Not long ago, pundits, experts, and Internet aficionados could be heard urging CEOs - that notoriously technophobic group - to sit down at their computers and enter the strange new world of the Web.
Today, many chief executives have done just that, and witnessed the on-line revolution first hand by visiting not only their own companies' Web sites, but also such high-profile spots as Amazon.com, the Drudge Report, and Yahoo!
But you can do more than buy books or advertise your company on-line. You can also find a lot of information-and increasingly, it's good information, from reliable sources. What's more, the range of such information is constantly growing, as Web sites from all corners of business and the world continue to proliferate. In the following pages, we point you to sites of interest across several categories. This is not intended to be a Top 10, "best of' list - with millions of pages on the Web, and more coming all the time, such a list would be pointless. Instead, the sites gathered here are intended to direct your gaze beyond the mainstays and superstars of the Web, and highlight the growing range of worthwhile content that's waiting out there on-line.
CEO Refresher >[www.refresher.com]
This monthly newsletter offers essays, commentary, and reviews focusing on the soft stuff of leadership. Each issue has a dozen or so articles: Recent offerings include "Igniting the Leader Within," "Stewardship," and "The 21st Century Corporate Board." An extensive archive is divided into categories such as "creative leadership," "change management," and "performance improvement." Articles generally provide a quick read - and if you need more, check Words of Wisdom, a collection of quotations for business leaders.
Society for Human Resource Management >[www.shrm.org]
People are your most important asset, right? To help you get the most from that asset, the Society for Human Resource Management offers a number of electronic publications, including HR News On-line, with daily updates on labor statistics, workforce issues, telecommuting, etc. and Workplace Visions, a forward-looking analysis of workplace trends. You'll also find selections from HR Magazine, including longer features exploring downsizing, HR executives' pay, HR best practices, and other topics from the world of human capital. Finally, the site also has a searchable buyer's guide to HR consultants and services and, for paying members, a collection of white papers.
Fast Company >[www.fastcompany.com]
"A global revolution is changing business," says Fast Company, and it intends to be the "handbook" of that revolution. Like its print counterpart, this site takes a lively, fast-paced look at the changing world of work, with articles grouped by Themes and Ideas-such as "leadership" or "competition" - or by magazine sections, such as Fast Companies, a collection of profiles and case studies, or Report from the Future, which covers emerging workplace tools and techniques. In addition to articles from print, the site offers a daily roundup of news, longer versions of interviews and articles, and a number of ways to interact with reporters, experts, businesspeople, and other members of the Fast Company community.
Leading Companies >[fed.org/leading_companies/]
Leading Companies is the e-zine of the nonprofit Foundation for Enterprise Development, a proponent of improving business performance by involving employees in decision-making and profits. The publication offers interviews with executives from various companies, and case studies of such innovative organizations as Southwest Airlines, Yahoo!, Procter & Gamble, and Bank of America. You'll also find a catalog of tools for assessing equity compensation, and an extensive, worthwhile library of articles and speeches on employee motivation and empowerment, trends in employee ownership, compensation strategies, etc.
The focus here is on the technology behind knowledge management, and the companies that create those systems. A Daily Newswire section offers headlines, and the news is sliced further in several ways: "People" looks at executive career moves; "Bottomline" looks at stocks and investments in the industry; and "Dealmakers" looks at company alliances and contracts. Longer features explore on-line employee training, the reduction of product-development times, and knowledge management in the insurance industry. The site also offers links-along with ratings and descriptions - to other knowledge management-oriented sites.
American Productivity & Quality Center >[www.apqc.org]
The nonprofit American Productivity & Quality Center (APQC) aims to help companies change and improve. and this site provides information in five key areas: benchmarking, knowledge management, measurement, customer satisfaction, and productivity and quality. Each section includes articles, training resources, and reports on studies conducted by the APQC. You can also find out about products and services offered by the center, and download a number of white papers and case studies. APQC members have access to additional features, including opportunities to network with executives at other organizations, and access to the APQC's database of best practices.
@brint.com Knowledge Network >[www.brint.com]
The term "brint" is short for "a business researcher's interests," and this site is a storehouse filled with thousands of articles and resources related to organizational learning, Internet business strategy, business process improvement, and other such topics. In particular, the site is staking a claim on knowledge management, and its "knowledge network" section has not only a library, but on-line forums, columns, a listing of knowledge management executives, and links to publications and sites around the Web. The site is constantly growing - at times, it seems nearly out of control. But it's a great place to start when looking for business-improvement information on-line.
