WELCOME to the December 2009 edition of The Information Advisor's BestBizWeb Enewsletter!
Here is our monthly review of the best business research sites we've come across:

SITE: Cogmap

URL: www.cogmap.com

CATEGORY: Company Research/Wiki

PURPOSE: Cogmap is a directory and organizational chart of 130,000 employees at 8,000 organizations around the globe.


SOURCE CHECK: All of the information on the site is generated by registered users. The consulting firm that helped build the site is called No, Inc., and it along with sister firm Cogmap, LLC is located in Baltimore. Cogmap was launched in 2007.

OUR VIEW: This is a fascinating site if you are trying to find the names, titles, and reporting structure for people in companies and various organizations. As with all wikis, you need to be careful as to the accuracy and timeliness of the data, and there are lots of gaps in coverage. But this kind of information is difficult to obtain, and sometimes you can get lucky by turning up just what you need by checking here. Note that earlier this year we profiled another wiki-based organization chart directory called The Official Board (www.theofficialboard.com). Consider this site if you want to find the names, titles, and reporting structures of employees in thousands of firms around the world.

SITE: BNET: Industries

URL: http://industry.bnet.com/company-index/?tag=content;col1

CATEGORY: Company Research

PURPOSE: This page provides facts, recent news, names and titles of executives, descriptions, sales, peer comparisons, and links to other information sources on thousands of public and private firms in the U.S. and around the world.


SOURCE CHECK: The site is part of the CNET network, which itself is owned by CBS Interactive.

OUR VIEW: We were surprised at how much information, on so many large and small firms, was available, and how detailed the information was on this site. Firms in selected industries such as advertising, automotive, energy, financial services, food, healthcare, media, pharmaceutical, retail, technology, and travel industries are covered the most. The level and extent of data varies by individual company, but you can nearly always find a company profile, recent news, and sales data. Note that BNET has lots of other useful business information as well, such as original articles, reports on new products, legal settlements, M&A, and other timely business issues. Consider this site if you are looking for information on public or private firms around the world.

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.

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


SITE: LinkedIn: Companies

URL: www.linkedin.com/companies

CATEGORY: Company Research

PURPOSE: This section of LinkedIn provides factual information on public and private firms around the globe. For publicly held firms, it provides a link to detailed financials, ownership, stock, and other related data.

FEE/FREE: FREE (must register)

SOURCE CHECK: The majority of the data on LinkedIn’s own company profile site is generated via its own members; the link to the data on public companies is provided by CNBC.

OUR VIEW: There are several aspects and features that we appreciate about LinkedIn as a go-to site for finding company profile information. There’s coverage of global and U.S. firms, and both public and private companies are included. You get the standard news, description, and company profile data along with unusual and hard-to-find information such as executive and managers’ names and titles as well as interesting aggregated data (e.g., common titles, median age, and school). Furthermore, we found that the charts provided by CNBC for the public companies provide some of the most comprehensive and easiest to digest data of any free company profile site around. Consider this site if you are doing any kind of global company research and want timely, free, and in-depth data.
CLICK HERE to view the BestBizWeb archive!

SITE: Twitter for Business

URL: http://johnjantsch.com/TwitterforBusiness.pdf

CATEGORY: Social Media

PURPOSE: This is a guide for businesses on how to use Twitter for PR, marketing, and other business applications.


SOURCE CHECK: This report was created late this past summer by John Jantsch, a marketing and digital technology coach, well-known social media publisher, and author of Duct Tape Marketing and The Referral Engine (May 2010). Jantsch lives in Kansas City, Mo.

OUR VIEW: While there’s no shortage of sites and sources on how to use social media for business purposes, we were particularly impressed with this one that focuses on the use of Twitter. The PDF document is clear, direct, to the point, nicely designed, and written by a recognized expert in the field. Consider this site if you want to know how to use Twitter for business purposes.

SITE: Megan Mulherin’s Blog

URL: http://classes.tametheweb.com/meganmulherin


PURPOSE: This is a blog about news, trends, and tips related to information, research, online searching, and library issues.


SOURCE CHECK: This blog is written as part of a library science class by Megan Mulherin. Mulherin is studying for her master’s in library science at Dominican University in River Forest, Ill .

OUR VIEW: We’re always pleased to find a thoughtful, well-written, and incisive blogger on the information industry, and we were particularly delighted to discover that this outstanding blog was created by a student. Megan tackles issues of interest to all the information industry, including business research. She is an excellent writer and has put together a well-designed and appealing site. Consider this site if you want to get some interesting news, reflection, and thoughtful analysis on online research, trends in searching, and the library/ information industry.

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).

Intelligent Agent BlogBreaking News & Thoughtful Discussion About Business Research
Robert Berkman's blog, Intelligent Agent, is available at www.ia-blog.com. Add the feed to your blog roll!

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