For many publishers, "e-commerce" means dabbling in sales of intellectual property, such as work plans (August Home Publishing, Hanley Wood). With the launch of a new auction site, Penton Media will be facilitating the sale of heavy machinery.

Penton Online Auctions will start by auctioning off excess agriculture equipment and expand to transportation equipment and public infrastructure equipment by the end of the year.

AssetNation, which creates private label marketplaces, provides the back-end of the site. Penton says customers are currently consigning equipment for the first agricultural equipment auction, which closes on March 8.

"Penton’s strategy is to provide more vital services to users within our vertical communities," said Warren Bimblick, Penton’s senior vice president of strategy and business development at Penton. "Our research concluded that our equipment-using communities had interest in an efficient online marketplace tool, and even with our soft launch, we are seeing a good deal of interest."