American Demographics >[www.demographics.com]
Keeping an eye on customers is always a good idea, and American Demographics can help you do just that. This site looks at consumer trends and tastes across a broad front: Recent issues, for example, have looked at the growing interest in the fine arts, marriage statistics, marketing to middle-aged men, the relationship between product sales and weather, and the image problems of professional baseball. The site also offers a bookstore stocked with marketing titles, and a directory of marketing, research, and advertising vendors.
The Economist >[www.economist.com]
Every Thursday, this site delivers the cover story and a dozen other articles from the print version of The Economist. One particularly nice feature: "Politics This Week" and "Business This Week," two comprehensive summaries that you can read on-line or have e-mailed to you. The site also has special reports looking at subjects such as the euro, the telecommunications revolution, and Internet retailing, as well as a shop where you can buy books published by The Economist. With a paid subscription, you get access to the full content of the print magazine.
Trade Compass offers news - everything from headlines to features, regulatory updates, and industry-specific coverage - for companies involved in international trade. But it's really an extensive resource center, rather than an on-line magazine, with a wide range of information, databases, and tools for trade. A World Trade Analyzer, for example, lets you view import and export statistics for 190 trading partners and world regions. A Tradesmart service provides a detailed analysis on who has imported what into the U.S. And a set of commercial guides details economic trends, investment climate, political environment, and market research in various nations. Access to most of the site - and there is a lot more-requires a subscription.
International Herald Tribune >[www.iht.com]
Published in Paris, the International Herald Tribune caters to a global audience and draws on bureaus from London and Prague to Singapore, Seoul, and Kuala Lumpur. In addition to the daily news, the site provides columns on capital markets, technology, and the like, a regular Money Report, and a collection of special reports on subjects such as private banking, the pharmaceutical industry, and telecommunications. For those seeking balance in their lives, there's also a considerable amount of film, opera, dining, and other lifestyle coverage. Overall, the site is an effective and entertaining way to get a global perspective in a short time.
Euromoney Online >[www.euromoney.com/]
The Euromoney Online site offers articles from several print publications, including Euromoney, Corporate Finance, and Global Investor. You'll find up-to-date news on financial trends around the world, with recent features looking at banking in Saudi Arabia, a new generation of leaders in Asia, and speculations about tomorrow's blue chip stocks. The site also offers comprehensive financial briefings on dozens of countries, and an extensive warehouse of financial data.
Business Wire >[www.businesswire.com]
Business Wire offers press releases, and lots of them. You can look at the last hour's worth, which might give you 50 or 60 headlines, or browse through all the releases of the past week. If that's too much, searches can be narrowed down by day, hour, and U.S. state and region. You can also look at releases for a specific company or industry, such as high tech, banking, or automotive. Other areas of interest include IPOs on the Net, Trade Ticker News, which offers editorial content from trade publications, and Photowire, where you can download pictures of people, products, and so forth.
Corporate Information >[www.corporateinformation.com/]
No one went to great lengths to find a flashy title for this site, but they did reach far and wide to build it. This is a "meta site" - a guide to information about public or privately held companies; check out the Top 100 companies in the world; or look for information by country, from Albania and Algeria to Zambia and Zimbabwe. The site is decidedly global in scope, and to help you keep it all straight, it features a small clock showing the current time in New York, London, Frankfurt, and Tokyo.
The Public Register Annual Report Service >[www.annualreportservice.com/]
There aren't a lot of bells and whistles here: Just search for the annual reports of more than 1,500 companies, and then either download the one you want or read it on-line. It's a simple approach, but it's one that makes highly effective use of the interconnected nature of the Web.
Hoover's Online >[www.hoovers.com]
The heart of Hoover's Online is a directory of companies that you can search by name, ticker symbol, key word, or person's last name. What you get is a short summary of the firm, accompanied by lists of key numbers and executives, and links to related articles and the company's competitors, SEC filings, and press releases. Beyond its main database of company profiles which tracks more than 13,500 companies - Hoover's also offers IPO Central, with information about companies that are going public; a Stock Screener that lets you search for companies based on customized performance criteria; an Industry Zone with overviews of some 50 industries; and a List of Lists, where you'll find rankings of companies in a number of categories.
