Let's talk about directories. Specifically, ours.
This is the time of year when the "Rubber Industry Directory & Buyers Guide"-known by most of us around here by its original name, "Rubbicana"-is put to bed. Subscribers will get it as the last print issue of Rubber & Plastics News of the year, in late December.
I could go on and on about the improved content of the directory, lauding the editorial coordinator, Kathie Harris, for her tenacity, and, certainly all those readers who took the time to answer her surveys and pestering follow-ups. Instead, I want to direct your attention to what's coming in January.
We've had an online version of the print directory at our Web site, www.rubbernews.com, for several years. However, the latest incarnation, available Jan. 1, is a huge improvement.
Our first online rubber directory was oh-so ssslllooowww. It just took forever to load and, like our readers, I reached for the print issue instead.
The second foray was a vast upgrade. Much faster than its predecessor, it did provide all the information contained in the print issue in a searchable format.
The new online addition goes far beyond that. I've seen it and played with it, and it's much more user friendly. Its searching abilities are exceptional and extensive, for manufacturing companies, suppliers, trade associations, consultants, lab and testing equipment firms. If you need something, need to know who provides it and how to reach them, this is the tool to use.
Now here's the part that I truly love. As a longtime user of print directories, it always bothered me that the information started going obsolete the moment the publication left the press. People change jobs, companies grow or contract, products and processes come and go. A print directory is a snapshot of the industry at one point in time.
Not our new online directory. Dynamic is the word to describe it. Kathie will have the ability to update information at all times. Your company opens a new facility, you just became the technical director, or maybe there's something missing in your listing-contact Kathie ([email protected]), and she'll make the change online.
Now that's progress.
Noga is the editor of Rubber & Plastics News.