This new technical marvel called the Internet offers the publishing industry unparalleled opportunity in the art of journalism. Limitless space for copy supported by a dynamic environment has the potential to deliver a tremendous message, free from the confines of a fixed, two-dimensional piece of paper.
While the technical capabilities of this new environment continue to emerge, one critical component -- substance -- remains elusive.
As Ward's Communications launches its Internet website on July 1, one of its fundamental goals is to raise the bar in both technical capacity and editorial content. Dozens of websites go on line every day and many of them appear to be little more than electronic reprints of their paper form. Ward's Communications believes it has a responsibility to break that trend and offer something more.
Ward's Auto Web doesn't look or read like any of the six publications published under its umbrella, although some of the website's content will appear elsewhere and some might look familiar.
Other features won't be found anywhere else. At www.wardsauto.com, users will find daily information on the comings and goings of industry people. After that, users can get updated on the ever-changing supplier consolidation frenzy. A calendar of events will be regularly updated with a wealth of auto-industry events.
Much of this information won't be found in any Ward's print product.
Only on the web can Ward's keep an up-to-the-minute record of changes, moves and modifications that affect our business.
Some of the information on the Ward's website may make its debut in Ward's publications, but nowhere else can a reader access so many features from so many different publications. A story from Ward's Auto World will sit next to a story from Ward's Automotive International, and below it a feature from Ward's Engine and Vehicle Technology Update might appear.
One goal of Ward's Auto Web is to help its users demystify web travel, providing them with an automotive navigator that translates the user's keywords into a list of other locations, or URLs, for them to explore. The WAWeb index search will allow users to rifle through past issues and look for particular topics.
Utility is the key to Ward's Auto Web. It's not just delivering a message: It aims to offer a very useful service. Now Ward's readers can use the web to stay informed more frequently, to dig deeper for answers to their questions and to access more of the talent at Ward's Communications -- all at the same time.