CATAWISSA, Pa. — Alan Mercurio wants to share information with fellow workers in the oil heat business. His passion for the subject has taken him onto the Internet. The first line on his home page atwww.oiltechtalk.comreads:

“Welcome To Oil Tech Talk. This site has been created for my fellow technicians around the world. My goal is to continue to learn how to do my job to the best of my ability and to share what I learn with you.”

Mercurio recently spoke with The News about his Web site and information sharing.

“When I created the Web site, my intention was to have a place in cyberspace where technicians from around the world could meet and help each other learn their trade by sharing their knowledge and ideas,” he said.

“I really looked at it as another way for me to continue to learn my trade and to give back to the industry that has been providing my family with food on the table and clothes on our backs.

“I never dreamed that it would become the portal for educational and technical information that it has become.” Mercurio said. “I truly believe anyone will tell you that Oil Tech Talk is the place to go when you need help with anything, from proper combustion testing and troubleshooting techniques, to installation and preventive maintenance, inventory, sales, and service, or just to vent a little (without swearing) about your day’s events.”

Besides offering a place for other technicians to share ideas, Oil Tech Talk features a “Product of the Month.” Mercurio praised the contributions made by manufacturers to his Web site.

“We are very fortunate to have many dedicated manufacturers that screen the board on a daily basis — some times three and four times a day,” he added. “They are always helpful and willing to jump in when questions about their product come up.

“Heck, sometimes it may not even have anything to do with their products and they still jump in, sharing their knowledge and helping whoever they can.”

Mercurio also sells books at the Web site, including his book Carry the Torch — Life Experiences and Technical Data To Live By. Many of the books are written by George Lanthier, an award-winning author and teacher whose articles have been found in Fuel Oil & Oilheat, Oilheating, Yankee Oilman, HVAC Insider, and other publications.

Mercurio has recently started training and consulting services for the heating industry, but he remains steadfastly dedicated to sharing knowledge at his Web site.

“When I started the Web site, I used the motto, ‘The knowledge we share today will make a better industry tomorrow.’ With over 2,000 hits a week at the Web site, I believe we are collectively making the industry better each day.”

More On HVAC Websites
Go to The News’ Extra Edition page to read David Squires’ article on how to position your company to take advantage of the Internet. Click on the Web Exclusive “Are HVAC Websites As Effective As They Should Be?”

Publication date: 03/24/2003