Editor's Note: Are you still paper-based?

Nov. 11, 2004
By Dave Fusaro, Editor in ChiefI’ve been working in magazines for 20 years and spent several years on newspapers before that, so it’s hard for me to give up the printed word on paper. Then again, I had a hard time adjusting to cars without carburetors.Time and technology march on, ultimately for the better. Which brings us to the Internet and the 21st century.We’ve been maintaining a web site for a few years now, but about 95 percent of it was simply our monthly magazine, or pieces thereof. It was a great place to find the July issue. But I’m not sure it was really meeting the information needs of our readers, much less the numerous other people out there in the food industry who seem to have a growing need for information.So we went out and asked you what you wanted in a web resource. What we found out was enough to make us radically revise what our web sites look like and do. You told us you wanted a web site with deep and actionable content. You told us you go to the web on a mission to find specific information on specific topics. You told us you wanted carefully edited information, collated and presented in forms that were easy for you to find and to use. And not necessarily just our information, but info from any source that could help you solve the problem at hand.Based on what you told us, we’ve ripped up the late-20th century www.foodprocessing.com, and we’re pleased to present you with the new, 21st century www.foodprocessing.com. Same address, but a whole new site. Now, if you go to the web site of this magazine, you won’t find a magazine on the web. Instead you will find something different, and we think much better. You can still find Food Processing’s monthly issue on our site – in fact, you can find two years’ worth of back issues there under “Issue Archive.” But there’s much more. We’ll be combining daily news, original-to-the-web topical articles, the award-winning content in our magazines, carefully chosen web links, aggregated content and extensive detailed product and vendor information to give our readers a single source of comprehensive industry insight.In addition to our home page, we have six specific “channels”: new food products, packaging, production operations, ingredients & formulation, as well as two tied to our companion magazines: WellnessFoods.com and FoodCreation.com. For a deep level of technicality, there are white papers on subjects ranging from RFID to a scientific overview of lycopene. There’s a career center with (at last glance) 20 pages of food-related job listings, with at least 25 jobs per page! From a regulatory food safety scientist for a certain Battle Creek, Mich.-based cereal company to a production operations coordinator for a Cargill plant. There’s even a calendar where you can not only see when and where next year’s IFT meeting is, but you can enter your own company’s event.Our publishing company, Putman Media, has made a significant investment in this technology … and in personnel. To help me manage this flood of digital data, we’ve brought on board a digital managing editor, Heidi Parsons, who will be responsible for www.FoodProcessing.com. And in the coming weeks, you’ll be invited to sign up for any of four monthly e-newsletters: the general FoodProcessing e-Newsletter or the topic-specific ones AgilePlant Insider, WellnessFoods Insider and FoodCreation Insider.In addition, we’ve entered into a partnership with GlobalSpec.com to allow you to have access to the best product and specification resource on the web.You want deep, actionable content that is organized so that you can find it and use it easily. Done. Now tell us how we’re doing. E-mail me at [email protected] with comments, criticism and suggestions for FoodProcessing.com. Heck, you can even use a pen and paper if you insist.

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