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Let's face it. The Internet is still, to many of us, exciting, confusing, terrifying and frustrating by turns. The buzzwords change so fast that even the most high tech companies have a hard time keeping up. Cyberspace. Firewall, Java. E-commerce. The list goes on.
In July of 1996 we introduced the gear community to the Internet in these pages through the Gear Industry Home Page (GIHP). This electronic buyers guide for gear machine tools, tooling, accessories and services has proven to be more popular than we could have envisioned. In our first month, we had over 3,000 hits, and in our third month, we have over 4,500. By our fourth month, we topped the 7,000 mark, and we are on our way to 11,000 hits in November. As our advertisers develop their own home sites in order to offer layers of information about their companies, their products and services, we expect this activity will increase even more.
The Internet. Big deal. Now that you've dialed up weird politics.com, http://www.Elvis sightings and alt.naughty bits, what's online that's useful? Anything that would make your job easier, answer important questions, solve tough design problems? Information about, say, gearing? Is there anything out there in cyberspace worth the expense and hassle of going after?
Once upon a time there was a computer. This computer served as a conduit to waste a great deal of time through social networking and online video games. Still, there was always potential to turn these rather sedentary activities into something more positive and useful to mankind. Siemens may have stumbled upon such a concept.
The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) has been gathering, validating and sharing manufacturing knowledge for more than 80 years. Traditionally, SME resources were purchased by individuals for their own personal use or by colleges and universities as textbooks. Recently, these same colleges and universities were looking for digital resources to provide to their instructors and students. Companies were requesting SME content digitally for their employees as well.
Okay. You've been convinced. You've gritted your teeth and decided to spend the money to launch a company Web site. Everybody from your teenage propeller-head to the girl in the mail room and the salesman in the flashy suit who gave you "such a deal" on Web site services has promised that your site will be the best thing that's happened to your business since the advent of CNC machines.
Just back from IMTS and once again, I'm struck by the enormous vitality and strength of the manufacturing sector of the U.S. economy. It has made a phoenix-like rise from the grave dug for it by pundits in the '80s and has come back more robust and competitive than ever.
Publisher Michael Goldstein describes the success of Gear Technology's new e-mail newsletter programs.
You've been reading about it, talking about it, maybe even trying it. Gear Technology has jumped aboard it feet first and begun a voyage on the World Wide Web. Beginning with this issue, an electronic version of the magazine will be online. For those of us who still find the fax machine amazing technology, this is a great leap.
If you enjoy working with your hands—without doubt a large segment of Gear Technology’s audience—you must go to robives.com. There you will find one of the most clean-but-serious fun websites on the Internet. It is where you will learn—or re-learn, in some cases—how to create things from paper. Origami, you’re thinking? Nah—mere child’s play.
Richard Spens has a hobby that leads him onto the Internet, through magazines, to auctions and into farmers' back yards.
It’s happened to most manufacturers at one point or another. A defective product comes back from a customer in need of repair. Perhaps a bearing or a gear drive has failed, and the customer simply needs a replacement. Upon further examination, the company realizes it was never one of its products in the first place, but a fabricated copy that snuck into the market. The manufacturing community has been dealing with counterfeit products for decades, but used machinery dealers and Internet shoppers seem to continuously get hit by scam artists.
I'd like to share with you a vision of the future. It takes place in cyberspace, and it's coming soon to a computer near you. Whether you like it or not, and whether you're ready or not, the Internet is changing the way business is conducted.
You hardly have to leave your office anymore, because the whole world is being piped right to your desktop. I know, because I recently attended my first seminar by Internet.