We envision this as an online forum for editors to interact with readers. Plenty of magazines and Web sites include Web logs or "blogs" like this one, but we hope Mr. Sheet Metal will be a little different. For one, while most blogs focus on news, politics, popular culture or whatever sort of trouble Lindsay Lohan is in, Mr. Sheet Metal will mainly deal with industry-related issues.

Of course, we'll be happy to write about politics, celebrities or news items when they intersect with topics of interest to Snips readers, such as steel prices, trade policies or copper thefts. So if Lindsay Lohan's air conditioner is stolen, we'll try to write about that here.

Snips associate editor, James J. Siegel, and I will be posting messages to this blog. We don't know how often. A lot depends on feedback from you and if anything strikes our interest. We might write a short note on a subject that might be too small for an editorial. Or a subject first discussed here could turn into a column or feature in the print version of Snips.

Please contact us with your criticisms, questions or story ideas. One thing we're hoping is this blog is more successful than the old Snips bulletin board, which was up for a couple years. As I've written in Snips, the board rarely saw much use after its first few months. Some visitors tried to use it to sell equipment, which is not what it was designed for, and others hawked counterfeit handbags and medications. Those type of messages already clog up too many e-mail servers.

When we let it go, I didn't hear any complaints for over a year, and that was from just one reader -- which said a lot about its popularity.

So please enjoy our blog, but keep news about Gucci purses and sheet metal slitters to yourself.