This site provides easy access to EDGAR, the huge database of documents that corporations have filed with the SEC. You can see current documents - from 10-Ks to proxy statements within minutes of when they are filed. When you find a filing of interest, you can click to see other documents filed by that company or to get a corporate profile. You can also search the database by name, ticker symbol, or industry, download information into your spreadsheet, and sign up to be notified by e-mail when companies you are following file documents.
A kind of on-line digest, allECommerce rounds up news from sources such as the BBC, Reuters, AP, C/Net, and The New York Times. Stories are presented as short summaries, along with links to the original source. In addition to general electronic-commerce news - updated several times a day - the site also offers reports on specific topics in categories such as Electronic Transaction & Banking; Encryption, Security & Privacy; Government & Legal; and Marketing News. Overall, the site provides a quick, concise, and up-to-date look at what's happening in the field.
The Electronic Commerce Guide >[e-comm.internet.com/]
The Electronic Commerce Guide, which focuses primarily on Internet retailing, has a fairly large news section, as well as more in-depth case studies and features such as "E-Commerce 101: What It Is, Where It's Going." Rounding out those stories is an "experts" section, which features commentary, interviews, and statistics, and a library of articles and white papers. If you're ready to act, a resources area provides scores of links to consortia, industry groups, vendors, user groups, and government agencies that deal with electronic commerce.
Electronic Commerce Today >[www.ectoday.com]
While many observers focus on the Web, Electronic Commerce Today looks at the big picture of business on-line - the one that includes not only Internet storefronts, but also the nuts and bolts of business-to-business links, electronic funds transfer, supply-chain management, and so forth. The site is home to a dozen electronic commerce-related newsletters, including EDI News, EFT Report, Electronic Commerce News, and Smart Card Quarterly. Each newsletter runs five or six stories, with much of the content aimed at the financial-services industry. You can also buy reports on topics such as reengineering for electronic commerce and EDI in healthcare. Most of the site is reserved for paying members.
Electronic Markets >[www.electronicmarkets.org]
Published by the Media and Communication Management Institute at Switzerland's University of St. Gallen, Electronic Markets offers research reports and case studies from e-commerce experts in a variety of countries. Articles - with titles such as "Toward Open Electronic Contracting" and "A Web-based Negotiation Support System" - are usually presented, in summary form, but you can download the full text. You can also search the publication's extensive archive or browse through categories such as "Basics and Definitions" to "Economic Theories" and the "Social Aspects of Electronic Markets."
Mayo Clinic Health Oasis >[www.mayohealth.org/]
This site is packed with a wealth of information that's delivered in a clear, but not overly simplistic, manner. Recent articles have run the gamut from foot swelling on long airline flights to "Life After Sudden Death," a doctor's account of his heart attack and recovery. A searchable database, a library, and various "centers" that focus on topics such as cancer heart disease, and nutrition help you understand and manage your health. You can questions to physicians, purchase Mayo Clinic books, and look up baffling terms in a glossary.
Wills of Notable People >[www.courttv.com/legaldocs/newsmakers/wills/]
Did you know that in his will, former Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger didn't make provisions for estate taxes? Or that Diana, the Princess of Wales, left [pounds]50,000 to her butler? That's the kind of information you'll find at Court TV's Wills of Notable People. You can also see how Jerry Garcia, Harry Helmsley, Marilyn Monroe and others wrapped things up - and perhaps pick up a few ideas that will be helpful in putting your own affairs in order.
The Street.com >[www.thestreet.com/]
This on-line publication for investors features. original reporting, and a lot of opinion and analysis. Stories are grouped in sections covering markets, funds, and companies, as well as Today's News and Commentary, and are updated frequently throughout the day. The Street.com prides itself on objectivity and accountability: Reporters and writers are barred from owning stock outside of mutual funds, and when the publication makes a bad call about the market, the mistake is cited in a "How We Did" column. The editors also point out that in life, you get what you pay for, so most of the site is accessible only to subscribers.
Lawyers are everywhere, but how do you find the right one? Start with Lawyers.com, which lets you search for legal help by city, state and dozens of practice areas ranging from consumer law and copyright to family law, real estate, and zoning. The site offers several sections that help you make your choice. "About the Law," for example, provides an overview of the basics, while "Hiring a Lawyer" walks you through topics such as "Do I Really Need an Attorney?" and "Evaluating Your Candidates." To aid communication, there's searchable glossary of some 10,000 legal terms.
