by Brian Huse, Director, Marketing & PR (RIA)
Robotics Online will be changing sometime soon. This won’t be the first time it has changed since it was established in 1996, and the details are still being hashed out, but expect a significant difference.
It is amazing to look at how far we’ve come since the site was launched 11 years ago. I went to the Way Back Machine and found a “snapshot” of the site from the good old days. (Look at the picture with this blog . . . isn’t it amazing how things used to be? This was back when electronic publishing was still a clumsy business and you used service bureaus to output files to film for printers.)
The story of Robotics Online starts with an “online mall” where you could go to find groups of sites all related in terms of business type. Many sites of that era were dubbed as [Insert Name Here] Online. At the time, the Association’s site was under the domain name, “robotics.org.” This was just six years after the World Wide Web had gone commercial and been re-branded as the Internet.
People were just beginning to realize the business possibilities of the Internet when RIA saw the future and decided to grab a piece of cyber world. RIA’s vice president of marketing at the time (Jeff Burnstein) and Don Vincent (the executive vice president at the time) led the charge, and I was lucky enough to be there and see first steps of the Association’s new cyber baby.
Since then, we’ve refreshed the site a few times with input from RIA’s MARCOM Committee. Once again, this committee is involved in the planning of a new site.
Right now, the Association is delving into matters such as defining the purpose of the next site, setting goals for it, profiling its audience and considering new possibilities for functionality. Members and others will be surveyed, and consultants will guide staff on a requirements review. Bids will be solicited based on the specifications from the review, and a new site will be launched.
Results of this work will not only affect Robotics Online, but also help shape its sister sites, Machine Vision Online and Motion Control Online. Robotics Online has been a long-lasting success story for the Association and one of the few sites from its era that live on today. Stick around for what’s next, won’t you? In fact, contact us now through October 31 to tell us how you would improve the site so we can factor that into our plans.