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Learning From Each Other

One of my Thermal Resolutions for 2011 was as follows:
I’ve learned nearly all I know about thermography from others and have, honestly, barely scratched the surface, so I resolve to learn more from my professional colleagues.

I was fortunate to visit the home of Sir William Herschel in the Fall of 2010. Here I am with my friend, Professor Francis Ring who is also Chair of the Herschel Society. When I wanted to learn more about Herschel ( before seeing his home, I turned to Wikipedia among other resources.

One of the places I regularly go to for details or more information about a topic is Wikipedia. When Wiki first began in 2001, I was one of many who felt it would never amount to anything useful. After all, I was a child who grew up spending hours reading Encyclopedia Britannica on any given rainy Saturday. Early Wiki could never match that amazing ten foot long, A to Z resource!

Wiki has come so far. While I still keep my healthy skepticism engaged when doing any online research, I’m also amazed at what a powerful and practical resource it has become. It is the fifth most widely used website in the world serving nearly one-half billion people each month. And, hurrah, there are no advertisements on Wiki! What a relief in an otherwise overly commercialized online world.

Wiki is funded solely by donations and if you’ve used it lately, you surely have noticed they are asking for contributions right now. I remember those big old encyclopedias were not cheap. My mom and dad bought that Britannica on “time payments” that totaled several hundred dollars—in an age when a new car cost less than three thousand dollars. Knowledge has value.

Because I now routinely rely on Wiki as a source of information, I decided to become a regular financial supporter. It was easy and felt great to just send them something each month through PayPal.

I know many readers of this blog are also big users of Wiki and that many of you also already support it financially. If this is not something you do yet, I’d ask that you consider doing so. I know many of you also contribute to Wiki by writing, and I offer my sincere thanks to you. Making written contributions to Wiki is something I’ve not yet done, but hope to do soon.  When I read the section on Infrared Thermography, I see it is in desperate need of being updated and expanded by industry experts.

Even Frosty the Snowman has an entry in Wikipedia ( Frosty says “Please make a contribution to this great learning resource.”

So if you are into making New Year’s resolutions, please consider chipping in to Wikipedia. It is a resource we all seem to rely on more and more and one that is worthwhile supporting. Even Fluke has a reference! With less than 100 staff members, it is an amazing organization that deserves our support. Thanks.

Thinking Thermally,

John Snell—The Snell Group, a Fluke Thermal Imaging Blog content partner

4 comments to Learning From Each Other

  • John Snell

    Happy New Year to all the readers of this blog. Thank you for your continued interest and support. I look forward to 2012 being a GREAT year in which to Think Thermally!

  • I successfully completed Snell’s Level 1 thermography course last October here in Indianapolis. Getting close to the 200 hours so that I can obtain Level 2 certification, but the only way they will pay for the class is if I can provide them with justification to pay for it. I told them that we were told in class most insurance provides a small discount if we can prove we have a predective maintenance plan in place that uses thermal imaging. I just need some kind of documentation that most insurers do this. I suggested they ask our insurance company but they gave it back to me.
    Any possible way of helping me so I can attend Snell’s Level 2 class next year here in Indianapolis?

  • Fluke Thermography

    Hi Jeff, we’re looking into this for you, stay tuned for more info!

  • John Snell

    Jeff, Sorry for the delay in responding! My suggestion, since they “gave it back to you,” is to contact your insurance company! It varies from company to company and, honestly, their responses vary widely. Most are very interested in having work done by qualified thermographers so education is important. Exactly what kind of credit or discount your company will provide is up to them but clearly there is no benefit to anyone if the work is not well done! I wish you the best in your inquiry. Please let us know what you find out.