BusinessTech takes a business-oriented view of technology, with a fair amount of context, explanation, opinion, and even philosophy mixed in with the news. Recent articles have looked at digital cash, the impact of increasing bandwidth on PC makers, and the international use of encryption. You'll also find regular columns about telecommunications, Internet law, and new technology; short profiles of high-tech companies; and interviews with high-tech movers and shakers such as Peter Keen, Kevin Kelly, and William Davidow. Most content is reserved for paying customers.
MIT Technology Review >[www.techreview.com]
This site focuses on innovation-which nowadays is rarely too far away from technology. There is a lot about computers and networks, but convergence is the word here, so you'll also find biotech and materials technology entering the mix. Recent articles have looked at the use of the Web in fighting epidemics, a potential new easy-to-use operating system, and nanotechnology. Several columns offer short, quick insights: "Prototype," for example, examines recent technical advances, while "Benchmarks" explores past innovations, such as the invention of celluloid and the development of the microwave oven and the photocopier.
Part of the growing CNET site, News.com specializes in technology news. Daily items are organized into categories, such as The Net, Year 2000, Personal Technology, and Communications, and a Perspectives section offers opinion and commentary that ranges from thoughtful to entertainingly irreverent. The site also offers interviews with SAP chairman Hasso Plattner, Amazon.com head Jeff Bezos, and other leading lights, and a News Alert feature that provides breaking stories in progress. If you like, News.com will also send you a daily e-mail update with the latest headlines.
This site is just like the print version of Wired magazine, only more so. There's a lot of attitude, and bit of an edge, but the content is solid. You'll find a healthy dose of down-to-earth, technology-related news, and ongoing special reports on the Microsoft trial and the Y2K problem. The site doesn't cover just technology, but the way technology and the Web are changing business and life in general. Thus, there's a culture section, lots of animation, blinking displays, and a gallery of dynamic on-line art. If you're new here, it can be a little overwhelming - but you can find help in Web 101, a primer on browsers, HTML, URLs, and the like.
InformationWeek is really aimed at technology managers and executives, but it can provide a good sense of the swarm of issues circling your CIO. News coverage of technologies and the technology industry is extensive. In addition to the latest on ERPs, PCs, Y2K, IBM, and AOL, look into Behind the News - which offers short bits of background - and Business Intelligence, which features research into IT issues. Finally, don't leave without checking out the InformationWeek 500, where you'll find background on companies that have been especially innovative in their use of IT.
The subject here is not so much technology, as the business around it - the companies and people that make the industry tick. The site offers daily news, as well as content from Upside in print. Regular columns include Hypemeter, which picks apart overblown issues, and Plane Truth, in which a pilot writes about the realities of air travel. On a more down-to-earth level, Upside offers its Elite 100 listing of influential people in the industry, an array of books for sale, and links to the home pages of Paul Allen, Steve Case, and other technocelebrities.
Discovery Channel >[www.discovery.com]
Instead of "have to know," the focus here is on "fun to know." News and features keep you up to speed on the physics of traffic jams, taxation in the ancient world, the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, and other conversation starters. Also, stop by Earth Alert for daily updates on natural and man-made disasters worldwide, or take a look at the Animal Cams that provide current video from zoos and aquariums.
Virtual Voyager >[www.chron.com/voyager/voyages/index.html]
Need a break, but don't have time to travel? Try a vicarious trip with the Virtual Voyager. In addition to magazine articles, you'll also find quirky on-line tours that will take you to Mardi Gras in New Orleans; a "Splendors of Egypt" museum exhibit in Houston; the skies above Roswell, NM; and much of the Midwest, on a tour with swing band Asleep at the Wheel.
GolfWeb says it's committed to "everything golf on the World Wide Web," and while that's a tall order, the site comes pretty close. You can get the latest scores, interviews, photos, and interviews from golf tours around the world, or dig through a library with articles on course design and photos of "Places You'd Love to Play." You can plan your next outing using a searchable guide to more than 21,000 courses in 10 countries. And you can get ready in the Pro Shop, which sells clubs, bags, books, and accessories.
Conde Nast Traveller >[www.cntraveller.com]
In addition to a collection of feature stories from the print version, this site provides regular travel updates and dozens of first-person travelogues. You can also search for a specific vacation spot or look through several reference sections: Guides to major world cities and hotels can help you plan your stay in places such as New York, Barcelona, and Hong Kong. Or, if you're looking for ideas, browse through the magazine's top 10 lists, which includes "coffee houses in Vienna," "country houses in Great Britain," and "ski resorts in the U.S."
