Tara Calishain is the co-author of Official Netscape Guide to Internet Research, 2nd Edition, and author or co-author of four other books. She is the owner of CopperSky Writing & Research.
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Now that we went and spent all that time covering the states, they go and start changing on us. Oh, the perils of writing about the Internet. The latest change
is Your Oklahoma at http://www.youroklahoma.com/. You can learn all about working and living in this state, as well as the education opportunities.
The section on Operating a Business provides general requirements, laws and tax information and explores economic development and employer resources. Also under Operating a Business are the licensing requirements for various professions across the state. There are also sections on the Government and History of Oklahoma.
There are several ways to find stuff on this site. The homepage has a list of queries you can choose from in the right column. In the upper left column is a keyword search option. And in the middle column is a link to YourOklahoma search, which has an advanced search that includes word form choices and ranking factors. Yet another search option from the middle column is “Find a
Business,” where business can be searched by partial or full name, and searches can be narrowed with drop-down boxes for types of business, city or county.
Additional features on the site include a calendar of state events, the most popular sites and a message from the Governor. Coming soon will be professional license renewals and more.
Martindale Hubbell has launched a new site for the in-
house counsel at http://corporate.martindale.com/xp/Corporate/Login/introduction.xml.
Corporate Martindale offers access the Law Digest Online and the Lawyer Locator. With free registration, you also have access to their summaries of the states plus other countries worldwide.
The Canadian Government has launched a revised consumer information Website at http://ConsumerInformation.ca. The site, in French and English, provides consumer information from over 35 Federal and over 250 territorial departments and agencies.
Select from the list of Subjects and a popup window gives you the option to narrow your search by jurisdiction(s). (You can also just click the Go link
in the popup window without selecting any jurisdiction.) Next, there are links the sub- topics available under the selected subject, and the number each sub-topic’s documents. Also included in a list of general information documents listed alphabetically by title. (Note that documents titles starting with articles are listed by the article and not by the second word: i,e., A Better Way to Renovate is listed under A.) Annotations are excellent and the list of
documents is easy to read.
To the left of the sub-topics is the list of jurisdictions again, if you want to alter your query. You will also find a box for keyword searching and a drop-down box of topics. Beyond is a link to the advanced search that offers searching by ALL or ANY keywords, or PHRASE, and additional options for narrowing the search. Below is another browse option that offers browsing from drop-down institutions and topics, or by title of document.
Canadian Consumer Information has a Showcase which features services from various agency sites, such as Food Recalls or a Credit Card Costs Calculator. (The front page lists a few items from the showcase, but do yourself a favor and click on “Complete Showcase” for all the items.) Take a few minutes to look at this site. It has a lot of information and its easy to find. Way to go Canada.
In its recent survey, The World Markets Research Center reports that, globally speaking, governments are not using the Internet to its fullest potential. The
online presence of 196 nations was audited on a 100- point scale using such criteria as economic development, health, education and more.
The United States scored the highest with just 57.2 points. Also scoring more than 50 points was Taiwan with 52.5 points and Australia with 50.7. Other
findings are: only one-third of the sites were searchable, and less than 10% offer executable services or link to a government portal.
The WMRC also reports the major holdup to e-government’s progress is security. And once higher security levels are reached “e-government could
revolutionize the relationship between government and citizen.” Get more information in the press release: http://library.northernlight.com/FE20011018020000071.html.
The Canada Encyclopedia is now available free online at
http://thecanadianencyclopedia.com/. A simple keyword search is at the top of the site’s main page or you can do an advanced search. (Advanced search appears in a popup window and seems to be Boolean simplified through
a series of pull-down menus.)
A search for “conservation” found what appears to be 40 pages of results. Information included the article title, a brief summary, and a number of leaves to indicate relevance. The articles themselves appear in popup windows when you click on the article title. I found them well-written and nicely cross-referenced.
If you don’t want to search, you can instead use the subject index, covering topics from agriculture to zoology. There are also featured articles (right now
the featured article is about Pierre Elliott Trudeau), interactive maps, and graphics with demographic information about Canada.
Nicely done. Worth a look.
Speaking of encyclopedias, you probably remember that several months ago Encyclopedia Britannica announced that it would no longer be free. This decision has been implemented; you can still search the online encyclopedia but you’ll get only the first part of the article and a big pitch to pay up and join the site.
If you need encyclopedia access but don’t have the scratch for a subscription, you might want to take a look at Britannica Concise at
http://education.yahoo.com/reference/encyclopedia/. It’s not as thorough as the full version, but it’s free. You can search by keyword, browse by letter, or
check out the entry and illustration indexes. Worth a look.