The Web is the greatest information appliance ever invented — if you can actually find what you need, that is. Here are five sites that will help you fast-forward to what you're looking for — so that you won't get lost in the tangle of the Web.
|Site||You'll Find||Bookmark This||Toss This|
|If you want a convenient way to keep up with your favorite sites, visit Backwire, which monitors those sites — so you don't have to.||Backwire sends daily or weekly emails, summarizing news about the sites that you've selected and providing links to that information.||Merchandisers will try to sell you stuff based on the categories you choose.|
|Similar to HotLinks, Blink lets you upload, organize, and store your bookmarks online.||The "related-link" technology lets you retrieve links from other members who have similar bookmark folders and similar site preferences.||Want to view your bookmarks? You wait for the user interface to present a new Web page — and you can't view all your bookmarks at the same time.|
| Fast City
|Just the facts, ma'am. Data on everything from entertainment to sports, drawn from sites that have incorporated Fact City's functionality.||Real answers to specific questions. Want to know the population of San Francisco? You'll get the actual fact, with the source credited.||Because of deals with ESPN, the Internet Movie Database, and Muze, much of the site's material is entertainment-oriented.|
|A place to find, store, access, organize, and share your bookmarks online.||The HotLinks guide is a directory of member links; you tap into only those sites that the community has deemed worthy enough to bookmark.||Found other sites that you'd like to bookmark? You can save them to your HotLinks account, but you can't export them to your browser.|
|Connects people with questions to people with answers by phone.||Pick a category — from arts and entertainment to business and finance — and you get a list of experts who are available to take your call.||If you use your phone line to connect to the Internet, you'll need to log off quickly.|
A version of this article appeared in the June 2000 issue of Fast Company magazine.