November 22, 2002
GIA and JNet Update Sites
Two large organizations that serve the industry, the Gemological Institute of America and JNet, redesigned their Web sites.
GIA's Web presence features a new home page, media newsroom, free images, and an interactive history timeline. "GIA has grown, so we needed to change the way we deliver information to everyone from students to news media worldwide via the Internet," says Kathryn Kimmel, GIA vice president of marketing and public relations.
The home page presents the site's most important news in an executive summary format, giving visitors an opportunity to read about such subjects as the latest educational programs, articles for consumers, lab research and important events. "We're not only looking for, but are also relying on, visitor feedback regarding our redesigned Web site," says Armando de Peralta, GIA's director of marketing. "It's important to us that these changes effectively serve all of our stakeholders. And without input we can't address their needs." According to de Peralta, this release, which is version 3.0, is the most substantial revision to GIA's Web site since 2000 and contains more than 6,000 pages of content.
Site visitors have other options, such as learning about a featured gemstone or accessing GIA's interactive tutorial, "How to Buy a Diamond." In addition, students can now quickly enter GIA's Virtual Campus from the home page.
Another new item is the interactive GIA history timeline. The timeline, using Flash technology, highlights the history of GIA's scientific research, education, and gemological laboratory services. "While working on the design and production of this timeline, I was struck by the many parallels between GIA's growth and the development of the overall industry," says Shannon McCann, project lead and designer of the timeline and the corporate home page.
JNet recently revised its site to include a new design and additionalsuch as links to industry resources, a trade show calendar, and up-to-date industry news.
The JNet Web-site building program for members of Jewelers of America and Manfacturing Jewelers and Suppliers of America now offers more choices for participating jewelers. Using JNet, JA and MJSA members can build and customize Web sites as part of their overall marketing strategy for their businesses.
"Consumers are increasingly using the Internet to shop for merchandise," says Matthew A. Runci, JA president and CEO. "Even those who eventually buy from traditional brick-and-mortar stores often research products and sellers before eventually making a purchase. JNet provides a marketplace advantage by helping jewelers establish themselves on the Internet and conduct e-commerce."
JNet users can choose the level of participation that best suits them, from basic Web site or online catalog (for JA memebers only) to enhanced sites and catalogs. For all options, JNet users can choose from 16 Web site templates, including 10 new designs. Participants also receive one e-mail account and site hosting from JNet. JNet technical support representatives are available by phone and e-mail.
The e-commerce catalogs will soon be searchable through major search engines including Yahoo, MSN, InfoSpace, Lycos, AltaVista and Netscape.
Additional information can be found on the site or by contacting JNet Operations Director John W. Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org.