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Michele Musgrove | March 7, 2012 | 11:50 AM

Before there was Pinterest, there was the pica pole. When I started working for MODERN SALON 23 years ago, there was a typewriter next to my computer and rolls of removable Scotch tape in my desk. Blue, red and black pens for proofreading lined up with 12-inch shears for cutting columns of type. And, of course, my pica pole—special metal ruler for measuring and sizing photos.

I thought I had the best job in the world. I still do.

As an editor, I sorted through stacks of press kits and photo collections that came in through snail mail (there was no other). I would choose 45 images each month from real salons and stylists all through the country. These would be published in regional editions of what was then called “Local News.” The images would be arranged in a grid, nine on a page, with captions.

I was also responsible for inputting hundreds of education classes and events into our calendar section. Tedious work, but valuable.

I was taught that these two sections—a showcase of your work and directions to where you could go to connect with peers and hone your skills—are what brought us closest to you, our audience.

I learned this was true in the notes I’d receive from grateful salons and the requests I’d hear while attending a variety of those events listed in our calendar: “How do I get published in MODERN? Where do I start?”

My answer then was Local News and “mail me your collections.”

Today, the answer is online—at modernsalon.com, modernsalon.tv, facebook.com/modernsalon and pinterest.com/modernsalon. And “post your own collections, comments and videos.”

I urge you to visit our sites and see the active sharing and posting of work and ideas from all levels of the professional salon community. You will be inspired, informed and sometimes amused.

Our sites are becoming our editorial “inbox.” This is where we’re looking for new talent, fresh sources, immediate response to the most current of topics, whether celebrity hair color changes, your favorite braiding techniques or legislative battles to protect your professional status. We use these platforms to create content we migrate to our online how-to’s, style collections and videos on modernsalon.com, and into our magazine as well.

I don’t have my pica pole anymore. My team and I now have more useful measuring sticks—your Likes, clicks, posts and page views. But I still teach that the most valuable way to serve you, our audience, is through celebrating your work and directing you to more education. By the way, don’t miss our updated online Education Calendar. Click on the Events or Education tab in the header at modernsalon.com.

Remember, trends and the tools to communicate them change. Core values— education and the desire to share your creative vision—don’t.

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