forward to seeing you in Denver next month, and to a 2017 full of other chances to show readers what we can do.

Stay safe out there, drillers.

A Loss to the Drilling Community 

As this issue of National Driller was going to press, we learned of a death in the water well drilling community. Longtime driller and columnist Howard “Porky” Cutter passed away Sunday, Jan. 15. He was 80.

Check for more details as they develop, and see next month’s issue for a remembrance.