A New Forum: Ask the Experts

By Mark Roberti

RFID Journal has launched a new feature that will enable readers to ask questions related to radio frequency identification, and to get answers from editors, as well as the entire RFID community.

At least once daily, I receive an e-mail from a reader asking a question regarding RFID. Usually, the query involves whether the technology will work in a specific situation, or whether we've written about a certain application. When this happens, I respond personally, or I refer that person to an expert if the question is beyond my knowledge.

It occurred to me, a few months back, that other readers might find value in these answers, and that it would be helpful if those with experience in a particular area could chime in as well. Hence, we created the open Ask the Experts Forum.

There is now an Ask the Experts box on the RFID Journal homepage (toward the bottom, under the poll), where you can type in a question. When you hit submit, an e-mail will be sent to our editors, who will then respond or contact outside experts, if necessary.

We've already begun posting questions and answers, in fact. I've reached out to a few companies for help in responding to some of the questions, and we'll post that information when we receive their replies. My hope, however, is that this will not just be limited to simply a dialogue between a single reader and RFID Journal. If, for instance, someone asks about tracking underground pipes, I might not know whether that's possible, or if anyone has actually done this. In such a case, I would invite vendors with a relevant solution to participate, or a utility company that has already deployed such an application to explain how this was accomplished.

We will, of course, monitor responses and not post any comments that are blatantly commercial. But we will keep the forum as open as possible, so that it can become a robust discussion board in which vendors, end users, consultants, academics and others can aid projects and create a knowledgebase that can be used by others seeking to deploy RFID in similar ways, or who encounter similar problems.

The key here is participation. Some readers might not want their names posted, and we'll respect that, of course. Some experts might be too busy to check the forum regularly, but I encourage them to make the effort, because I think we can all learn from the issues that frustrate end users. We can all benefit from the expertise and experiences so many people have gained—and continue to gain—within the RFID community.

If you have a question, you can enter it in the "Ask the Experts" box on the homepage, or you can e-mail
editor@rfidjournal.com. If we require additional information before answering, we'll let you know. Submissions will be edited for grammar and so forth before being posted. RFID Journal's editors will respond if we can, but I think the forum will be most valuable if others share their collective wisdom. So if you have a question, ask away—and if you have insight on questions currently posted, please contribute to the forum as well.

Mark Roberti is the founder and editor of RFID Journal. If you would like to comment on this article, click on the link below. To read more of Mark's opinions, visit the RFID Journal Blog or click here.