Benchmarks On The Internet
by Scott Jackson
Published November 1996

(Index of Other Articles)

Having wrapped up the remaining details of our recent Silicon Beach exposition I have turned my attention to judging duties for the National Information Infrastructure (NII) Awards. This is the second year for the awards and recognizes the best practices and projects that make use of the Internet and other communications projects. Sponsored by more than 60 industry, government and community leaders, the awards recognize innovation and excellence in use of the "Information Highway." in several categories (last years winners may be viewed at

I have been involved in judging entrants in the Business category and have the opportunity to share with the chamber members some very interesting projects that are accessible by those who have Internet access. These are projects that have been through a comprehensive process involving judges around the nation conducting "virtual" evaluations, i.e. they rate the projects from their computer via the Internet.

Silicon Investor (Financial Online Service) may be viewed at Provides quotes, charts, discussion forums, company profiles, and innovative interactive features. Its members can locate information quickly, discover new ideas, and exchange facts and opinions with other investors. This site is receiving high reviews by the judges.

The Industry.Net Online Marketplace ( Provides members with a wealth of information including catalogs, corporate profiles, product/service descriptions, drawings and specifications, brochures, demo software and more. It brings together a large community of buyers and sellers in a dynamic, interactive environment.

The Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition ( The Interactive Edition provides

not only pioneering markets coverage but all the most important news in business, technology,

marketing, the law, even sports and weather. You’ll also find your favorite Journal features plus

an expanded editorial section. With its easy, newspaper-like structure, the Interactive Edition

makes it easy to find what you're looking for and to dig deeper for additional information.


National Semiconductor's Website for Design Engineers (

This site focuses on a critical business process and a critical business audience: system design engineers.

The Weather Channel website ( is also a contender.

FaxSav for Internet ( This is my favorite and offers high value to chamber members who have Internet access. This uses your Internet connection to send faxes at considerable savings. Operation is transparent to the user - no need to change work habits. Extends communication capabilities - bridges the gap between people who don’t have email or access to a network and those who do. Delivery notifications are sent directly to the sender’s email address. Fax to the U.S. from anywhere in the world for $.15 per page. Savings on International faxing ranges from 50% to 80%. FaxSav automatically refaxes documents eliminating problems with busy signals and lost connections. Users pay only for successful delivery. NOTE: I have obtained this program and working with it is a snap.

BCBSMA's HealthWire Electronic Network ( Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts owns and licenses information technology that provides connectivity for the transmission of health data and information between health care providers, insurers, employers and consumers.

There were many other good sites as well but space will not allow me to elaborate. With the World Wide Web becoming increasingly crowded with new sites it becomes exceedingly difficult to locate good sites that are easy to navigate and provide rich content. For more information about some great sites and to get updates on the chamber’s activities go to the chamber’s page at If you don’t have access and would like to investigate some of our local providers, the ones active in our Information Technology Committee are good starting points. Cybertron, Nucleus Communications, ETS/ARCNet, Gulf Coast Internet Company, Gulfnet Technologies, and Webm@sters are ready to get you plugged in.

This article was published in the November 1996 issue of Coastlines, a publication for the Fort Walton Beach (FL) Chamber of Commerce courtesy of the Daily News.

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