(June 1, 2007) — Bob Grace's April 16 column “Success elusive for plastic portals” [Page 6] questioned whether the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc.'s new Web site will attain success where others had failed.
More than 12 years after its launch as the first plastics and rubber industry portal, Polysort is alive and well. Contrary to his statement that Polysort “changed its focus several times,” our company has operated the online portal Polysort.com and has offered Web site building, online promotion and hosting since its inception.
A bit of history should help dispel any confusion.
When Polysort was launched in 1995, the goal of the company was to provide plastics and rubber industry information via the Internet and generate revenue through advertising.
At that time, there were few plastics companies that had Web sites, making the selling of advertising premature. Polysort recognized the need for someone to take the lead in educating the industry and to shepherd companies online. Our company aptly fit that role, conducting seminars at numerous industry conferences and helping hundreds of companies establish their presence online.
Five years later, our foray into e-commerce was initiated with significant additional investment from our shareholders to expand beyond our core offerings. For Polysort and other highly publicized e-commerce models like Omnexus, Plastics¼Net and 12 or so others that exhibited at NPE 2000, a portal-based e-commerce site did not prove itself to be a successful business model.
But as a portal site providing industry information, Web site development services and online promotion, Polysort continues to thrive. Our company's inability to make e-commerce viable in 2000 (the Stone Age in Internet years) yielded valuable lessons that we share in the course of our work with clients still today.
We continue to define success by our ability to help plastics companies leverage the Internet for their benefit, and to do so profitably.
At the same time, numerous other portal sites (IDES, Roto
molding.org and, yes, Plastics News among many others) also operate successfully, each offering something of value to the industry.
Angela S. Charles