Populism and libertarianism are political concepts normally associated with the Internet, but perhaps it's the revolutionary and collectivist qualities of one fairly new site that makes communism applicable, too. Aggregate Research Industries (ARI) was founded in Richmond, Va., in 1999 by some of the aggregate and concrete industries' leading experts, who, about 9 months ago, launched a site that has stunned them with its popularity.

Aggregateresearch.com includes an interactive Industry Forum that is adding about 100 members per month, according to Barry Hudson, operations and research manager for ARI.

At a forum sign-up page, registered members can select subject areas in which they want to receive e-mailed questions from other members. These areas include concrete, aggregate, cement, environmental, masonry, safety, and even equipment. Members receive e-mailed questions, and answers to those questions, from other members in the chosen subject areas.

"If someone puts an answer out there and we don't think it's right, we'll say we don't think it's right," says Hudson, adding that the worldwide forum community can also challenge an answer.

The forum is only part of ARI's free information. A library link allows viewing of the latest research papers and information available to the industry. A mix design worksheet, based on American Concrete Institute procedures, is available for onscreen viewing or printing. It allows the user to input up to three coarse and two fine aggregates. A printable aggregate grading worksheet allows the user to achieve the desired blend of two or more aggregates.