Does anyone remember the old AT&T advertising campaign, “Reach Out and Touch Someone?” It ran from 1979 to 1983, back when AT&T was still called Ma Bell and telephones were still firmly anchored to the wall.
Today, reaching and touching is a lot easier. You can call someone from just about anywhere in the world—or even a few miles above the world—with the touch of a button.
When I was a child, my parents told me that someday far in the future a device called a “picturephone” would let us see who we were talking to, and that we'd also be able to go shopping through the TV. But in the mid-1960s, pictures on a phone and shopping on TV were the stuff of a World's Fair exhibit, with no more relation to everyday reality than TheJetsons or Star Trek (watched, of course, on a black-and-white TV).
Forty years later, fantasy is reality. We beam photos across the world in a matter of minutes, and we shop not only from our television sets but also from our computers and even from our mobile telephones.
Yet the desire to reach out and touch someone remains. Through the Internet, people can reach out to old friends, make new friends, create a community of like-minded individuals, and find everything from long-lost family to old flames to discontinued lipstick. The World Wide Web helps the world reach out and touch to a degree that Ma Bell never could have imagined.
To that end, JCK proudly introduces its revamped Web site. Our new URL, www.jckonline.com, reflects a fundamental shift: No longer simply an online version of JCK magazine, our site is now a portal to the entire jewelry industry.
The foundations upon which JCK magazine was built—authority, objectivity, and depth—are as important online as they are in print. Today, anyone with a keyboard and a mouse can pose as a citizen journalist, so it's more essential than ever to have a trusted, objective source to turn to for accurate information—one that adheres to the principles of responsible journalism and is willing to be held accountable for what it writes. JCK's primary responsibility is to investigate and analyze issues and events and deliver thorough and accurate information. The vehicle by which it's delivered—print or electronic—is secondary to the mission.
We've kept the Web features you like best, while adding new features to make our site easier to navigate and more informative and fun. Breaking news and the day's lead stories are at the top of your screen, as they've always been. Current issue content, searchable archives, and industry-related articles come next, along with exciting new elements like blogs, more links, and our new Talk Back feature, which lets you respond immediately to anything we've written, be it online or in print. It even allows your peers to join the discussion.
Our new blogs (short for “Web log”) are online diaries of thoughts and observations from both JCK editors and other industry members. Blogs are opinion based—and clearly marked as such—and designed to spark new ideas to help your business and stimulate discussion in the jewelry community. Our two editor-based blogs are JCK Voices, a general-issue blog, and Style 360, which focuses on fashion, design, trends, and popular culture as it relates to jewelry. The Industry Blog features key leaders sparking discussion on critical topics. At press time, the next one to launch is a retail blog led by Shanu Singh Guiliani, G.G., a North Carolina jeweler who will combine her background in economics and a long-standing family history in the jewelry business to offer thought-provoking tips and ideas about retailing.
As we move into 2007, look for more blogs on critical topics essential to your daily business.
We also invite you to sign up for our free weekly newsletters, eMonday and eWednesday, offering timely and breaking news, and JCKstyle, which offers a quick look at jewelry and fashion newsmakers every Friday. Sign up for one or all on the JCKonline.com home page.
In just 40 years, the stuff of science fiction has become reality. Now, if only we could ask Scotty to beam us to a trade show and avoid all the airport hassles!
From our family to yours, best wishes for a prosperous, stress-free holiday season (turn to page 76 for stress-busting tips) and a happy, healthy, and successful 2007!