A Virtual Toolkit
Here and there on the Web are a number of electronic tools - some useful, some interesting, and some that are just odd. Here's a sample....
[www.ucc.ie/cgi-bin/acronym] Search to find what things like BHRA, HOBIS, and XYZ mean. (Answers: British Hydromechanics Research Association; Hotel Billing Information System; Examine Your Zipper.)
[gserv.cc.columbia.edu/cgi bin/texis/webinator/search/bartlett] Search by word or phrase to find that pithy saying.
[www.biography.com] Look up brief bios on notables past and present.
[www.xe.net/currency/] Find out what equals what for dozens of currencies.
[work.ucsd.edu:5141/cgi bin/http_webster] Searches various on-line dictionaries, and returns definitions with all hypertext words, so you can look any of them up with just a click.
Real time flight tracker
[www.thetrip.com/usertools/flight tracking/0,1325,1-1,00.html] Find and follow specific flights, and get notified by e-mail when a flight lands.
[tycho.usno.navy.mil/what.html] See or hear the right time from U.S. Naval Observatory's Master Clock.
[www.dictionaries.travlang.com/] Find the right word in more than a dozen languages, including Esperanto and Latin.
[dailynews.yahoo.com/headlines/weather/index.html] Search for weather information for a specific area, or browse through several prepared reports.
Weights and measures
[www.intmed.mcw.edu/clincalc/wtmeas.html] Convert Fahrenheit to Celsius, and back again. Do the same with pounds and kilograms.
World Fact Book
[www.odci.gov/cia/publications/fact book/index.html] Explore extensive profiles of hundreds of countries; produced by the CIA.
RELATED ARTICLE: My Favorite Sites by James P. Hackett, President and CEO, Steelcase
I have about 35 favorites on my drop-down menu. There's MSNBC; I have the search engine focused on information about our company, the competition, and industries that I'm tracking to see how our business might be affected. I'll go to the local papers on the Web, because they usually do more follow-on stories. That helps me understand in greater detail what's going on. I also use Quicken software. The new version is designed so that the Web is running in the background all the time. When you're updating your portfolio, it dives into the Web, picks up the latest stock prices and adjusts all your financials.
My Favorite Sites by Kirk S. Campbell, President and CEO, International Data Corp.
One favorite, of course, is our site-IDC.com - with its market data and forecasts and so on. In general, I tend to stick pretty much in the technology space - InfoWorld and Computerworld are the places I usually go for the IT news. I also use the Web to register for conferences. And for personal use, I go to the typical, obvious sites - like Amazon.com. to get books. I find it is very convenient to buy books over the Internet.
RELATED ARTICLE: My Favorite Site By Hal Rosenbluth Chief Executive, Rosenbluth International
I use CNN/FN a lot. It has the stuff I'm looking for: information about businesses, the stock market. Plus I like Lou Dobbs. He convinced me that it's a great site, and that's why I look at it. Basically, I just use that one. I use it from the office; I don't go onto the Net at home, I can't get the computer away from my kids. The things I might look at while I'm at home are probably not business related. But if I could get on at home, I'd probably look at the typical things like Amazon.com, because I love to read. And I'd probably visit other retail kinds of sites, so I don't need to get in my car.
RELATED ARTICLE: [Have It Your Way]
The news is everywhere you look on the Web, and for most of us there's a lot more than we could possibly use. So increasingly, Web sites are offering customized news that lets you receive information that's relevant to you, and ignore the rest.
* CNN lets you build your own profile with a wide range of criteria in areas such as crime," "government," and "industries," as well as world regions, countries, and U.S. states. Or, you can select a "quickstart profile" that gives you ready-made options such as "U.S. and World News," "Science and Technology," and "A Little Bit of Everything."
* Yahoo! lets you create a custom home page that shows news headlines from the categories you select, the stock market indices and companies you want, sports scores for your favorite teams, etc.
* CNET's NewsWatch feature reduces your customized news to headlines that it displays in a small window on your PC. If you want the full story, click on the headline and the details appear.
* The Weather Channel site lets you customize your home page with forecasts and current conditions for five selected cities (out of some 1,600), notifications of weather-related flight delays at airports you use, and daily bits of weather trivia.
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|Title Annotation:||sample of interesting Web sites; Chief Executive Guide: Beyond the Internet|
|Publication:||Chief Executive (U.S.)|
|Date:||Mar 15, 1999|
|Next Article:||Home.front: more than just internal Internets, intranets and extranets are tying companies together - and blurring the boundaries between them.|