Alot of business people seem to think that though the Internet has made a lot of noise, it hasn't made much of an impact. And what's more, that it won't. Maybe I'll concede that first point, but I beg to differ on the second. I'll venture that in time the Internet will become the primary means by which we correspond with one another; find out things we need to know about customers, suppliers and competitors; and maybe even how we go about staying abreast of industry technical and management trends.
That last point is somewhat oddly made by someone who makes his living putting words on paper. Heck, I like the printed word (and hope you like it too, since this job is a lot of fun, and my kids are depending on it). But there's no denying that the Internet -- and particularly its graphic component, the World Wide Web -- interactively facilitates business communications and research in powerful ways unachievable through the more comfortable mediums to which we are accustomed.
A lot of people in the publishing business worry that the Web will make magazines obsolete. I don't see that happening for a long, long time, but do see that the Web and other electronic media can play an extremely useful role as a compliment to printed pages.
And so very soon you will see (if you are connected) a new component to Modern Machine Shop in our site. For starters, you'll have the opportunity to pose questions directly to several of our columnists as well as other industry experts. You'll be able to search for just about any editorial item we have published over the last two years. And you'll have access to a rather nifty interactive directory of CNC-related suppliers, as well as a raft of links to a wide range of metalworking suppliers and technical resources.
To help explain it all, let me introduce you to Allan Sweatt (you can call him "A.J.") the editor of GardnerWeb. With this issue, A.J. begins his monthly column, On The Web , where he will show you how to get the most out of the electronic side of MMS, as well as other aspects of the Web.
I strongly urge you to check him out. The Internet isn't just a big piece of our future; it's your future too.