Top-Rated Websites for Executives

Information Technology (IT) is a tool in today’s business world that includes database management, global transactions, personnel management, logistics, and numerous other functions of an organization. IT includes the internet and website technologies that provide and transmit information at a pace never imagined before. Information is essential for any business executive or professional since it provides the necessary inputs in making a decision, on planning or making a strategy. Thus, a website that gives comprehensive links to useful information cannot be discounted.

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CEO Express (CEOExpress, n.d.) is a website that can offer valuable information to an executive or professional who needs a comprehensive list of relevant materials. CEO Express offers web links to numerous websites which can offer assistance to executives and professionals alike. The links in each section lead to other websites with updated information. CEO Express also offers membership for a fee for premium content and other online services (email, contact management, scheduling, etc.). However, with the numerous information presented on the homepage, the user has to scroll down five times to view all the contents. The varied contents, though, despite their quantity are well organized and not cluttered, allowing easy browsing by the user.

The homepage has four general sections, namely: a) Daily News & Info (with the following subsections: Daily News, Business News, International News, Online Television News, Cell Phone Messaging, Track Packages, Time & Weather, Business Magazines, Business Knowledge on WhitePapers and McKinseyQuarterly, Tech Magazines & News, Lifestyle Magazines, Health, Newsfeeds – General [US and Opinion Feeds] and Specialty [Business, International, Politics and Off Beat News], and Internet Search; b) Business Research (with the following subsections: Financial Markets, SEC, Government Agencies [International Agencies and Government Portals], Statistics, Research & Surveys, Legislature, Business Links, Quotes and Market News, Online Investor Services; Small Business, [SOHO Resources and Taxes], Law, Online Marketing [Metrics), Company Research, [Ratings and Online Research Tips], International Business, Investing & IPO Research, Bankruptcy, and Cutting Edge), c) Office Tools & Travel (Office Tools [Maps and Tax Info], Speech & Writing, Reference [Dictionaries, Libraries], Directory Search, Essential Downloads, Tech Tools, Airlines [Schedules, Frequent Flyers, Book Flights and Live Airplane Tracking], and Travel [Express Travel Center/Ticketing, Discount Travel, Travel Guides, Driving, Trains, Accommodations, etc.), and d) Breaktime (with subsections Sports, Autos, Real Estate, Leisure, Unwind, Business Shopping, Fun Shopping and Travel Shopping).

CEO Express contains links carefully selected so that only relevant contents are included (e.g. business and marketing, technology and science, stocks, politics and current events). Therefore, at a glance, executives and professionals can find the needed information with the facility. Business trends, political events and government policies affect organizations and their transactions. Therefore, browsing the links can provide the user the necessary inputs whether to invest in a corporation, lobby with the government, negotiate business in another country, expand the business venture, utilize the latest technologies and applications to facilitate transaction or logistical concerns, or shift to new research-based and studies management strategies and personnel development. Details on these subjects can be found on the CEO Express website. Besides the links to several online newspapers based in the US and other countries, CEO Express links up with a number of online television channels that add to its effectiveness for professionals and executives. Weather conditions and travel advisories would provide the user guidelines on the appropriate time to travel (facilitated by online booking for travel).

From the Editor’s Corner, CEO Express’ featured article is “Lost Luggage” from the website Magellan’s (Magellan’s, 2009). The article discusses the problems that travelers experience with their luggage which can be lost, damaged or delayed. The article itself has a simplistic presentation without technical jargon. Thus, its audience is everyone, every traveler, whether a top executive or a lowly worker.

The featured article presents the problems experienced by travelers on delayed, damaged and lost luggage as reported by the US Department of Transportation. It also occurs that checked-in luggage may be transported in another flight that passengers have to wait for its arrival at a later time. Bags may also be transported to a different airport that it will take days to locate but airline companies would normally deliver them to the passenger once rerouted. Partial reimbursement may be requested if an expense is incurred for personal items caused by the delay. Damage to the luggage and missing contents should be checked before leaving the airport and submit a claim package for submission to the Transportation Security Administration. Lost luggage can be paid for a maximum liability of $2800 per passenger for a domestic flight (unless a greater value is declared) while airline liability for international flights varies.

