Finding what you need amid the jumble of the Internet can be like panning for treasure in a stream: You have to sort the true nuggets from the fool’s gold. If you’re an executive, you probably have even less time to search.
CEOExpress , whose motto is “Designed by a busy executive for busy executives,” tries to quickly put its users in touch with the best information on the Internet. Does it deliver? Here’s what we found.
Both the look and function of the CEOExpress home page are straightforward: Dozens of links are clustered together under broad categories. Graphics are intentionally sparse, and the background of each page is designed like a blue-lined legal pad.
The first collection of links is sectioned together under the heading “Daily News & Info.” These links are clustered by category, including daily news, business magazines, newsfeeds, business news, technology, and Internet search engines. Also featured are groups of links for international news, online magazines, online television news, time and weather, domain name registries, and health.
I was immediately impressed with both the variety and quality of the links the site provides. The daily newsgroup, for example, has links to the Chicago Tribune , The Christian Science Monitor, The New York Times , and The Boston Globe .
Above the Daily News & Info section is a bar of links to the Fortune 500, the Financial Times Global 500, Inc.’s top 500, Hoover’s List of Lists, and 10 questions that CEOExpress recommends “every CEO should ask about the Internet.”
As a first-time visitor to the site, I mistakenly thought the site ended with a set of links to shipping companies. That’s a design flaw, as far as I’m concerned, because I almost missed the hundreds of other links grouped under “Business Research,” “Office Tools & Travel,” and “Break Time,” which are accessible simply by scrolling farther down the page. You can also access those headings by clicking on a bar above “Daily News & Info.”
At the bottom of the home page is a list of online retailers grouped under: “Auction,” “Computers/Software,” “Books,” “Rare & Used Books,” “Music/Multimedia,” “General Merchandise,” and “Consumer Information.”
Registering and customizing
If you don’t see your favorite site or if you want to delete one provided by CEOExpress, you can customize your page by registering. When finished, users can click on the lower-case “e” beside each group of links and add or delete the sites they want.
Another helpful feature for members is the first bar of links that gives users access to Amazon.com (which is listed under “Bookshop”), information on member programs, and access to a page for your own stock portfolio. Yet another tab on that bar, labeled “Career Center,” links to a list of job-search sites. Although there is a tab labeled “Your email,” the site’s e-mail service is not yet available. Users can put together several categories of “personal links” near the top of the page. If users want their personal links to stay personal, they can click on the “Hide ‘Personal Links’ Section” to keep them out-of-sight.
One of the most interesting features that registering allows is access to the “Great Sites Archive,” which is highlighted at the top of the page with a pair of sunglasses. Link to that, and you find a list of featured sites. To the left of the page, you find a navigation bar that includes other groups of sites related to the arts, technology, history and other topics.
There’s also an “Editor’s Choice” tab on the navigation bar that highlights several links picked by the site’s editor. When I visited, there were links to How Stuff Works as well as a collection of de-classified documents from the CIA at the Popular Document Collection.
I wish I had found CEOExpress before I painstakingly tracked down dozens of my favorite sites and bookmarked them on my Web browser. Maybe I should have just added CEOExpress to my list of favorites instead.
Though I haven’t changed any of the standard links on the site, I like being able to add or remove my favorites. Having the option of including 10 stocks in your “portfolio” is also beneficial.
For the number of links on the site, reading through them is surprisingly easy; there’s no clutter. But with so many links, it would make a visit to the site even easier if a site map or a search was included. (The company confirmed that they are planning to add a search function in February.)
Whether you’re a CEO or not, CEOExpress is one resource that can quickly help you find what you’re looking for.
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