Master the Web By the Book
"The Web is such a wonderful marketing tool for selling traditional media. I can't emphasize that enough," Shapiro observes.
The company was merely responding--"as many other directory publishers are--to the need to have the information in a searchable format, to have information faster, in non-static format," she muses. "When you publish a book, you publish a book. The information cannot be changed." Therefore, she adds, it was only natural to proceed to the next level and build MediaFinder on the Web when the technology became available.
"We've been able to customize, or adapt our Web presence, to meet the needs of a Web visitor," says Shapiro. Through the partnership with Dawson, a catalog clearing-house information center, Oxbridge is now selling subscriptions to about 100,000 titles online, in over 260 subject categories, on behalf of publishers whose titles are listed in its database. "We are showing publishers a new revenue stream," Shapiro comments.
For Carol Rosen, Director of Publications, World Resources Institute (WRI), Washington, DC, the primary purpose to have a site (www.wri.org) was archiving. Rosen led the building of electronic online archive for WRI using Publiotech software (available from Electric Press). The site is about two-and-half years old and has about 13,000 content pages, a full collection of WRI publications (the access to the archive is through the main site). Some are full-text, some contain partial text, notes Rosen.
"The reason to have an online archive is to make the publications more searchable and provide a more methodical way of organizing the print material," she explains. But it's not just the print material that will be archived. "What we are hoping ultimately to do is to use it as an archive for the Web pages, Web materials that are linked to publications so that the background material of HTML pages that describe the book or accompany the program that produced the book would ultimately move off the main Web site into the archive as the material aged. One of our goals, since we have such a large site, is to update and streamline it a bit more than we have."