Volume 35, Number 8, August 2000

SOFTWARE GUIDE

No Place Like Home

Glass Goes Home to its New Online Address ... glass.com™

 by Ellen Giard

 

Www.glass.com, the industry’s home address, is up, running and ready to help you with all your glass information needs. Owned and operated by Key Communications Inc., publishers of USGlass, AGRR, Window Film and the new Door & Window Maker magazines, the site marks the latest innovation in glass resources. Whatever your glass forte, glass.com can be your online guide. Information on glass products and services for the architectural, residential and automotive industries can be found here, as well as topics relating to glass for optical and medical professions, ceramics, mirrors and furniture.

 

Find a Nearby Glass Shop

Visitors to glass.com will find sections dedicated to both consumers and industry professionals. The Shop Locator Service, for example, allows consumers to locate glass shops in their area. The Shop Locator Service is designed to find shops through city, state, zip code or the type of work that needs to be done such as auto glass replacement, windshield repair, window film, residential windows and more. Listings for such shops are displayed on the screen, allowing the user to link to an additional page featuring a specific shop name, address, directions and hours of operation, as well as an e-mail and website link.

“I wish we had been smart enough to think of this service on our own, but we weren’t,” said USGlass magazine publisher Debra Levy. “Just by the nature of the address, glass.com, we began getting hundreds of inquiries a week from consumers about what types of glass to use or how to get something fixed,” she said. “The number one question we are asked over and over again is ‘How do I find a quality shop near me?’ We know our readers offer the best type of work around, so we were doing a lot of manual referrals. We’ve now created a service to meet the needs of both groups – consumers are happy they can be referred to a local shop, and glass shops can tap into the large Internet market at a very low cost,” she added.

The Locator Service has been in beta testing for approximately six months and feedback and reviews have been first-rate. “Our staff does all the programming and is very committed to making this site as effective as we possibly can,” said CIC/electronic media specialist Anthony Presley. “In addition to browsing the locator for nearby locations, shops can add themselves to the site right online at glass.com. Users will also find that if there is a direct zip code or city match, only those shops will be displayed. Otherwise, the next closest shop within a given radius will be shown.” Reader listings are available for $120 per year and include a full page of shop information.

 

Questions Answered Online

Consumers can also take advantage of the Consumer Information Center, which sets out to answer glass and industry-related questions. Discussion topics include general glass questions, automotive glass and windshield questions, glass in the home questions and glass cleaning questions.

The effectiveness of glass.com came into play in February of this year when 20/20 aired a news story on unsafe windshield installations. After viewing the episode more than 3,000 people e-mailed glass.com with questions and concerns. “As consumers become more and more aware and informed of what is happening in the industry by mediums such as the 20/20 piece, glass.com is a viable resource and credible source for shoppers to turn to,” said the site’s marketing manager, Holly Carter. “We expect the Consumer Information Center to continue playing a major role in providing answers and assistance for a wide span of glass related needs.”

 

Online Buyers Guide

For the industry professional, the Online Buyers Guide at glass.com features a comprehensive listing of companies that provide products and services to the glass, metal and glazing industries. Similar to the Buyer’s Guide featured annually in the December issue of USGlass, visitors can browse by either category or company to find distributors, manufacturers and suppliers in nearly 40 categories and numerous sub-categories. For example, if you are looking for door hardware, click the link to connect to that particular category and you’ll find the next page featuring additional links to categories such as bumpers, handles and knobs, which in turn link to specific suppliers or
manufacturers.

Suppliers can also add themselves to the Buyers Guide by clicking the “Add a Company” link. Three options are available: the standard listing, ($865/yr) which includes the suppliers name, address, phone number, weblink and placement in five categories; the enhanced listing, ($299/yr) which includes everything in the standard as well as a fax number, toll free number, contact name, e-mail address and webpage description; and the primary listing, ($599/yr) which features everything in the enhanced, places the company at the top of the list in each of its listed categories and includes one rotating banner.

In addition, contract advertisers placing six pages or more of consecutive ads over a one-year period can receive a one-year enhanced listing free.

 

Chat Rooms, Trade Shows, Industry News

You’ll also find links to the latest industry news, chat rooms where you can exchange thoughts and ideas with others in your field, and a classifieds listing where you can either place an ad or browse through the listings. One popular feature of the classifieds is the “Wanted to Buy” section where you can post a listing for anything glass-related you may be searching for such as machinery, sheets of glass and more. Information concerning regional, industry trade shows and events is also featured, where you can register to attend the next one in your area.

Since the Internet’s beginning, it has grown from reaching only a few people, to reaching millions. Everyday individuals turn to the Internet to shop, do research and find out more on particular subjects, and those looking for the latest on glass will find what they need at glass.com. “With the information age moving at such a rapid rate, most every industry is jumping on this bandwagon to reach as many people as possible,” said Carter. “Glass.com is a stronghold where consumers and industry members can come for current information and quality resources,” she added.

And don’t forget you will also find the latest issues of USGlass, AGRR and Window Film magazines there as well.


USG

Copyright 2000 Key Communications Inc. All rights reserved. No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.