Linking Print To The Web

Production Machining's Buyer's Guide and Online Directory are great examples of how print media and online tools can go hand-in-hand to complement each other's strengths.

About 15 years ago, as interest in the World Wide Web was quickly building momentum, many in the print publishing industry were beginning to question the future of their core products. Speculation of the demise of magazines and newspapers, giving way to online substitutes, had publishing companies scrambling to do their best to prepare for a changing industry by building a useful and competitive presence on the Web.

The Internet was new to business, and people didn’t know what its lasting effects would be. They only could see that it was a powerful tool that would change the way people communicate. That uncertainty left publishers with the need to consider the possibilities and be innovative to maximize the benefits of this new tool. The results have been astounding.

Today, print publishing is as strong as ever, although companies now take a slightly different approach to disseminating information to readers. Many magazines and newspapers now capitalize on the strengths of print publications while supplementing these benefits with powerful Web sites that provide additional reference capabilities. Because of the contrasting delivery methods of these two tools, publications such as Production Machining now can provide readers with information in such a way that will suit their needs based on what stage of the research process they are at.

It’s all in the delivery. A magazine takes a set amount of information—usually more than can be absorbed at any given time—and puts it in front of the reader. Much of this information may not be exactly what the reader is looking for, but right there in the reader’s hands, it allows exploration of new ideas, providing options that may not have been considered otherwise. Online research, on the other hand, is typically done in a targeted manner, with the reader requesting specific data to address his or her known needs. Mostly, it’s a difference of passive and active investigation.

The Production Machining Buyer’s Guide and its online counterpart, the PM Supplier Directory, exemplify these distinctive styles of research. With the printed magazine, you have in your hands a comprehensive conglomeration of suppliers of products and services for the precision turning industry. It’s highly unlikely any one person or company would need all of this information ever, much less at any one time. Yet having it in one place gives the reader the opportunity to browse and consider everything that is available, potentially sparking ideas for things that otherwise may not have been considered. Products and services are organized here in such a way that if you’re looking for something specific, it’s easy enough to find, but it will also be surrounded by other products or services that may just provide a better option.

Further still are Learn More links scattered throughout the Products section that provide URLs to other areas of Production Machining’s Web site. “Article” Learn Mores serve as reminders that an archive of articles is available on that particular subject. “Product” Learn Mores send the reader to lists of extended descriptions of specific products in the given category.

In contrast, once tapped in to PM’s online Supplier Directory, you probably have a good idea of what you’re looking for. Now it’s time to narrow the selection and get more specific details about the product and the company that sells it. The Directory allows searches by product or company and provides extended detail including addresses, phone and fax numbers, e-mail links and Web addresses. In many cases, a Showroom presentation is also available that further highlights the capabilities and offerings of an individual supplier.

In this trying economy, individuals and organizations, alike, are trying to be more aware of their spending habits. It’s more important than ever to carefully evaluate your purchasing decisions and be sure you get precisely the equipment or services to fit your needs. By using all of the tools at your disposal, you can be confident that you are covering all of your bases. Beginning with the Buyer’s Guide and completing your research with the extensive information provided at PM’s Web site can help to make you the informed and competitive shopper you need to be.