Enterprises are launching “corporate portals,” gateway sites that act as an entryway to both a company’s Web presence and its intranet. In this column, Web consultant Kelly McKnight gives his opinion on a corporate portal, highlighting strengths and weaknesses that may translate to your company’s Web presence. The following index provides an objective look at the site’s features.
Kelly’s thoughts on the Business Roundtable Web site
The first step in helping people find your site is the URL. In my humble opinion, the best URL is one that reflects the company name. In other words, if the name of your company is ABC, your URL ought to be If you want to use the initials of your company, that’s great. If you want to spell out the entire name of your company, that’s fine. What I don’t like is a combination of both—and that’s exactly what Business Roundtable did.

OK, I’ll get over it. But the next thing I was hit with is the graphic wallpaper background, which, of course, has to load before any content comes up. The U.S. Department of Commerce did the same thing. What’s with these business information Web sites? Don’t they wonder why their sites load so slow and look so bad?

Graphically, the BRT’s site looks kind of unbalanced. All the content is on the right side of the site with a weird scroll bar placement. Don’t ask me why it was laid out this way, but it sure looks strange.

If you don’t know who the Business Roundtable is, join the club. The name implies a bunch of King Arthur knights getting ready to do battle for truth and honor. Today’s BRT describe themselves as: “An association of chief executives of leading US corporations.” They also said: “The Roundtable believes that the basic interests of the business closely parallel the interests of the American people.” Especially those Americans that are CEOs of big companies, I bet.

But, let’s get back to the site.

The site is well organized. Information was well thought-out and appears in a logical manner. The site features a nice, interactive survey about funding your Social Security account.

The verdict
Overall, the site isn’t very deep. There’s just not a whole lot here. There are a couple of PR releases with some basic info and that’s about it. To me, the site feels like a front for a lobbying group, where they provide as little information as possible. But I wouldn’t know for sure because I’m not a CEO of a Fortune 100 company.

Kelly McKnight is a principal of Via Internet Studio, a consulting firm that specializes in corporate Web site design, Internet marketing, and e-commerce.

Now it’s your turn to review the Business Roundtable Web site. Just click on Rate this Site! and you can help separate the good from the bad from the ugly. It only takes a minute or two to complete your rating, so don’t waste any more time—rate this site now! For Kelly’s rating, scroll below and click to page two.