WELCOME to the December 2010 edition of The Information Advisor's BestBizWeb Enewsletter!
Here is our review of the best business research sites we've come across.
This month we focus on sites and sources for researching the banking and financial industries.

SITE: MetaLib

URL: http://metalib.gpo.gov

CATEGORY: Government Information/Search Engine

PURPOSE: This site searches a selected set of U.S. federal government databases and retrieves actual documents as well as links to the original source material.


SOURCE CHECK: MetaLib was created by the United States Government Printing Office (GPO).

OUR VIEW: We were extremely impressed with this government information search engine. Not only is the data set itself comprehensive and authoritative, the advanced and expert search options provide for some excellent filtering (by subject, date, author, etc.) and sorting options, truly helping make the search more precise and useful. In fact, it’s one of the most useful and powerful government information search engines we’ve come across in several years. Consider this site if you are researching a topic covered by an agency in the U.S. government.

SITE: Top Analyst Blogs

URL: http://technobabble2dot0.wordpress.com/2009/11/30/top-analyst-blogs

CATEGORY: Blogs/Investment Research

PURPOSE: A ranking of the 400 most influential technology analyst bloggers


SOURCE CHECK: This list, and the Technobabble 2.0 blog itself, is a creation of Jonny Bentwood, a PR consultant for Edelman. His own work focuses on analyst relations, technology strategy, and social media.

OUR VIEW: If you want to know which technology bloggers to follow, or which ones are influencing others and have the widest reach, this is the place to turn. Bentwood carefully constructed this list by providing each blogger a weighted score by combining several accepted and leading metrics: Google PageRank, Yahoo! Inbound Links, Google Inbound Links, Google Reader Subscribers, Frequency of Posts, Comments, Twitter Inbound Links, and other factors. Consider this site if you want to know the thought leaders in the technology industry or need strategic advice and analysis from a leading analyst.
This month's featured book from the publisher of The Information Advisor
The Extreme Searcher's Internet Handbook, 3rd Edition

The Extreme Searcher's Internet Handbook, 3rd Edition
A Guide for the Serious Searcher
by Randolph Hock

The Extreme Searcher's Internet Handbook is the essential guide for anyone who uses the Internet for research—librarians, teachers, students, writers, business professionals, and others who need to search the Web proficiently. In this fully updated third edition, award-winning writer and Internet trainer Ran Hock covers strategies and tools (including search engines, portals, and social networks) for all major areas of Internet content.

2010 • ISBN: 978-0-910965-84-2 • $24.95

SITE: ClosetLibrarian

URL: http://twitter.com/ClosetLibrarian

CATEGORY: Social Media

PURPOSE: This Twitter user is a librarian who provides mini summaries and links to important and authoritative research and studies on a wide range of business, technology, and social topics.


SOURCE CHECK: The “Closet Librarian” is Anna Shallenberger of Shallenberger Intelligence Services, located in Tualatin, Ore.

OUR VIEW: What we really appreciate about this Twitter user is her ability to find the really significant research studies, quickly summarize the scope and results in short tweets, and provide the link to the original study. Topics range from technology use to education, business trends, social life, and more, but virtually all are substantive and valuable for serious research purposes. Consider this site if you need to keep up with the latest finding from universities, nonprofits, and other organizations that conduct publicly accessible research.
CLICK HERE to view the BestBizWeb archive!

SITE: Choose the Best Search for Your Information Need

URL: www.noodletools.com/debbie/literacies/information/5locate/adviceengine.html

CATEGORY: Search Engines

PURPOSE : This site organizes and categorizes a wide range of search engines and finder tools and provides tips on which one to use based on one’s research need.


SOURCE CHECK: This is a creation of NoodleTools, a firm that is best known for its popular NoodleBib automated bibliographic report creation tools. The firm is based in California and co-founded in 1999 by Debbie Abilock and her son Damon. OUR VIEW: While there are countless search engine roundup-type sites on the web, including some very good ones created by librarians and information pros, this is about the best one we’ve come across. It is exceptionally comprehensive, well-organized, and up-to-date. Most importantly, it provides on-target advice on when to use which one. This page could be of special value for training and educational purposes for less savvy internet researchers. Consider this site if you want to get a full overview of the types and differences of search engines or teach others how to be effective searchers on the web.

SITE: America ’s Largest Private Companies

URL: http://tinyurl.com/2fmtvqu

CATEGORY: Company Information

PURPOSE: A collection of statistical and narrative data and charts on the largest private firms in the U.S.


SOURCE CHECK: Forbes magazine’s own editorial research

OUR VIEW: You can’t get a more authoritative source on a difficult topic such as private company information than Forbes. This URL brings you to the wide range of stories and lists that Forbes has put together on America’s largest firms, but you can also link to a data rich chart directly at www.forbes.com/lists/2010/21/private-companies-10_rank.html. There you can view the firms ranked by revenue (sometimes estimated), as well as information on industry, number of employees, and location. Consider this site if you want to find information and data on the largest private firms in the U.S.

We are particularly interested in hearing about any sites you'd like to nominate. If we use your submission, your name will be entered in our monthly drawing for a $25 Amazon.com gift certificate. Please send comments to editor Robert Berkman (rberkman@infotoday.com).

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