Friday, December 15, 2006

Brought to you by…

With the end of the year approaching, this weblog is closing in on its third birthday. Until now, my blogging has been done entirely at my own expense, as an adjunct to my energy and strategy consulting activities. Today, I am happy to announce the addition of a major sponsor, John S. Herold, Inc., a provider of research and analysis on and to the energy industry. Aside from funding and providing me with access to more detailed sources of information, this new relationship won’t affect the focus, tone or independence of my writing.

I’ve thought very carefully about how best to commercialize this site without diluting its message or raising concerns about my objectivity. From the start I ruled out Blogger’s banner ad program as too distracting. Earlier this year, I turned down another sponsorship offer from a very large, household-name corporation, because it would have instantly altered my readers’ perception of my motives. John S. Herold, Inc., for whom I have also consulted, brings significant benefits without these drawbacks.

So what will change? Other than the addition of a link to my sponsor’s public website and portal to their client-only material, I will continue to post on essentially the same schedule as before. Herold will re-publish this blog for their clientele, with a private comment area. I still intend to respond to your comments on this site, as appropriate. From time to time, I may also link to some client-only material at Herold, which will be clearly identified as such. If that motivates you to sign up for their service, I’m sure my sponsor would be pleased.

Energy Outlook was originally inspired by my sense that I could help fill an important gap between this highly technical “pillar” industry of our economy, the government that regulates it, and the public that depends on it and invests in it, but often doesn’t understand all its complexities. Along the way, this platform has acquired a reputation for insightful analysis and has expanded from a monolog into an ongoing conversation with interested readers, who bring their own relevant expertise. Aside from having a new sponsor, the viewpoint and topics that brought you here—and that attracted Herold—will still be here, pretty much every business day.

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