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The Best and the Worst of 2023

Jan. 16, 2024
Content highlights from 2023 based on reader preference trends

Every December and January, the editorial team takes the time to scour our web stats from the previous year as well as evaluate reader feedback in a quest to determine which articles and themes resonated best with our audience. Although this endeavor is certainly tedious and time-consuming, I always find it rewarding in the end because it enables us to better shape our content strategies going forward based on reader preference trends. For many years, we have curated and presented our general “best of” galleries, all of which continue to perform very well. However, this year, we decided to take things a step further, offering specific “most memorable” conglomerations featuring the most popular subject areas we cover.

It’s no surprise that NEC topics like Code Basics, Code Quiz of the Week, Code Conversations podcasts, What’s Wrong Here?, and Illustrated Catastrophes consistently took the top spots when it comes to overall year-over-year traction, but many other categories (including construction, safety, training, power quality, lighting, electric vehicles, and design) stood out as well. Although we don’t have the real estate to run all of this online content in print, I highly encourage you to visit our website (ecmweb.com) and peruse the “most memorable” content in all of the categories you value most. Here’s a quick cheatsheet with short links to the latest galleries to check out, featuring some of the best (most popular) and the worst (most disturbing Code violations) content of 2023:

•    Most Memorable Articles of 2023
•    Best of the Worst: 2023’s Most Interesting What’s Wrong Here Photos — Part 1
•    Best of the Worst: 2023’s Most Interesting What’s Wrong Here Photos — Part 2
•    Most Memorable Construction Articles of 2023
•    5 Most Popular EV Articles of 2023
•    5 Most Popular MRO Articles of 2023
•    5 Most Popular Power Quality Articles of 2023
•    Most Memorable Training Articles of 2023

One gallery we do make room for in print each year is “The Craziest Code Violations of 2023.” Back by popular demand, NEC Consultant and Electrical Inspector Russ LeBlanc showcases some of the most extraordinary and bizarre Code violations he uncovered in 2023 and provides analysis on why the installations aren’t up to snuff.  Even after all of these years, these installations gone wrong never cease to amaze me.

Speaking of ensuring that electrical installations are NEC compliant, the craziest Code violations article directly relates to our cover story this month. Written by Joseph Wages, Jr., director of digital education for the IAEI, this piece outlines how to transition from an electrician or electrical contractor to an electrical inspector. What makes a good inspector? What education/certification is needed? And how can inspectors work more seamlessly with electrical professionals in the field? Here are just a few words of wisdom Wages learned years ago when it comes to maintaining civility between contractors and authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs): “Never wrestle with a pig in the mud. All that will happen is you will get dirty and find out that the pig enjoys it!” Read more from Wages on what to do if and when you decide your electrician days are over and why pursuing a career as an electrical inspector might make sense. As Wages explains, a good inspector is fair and enforces the requirements of the codes and standards consistently. “Much like an umpire calling balls and strikes,” he writes,” as long as the inspector is fair and consistent, everyone gets along.”

About the Author

Ellen Parson | Editor-in-Chief - EC&M

Ellen Parson is the Editor-in-Chief for EC&M. She has a journalism degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She's been a business-to-business writer and editor for more than 25 years, most of which have been covering the construction and electrical industries. Contact her at [email protected].

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