WASHINGTON - The American Plastics Council is forging ahead with a World Wide Web site on the Internet, hoping it will become the site for anyone seeking any plastics fact. Named Plastics Resource, the site is intended for both the complete neophyte and the expert, said Red Cavaney, APC president and chief executive.
``We want to be a pioneer, to be the leading edge. We are the very first to have such a user-friendly screen. Plus, we want people to see that we're not in here with just brochures and sales materials, but that we'll delve into issues,'' Cavaney said in a recent interview.
``It isn't like we're doing a lot of new expensive things to do this. We're tying together many of the things we've been doing for years,'' he said.
Spokeswoman Susan Moore added, ``You'll be able to look into [APC's] file drawers.''
About 4,000 new World Wide Web sites like the APC's were established in the past month, said Stephen Auditore, president of Zona Research Inc., a Redwood City, Calif., market research firm that monitors development of the Internet and graphical display technology. The increase in the number of publicly accessible addresses is 10 times what it was a year ago, Auditore said.
``A lot of what's going on [on the Web] is screaming and yelling. As these things mature, [the Internet] will become a way to disseminate and distribute their information,'' Auditore said.
To make sure its message is clear and unadulterated to Internet users, Plastics Resource will hold tight control over what is accessible.
``You won't have people coming in and graffiti-ing your site,'' said APC spokesman Jimmy Hendricks.
User-to-user messages will go through APC first, and although the capability exists, no ``chat rooms'' will be available in APC Internet pages. The only on-line correspondence capability will be between guest hosts leadingseminars on plastics-related topics, Hendricks said.
Plastics Resource home-page users also will be able to go from APC's pages to a select number of other pages bearing similar or complementary information.
``We are committed to this idea of the user-friendly, attractive resource where hopefully, if somebody has questions about plastics, they can't surf the Internet without stopping by us,'' Cavaney said.
The APC's Web site was created by the ``interactive'' arm of a New York advertising agency, D'Arcy, Masius, Benton and Bowles.
Of primary interest to APC is the system's ability to track user access to the system, to build a database of information on each user's information preferences.
If a user has looked for a particular subject or topic in multiple visits to Plastics Resource, the system's automatic first response is to give the user the latest on that subject, Cavaney said.
Eight categories - academic, student, environmental, consumer, allied associations, media, regional, and technical/professional - initially are planned for the Plastics Resource home page.
Under academic, for example, ``We might have 30 universities that have extensive plastics programs, either in their [electrical engineering] curricula or [chemical engineering], so you can very quickly get over there,'' Cavaney said.
Users can reach a particular academician with an Internet e-mail address, but only if the professor consents to access to his or her mailbox from the Plastics Resource page.