Site Review | Professional Jeweler

August 16, 1999
MJSA On-Line

Until the Internet came along, it was hard for trade associations to communicate with their members beyond their six-page quarterly newsletters and annual conferences. The Manufacturing Jewelers & Suppliers Association is a superb example of an association that's using all the Web has to offer to provide organized, comprehensive resources for its members.

The site has existed for some time, but MJSA recently redesigned it to make information easier to find. On its home page you can find the top five headlines from the latest MJSA press releases, links to highlights from AJM magazine, links to MJSA Expo reports and information about membership. The association is especially committed to providing news to its members – the site also includes Industry News, where MJSA posts all company press releases and news it receives, and articles from the MJSA newsletter, Benchmark. Heavily involved in lobbying for industry-friendly legislation, MJSA also reports on and interprets bills introduced and passed on Capitol Hill.

There's also a great deal of reference material here. Under Industry Research, the site includes InfoSource articles, a library of research compiled by MJSA to answer the some 8,500 telephone calls it gets each year from people seeking industry information. Topics range from CAD/CAM and the Americans with Disabilities Act to finishing and hazardous chemicals. Each article includes suggested reading lists and related Web site addresses.

Looking for educational opportunities? The AJM School Directory, as well as rundowns of MJSA's educational programs, are on the site. MJSA also plans a Career Center where industry members can post job listings and resumes.

A generous service to MJSA members is ReferralNet, a high-powered search engine that allows jewelers to search for manufacturers and suppliers. MJSA gives its member free home pages, which appear in the search results. The association tallies the use of this search engine on its home page: it refers some 700 to 750 members every week.

Technically speaking: The site is handsome, extremely easy to navigate and largely text-based so the pages load quickly.

- by Stacey King