If you’re anything like me, the past year of the pandemic has left your ears well-tuned for listening.

Podcast consumption doubled on the nascent Spotify platform in the height of the pandemic. America’s essential workforce, driving from destination to destination while everyone else was stuck at home, is responsible for much of this growth. But where there’s growth, there’s often contraction: As Point of Beginning’s departing editor Emell Derra Adolphus put it in his column, we’re discontinuing the paid print magazine with full refunds, focusing our editorial attention on a digital issue of the magazine, CEUs, white papers and a series of new podcasts and video content.

Share your thoughts on this column at pobonline.com. To contact any POB editor or writer, please send an email to keatinga@bnpmedia.com.

As POB’s new editor-in-chief, I’m stepping into a legacy forged by Emell and the longtime editor that served before him, Perry Trunick. I bring with me experience from the agricultural industry, having served as field editor for the longest continually published print magazine in North America, Prairie Farmer. Prior to this, I was the media specialist for University of Illinois’ supercomputing center in Urbana, Ill.

At one point in my career, I watched an AARP Magazine carrying my byline come off the printing line at the RR Donnelly in my hometown of Mattoon, Ill. That factory is now shuttered, closing shop before COVID-19 reared its head and caused media companies around the world to end or reduce print production. At 27, I’m young, but I’ve lived long enough to see the world transition far more quickly than I could have ever imagined when I grabbed my first stack of black and white high school newspapers.

Of course, my industry isn’t the only one weathering large changes. The professional land surveyors I’ve interacted with so far in my career have a foot firmly planted on the traditional tools of the industry, the first generations of which were deployed by a docket of history’s most talented dilatants like George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Surveyors also have a foot planted firmly in the future: tying the insights of geographic information systems into traditional surveying techniques to produce the highest quality data and insights.

I look forward to conveying the progress in surveying technology to industry insiders as often as I convey an appreciation for the time-tested techniques of the trade. As the media industry itself transitions to digital, my utmost responsibility will be to continue POB’s rich tradition of providing unparalleled service to our reader and viewership. The medium – be it audio, words on a webpage or video – is secondary to ensuring we provide the most valuable information possible to our audience. And that’s exactly what I intend to do, starting first with two podcast and video series:

Last Point. Your last and most important points of the week.

Surveyor’s Footsteps. Education and career paths in land surveying.

Join me in this journey at pobonline.com.

Take care,

Austin Keating
Editor-in-Chief, POB