Plastics News took another step into the fast-changing world of electronic journalism this month with a new blog.
What's a blog? It's sort of like a personal log or diary, except it's on the Web, so others can read it and post responses. We're hoping the latter will be an important part of the content on our blog, www.plasticsnews.com/blog. The key to a good blog is interactivity. We know a lot of readers are going to be ``lurkers,'' who read entries and rarely comment. That's OK. But, for journalists, one of the best things about doing a blog is to get readers to share their own ideas about entries we're posting (or even what they think we should be posting).
Right now, I'm the primary author of the blog. I have a wealth of potential material: Every day, I look at scores of Web sites, news feeds and press releases in search of the most important stories that Plastics News should be covering.
I've been posting entries to the blog since Jan. 9, but it actually went live with a link from our home page Feb. 2. Lately, I've averaged two entries a day. So when you visit, you'll get more than a taste of what I think is interesting.
You may share my appreciation for good stories that feature companies and individuals that put the industry in a positive light.
You'll also share stories that make me wince. And I'm not just talking about the ones that aggravate my pet peeve, referencing The Graduate, or Dustin Hoffman, or Mr. Robinson (which isn't even right - it was Mr. McQuire who made the speech - not to mention the whole thing is a tired cliche).
I have an appreciation for offbeat stories, too, like the vandal who got wrapped in shrink film until police arrived, or the giant Chicago Bears helmet that cracked when workmen tried to fit it on the lion statue in front of the Art Institute (an omen for how Super Bowl XVI turned out).
I'll also highlight stories we're writing and items of interest from our Crain Communications sister publications. You'll also find some things that might be a little tangential to Plastics News, but are still of interest to our readers.
I'm excited about having this outlet to share things I think are interesting - and in many cases, just plain entertaining.
I plan to link to Web sites you'll find useful. And if you're aware of links you'd like to share with others, feel free to pass them along, along with your thoughts, using the ``comments'' feature. I expect, before long, the blog will be a place where people in the plastics industry around the world go to debate topics they consider important. After all, the blog is as much the readers' as it is mine. I'm hoping you'll help make it informative and a must-read for plastics executives every day.
Loepp is Plastics News managing editor.