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Change is inevitable, and accelerating

This is a salute to you, IMM reader, as well as an invitation to the future and a very fond farewell.

Rob Neilley

March 30, 2011

3 Min Read
Change is inevitable, and accelerating

This is a salute to you, IMM reader, as well as an invitation to the future and a very fond farewell.

It’s safe to say that every reader of this magazine, especially the many long-term ones, knows that the pace of change in our plastics industry is gaining speed daily. You are living it. As you also know, it’s not only the plastics business.

As a plastics industry magazine, IMM straddles two interdependent but distinct businesses: plastics moldmaking and molding, and publishing. For more than a decade the publishing business has been in a state of flux due to changes in technology, specifically the Internet, and believe me it is every bit as disruptive as what’s happened in plastics during the same time period.

One result of the technology change is that this April 2011 issue of Injection Molding Magazine is the last printed copy of the magazine you will see. Going forward, IMM’s articles, columns, and news will come to you via our e-newsletters and our PlasticsToday.com website.

Why the change, and why now?
Last year marked a sea change in the way Americans acquired information. For the first time, more people turned to the Internet as their primary source of news than to printed publications. If you are not in that majority, you may be surprised, but if you are an avid Internet user, you are likely wondering why anyone would go anywhere else for news and info.

It’s not only general news that’s being sought out online. When UBM Canon, IMM’s publisher, surveyed our readers recently it discovered that, although IMM and sister publication Modern Plastics Worldwide are widely read, increasingly it’s our daily, weekly, and monthly e-newsletters, and our searchable website, to which readers turn for both current news and in-depth information about our industry.

The decision to cease publishing the printed magazines was not made in a rush, but rather was carefully thought out during a long period in which the magazines were losing ground and online media was gaining. Online publishing offers tools that print media simply cannot match. Speed and immediacy are obvious, but there are many other advantages, perhaps the most notable being multimedia. A video of an automated production cell in operation is worth thousands of descriptive words.

For me there is a very personal aspect of this event. As you read this I am no longer with IMM or UBM Canon, which, I confess, saddens me. I wear my heart on my sleeve when it comes to plastics molding and moldmaking. It’s a fantastic business, and the people I’ve met in it are absolutely outstanding, both professionally and personally—what my grandmother liked to call the salt of the earth. You do extremely complex tasks and make them look easy, and go unappreciated.

I should add, too, that being chief editor of IMM was truly my dream job. But every dream ends, and marks the start of a new day.

Before parting, however, I wish to thank you—one and all—for allowing me to be of service to exceptional people working in an amazing industry that is vital to the progress of humanity. It was an honor and a pleasure. See you around. —Rob Neilley

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