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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Whats on the web
Whats on the web
Article Type: Whats on the web From: Strategic Direction, Volume 24, Issue 4.
Doing business with
Surprisingly enough, this serious and newsy site focuses on EU dominated issues. A large proportion of the site is comprised of various news articles about current concerns, which certainly could not be considered light reading. The newswire page provides articles from previous weeks. Details are also given of events that are planned for the week ahead. Several useful resources are featured on the site for those with business interests in the EU, such as currency converters, dictionaries (though one gets redirected to another site for these), and travel information. The library page gives yet more articles along with such items as fact sheets about EU legislation. Though the content is heavy the general layout of the site is easy to use with fresh aesthetics and a good search feature listing both topic areas and the countries these may relate to.
Bland and uninteresting is the first impression one gets from this site; it looks as if they have been attempting a minimal image but overdone the amount of literature and underdone color and artwork, of which there is barely any. However, the some of the articles on the site are reasonably interesting, many of them citing success stories of young entrepreneurs. A heavy focus seems to be placed on the various TV shows which search out new business talent, such as Dragons Den and others of that ilk. The “blogroll” link leads viewers to various other sites within the business arena, most of the stories have been categorized and there is a “latest post” section containing the most current items. This (mostly blog) site may be worth a quick look if you have a spare five minutes but do not expect wonders.
“BIOS automatically scours the internet every hour to index and archive the latest breaking IT news from our selected newswires”. This is a really nice site, aiming to provide small businesses with technological info, with a professional design and good, up-to-date content. It covers news (though some of the headlines are less than catchy) and reviews of new equipment that are subdivided into innovations, hardware and software along with a couple of other categories. Several helpful guides related to issues such as how to make the most of internet marketing and understanding data backup are featured on the site, alongside podcasts offering advice on further subjects. White papers are also provided as are links to other sites that may be of interest. Avoid the “shop” page as one is redirected to a different website. To sum up our opinion of this site in two words: we like.
This American “one stop reference for business information” looks a little on the crowded side, with a homepage that seems a bit haphazardly put together. Much of it looks to be comprised of adverts and one would guess this is where the majority of their revenue comes from. It does however have a fairly comprehensive business directory, with the option to sort by classification, geography, industry and most viewed. It also gives an industry overview of most sectors, encompassing many sub sectors. The “people” page contains articles about influential executives along with a networking facility; registration (free) is required to make use of this feature though. Each section of the site has a related blogs link, some of which are quite interesting. This site is better than the first impression suggests; informative pieces are combined with a reasonable layout throughout most of the pages.
Not all free
A site dedicated to all things downloadable, it covers areas from business to games, e-mail to programming. Unfortunately the name of the site seems to be slightly misleading; downloads are about a 50-50 mix of free and payment required. Each of the options given on this site has a description and user rating, along with the number of times the product has been downloaded that week. The business page alone contains a fairly extensive range of products such as accounting tools, card and label makers, inventory systems and unit conversion tools to name but a few. The site is well presented though there seem to be endless pages and therefore endless links. It would take quite a while to peruse all the products that this site has to offer (30,000 free ones by their reckoning), but the categories narrow it down to some extent and the site does have a search facility.
A few words of wisdom for the new year:
To spot the expert, pick the one who predicts the job will take the longest and will cost the most.
It is never wise to let any piece of electronic equipment know that you are in a hurry.
The less intelligent the idea, and the person stating it, the more likely it will be funded.
Best of all
For a particularly interesting and useful site you could always try the Emerald one!
If you have any favorite (or otherwise) sites that you would like us to review on these pages, or wish us to consider your own site, please drop us an e-mail and we will ask our reviewers to check them out.