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My Favorite Home Pages

Brian NelsonBrian Nelson
research director
Gallup Organization
Tokyo office

Brian's list of favorite sites focuses on gathering information, so it isn't surprising that his lead recommendation is the website of his employer, The Gallup Organization. The Gallup Poll has been tracking public opinion on major social issues for nearly 60 years. With offices in 27 countries, Gallup provides management and marketing research and related consulting to corporate clients and conducts polls in over 80 countries.
One of the major reasons people use the Internet is to learn more about a subject, for free, through the convenience of information retrieval services and/or news-related websites. In line with this trend, The Gallup Organization continues (since 1935) to keep the world informed through public release of Gallup Poll data. You'll find this data available for viewing and downloading at Gallup's own homepage. As an example of the kinds of information available, Gallup has recently released data covering subjects ranging from "the public's reaction to the Clinton crisis" to country-specific data from China, India, the US, and Japan. The Gallup website also offers information about the products (for example, Advertising Effectiveness Research, Customer Satisfaction and Employee Satisfaction studies, and Marketing Research services) we provide.
The PointCast Network is a great "push" news service that allows you to customize the information you want to retrieve, and sort it into specific categories (industry, company, etc.). There is also a ticker tape that you can add to your screen to keep up with sports scores and the latest news from multiple industries. Recently, I've run across a couple of people who have chosen to de-install PointCast because they found the information updating settings and automatic screen saver feature too intrusive. Take a good look at the content available before jumping ship, though; most people who do use it, use it every day.
The Bloomberg News website is a great news source for information on all the financial markets. It also has sports and lifestyle sections. The content is very timely and easy to read, which I consider key for an Internet news website. Bloomberg has been able to take a ton of data and make it easy to sort through -- a great example for other websites to emulate.
This site was formerly called Japan Biztech, but it has recently been expanded to cover more of Asia. The news on Asia Biztech focuses on the information technology industry, and so should be of particular interest to the readers of Computing Japan.
I try to stop by the CNN website at least once a day. For very quick news on current issues, this is an excellent and useful site.
Schauwecker's Guide to Japan contains, as the name suggests, a wide variety of information on Japan and things Japanese. There is even a monthly test you can take to check your knowledge of Japan.
Amazon Books is so far the best and easiest way to buy books online; great selection and good value. Barnes and Noble is still working hard to become a competitive second.
Life isn't all work. To keep up with the interests of my two-year-old son, which is mostly the accumulation of new toys, I use the Toys R Us website to find out about the most popular games and gadgets. There are also some fun areas here for my son to view when we surf the Net together.
Starwave is a good place to access for news, sports, and entertainment. It offers ABC News, ESPN's SportsZone, plus many more news and finance, sports, and entertainment offerings, including a CD-ROM music section.
CNET specializes in Internet-related information. This is a very up-to-date and useful site if you're looking for products and services being offered on the Net.


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