The article also presented valuable tips for the traveler such as, checking in with a sufficient time before flight departure, know the destination code which must correspond with that of the tag in the luggage, list the complete itinerary (e.g. hotels, contact numbers and addresses, duration of stay for proper delivery of delayed luggage), personalized luggage tags and designs (a digital camera can take a photo of them for easy identification), having clothes in a carry-on bag in case a luggage is delayed or lost, locking the luggage with a TSA approved lock, and reporting any loss or damage while still in the airport. The tips provide guidelines for a busy executive and professional who are regularly on a trip which I find personally applicable to me. I also learned that I would be able to claim partial reimbursement on additional expenses incurred on personal items due to delay in the arrival of the luggage.

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Google news (Google news, 2009) features sections on Top Stories, World, U.S., Business, Sci/Tech, Entertainment, Sports, Health and Spotlight. The webpage presents articles and news from various websites. Business news can be found not only in the Business section but also in the Top Stories section. iGoogle (iGoogle, n.d.) has minimal content that includes Weather, Date & Time, YouTube link, and news articles from CNN.com. Only three current news articles are featured from CNN.com. The link at the footer named Business Solutions leads to a webpage that is more beneficial for a webmaster, online marketer or one engaged in online business ventures. Clicking on the Weather link leads to a page with a historical temperature of Google Headquarters in Mountain View, CA; Air quality, Airport conditions and a navigable map of the US with temperature for each location. Clicking the temperature would reveal more details such as humidity, wind, pressure, precipitation, etc. This feature is relevant for the executive who has to travel. Maximizing the Date & Time box leads to a calendar with clock and navigable world map that shows the time where the red pin is placed. Due to the minimal contents of iGoogle, the executive may better surf other websites with more features unless only the temperature and weather conditions are specifically targeted for search. Contents of both Google news and iGoogle are limited compared with CEO Express. Moreover, the sections found in Google news and iGoogle are also featured in CEO Express, such as Health, Weather, Travel and Technology.

The World Bank has embarked on numerous endeavors to improve computer literacy in the Third World. One of these is the creation of the joint department Global Information and Communication Technologies (GICT) together with the International Finance Corporation (IFC). The GICT webpage has minimal content but links up to other content that showcases its advocacy. GICT advocates that developing countries have access to information and communication technologies. It embarks on research, policy formulation, investments and related activities in coordination with public and private organizations (that includes telecommunication entities) to attain ICT access, decrease poverty and enhance development. World Bank also founded infoDev, in partnership with several agencies, to amplify the impact of ICT learning by allowing access to its infrastructure, applications software and services, as well as providing assistance to private entities engaged in ICT innovation. Besides collaboration and coordination with bilateral and multilateral entities (e.g. UNESCO, the European Commission, International Telecommunication Union), infoDev also conducts research and analysis, assists innovative projects, creates toolkits that could be used in transforming knowledge into action, and provides financial assistance, assists in policy development and implementation, and monitors and assesses programs and projects. The agency convenes dialogue with ICT groups and nongovernmental organizations to disseminate the advancement in ICT. The World Bank, on the other hand, finances ICT projects (US$3 billion assistance to more than 80 countries and US$750 million in loans) and provides advice on the same.

The recent events featured in the GICT website on ICT development include: “The Singaporean Experience: Ingredients for Successful Nationwide eTransformation” workshop (on the success of Singapore in eGovernment slated on September 20, 2009) in collaboration with the World Bank Group; “$215 Million Central Africa Backbone Program Will Bring Low Cost, High-Speed Internet to the Region” press release on October 06, 2009, on the development of the backbone infrastructure for high-speed internet connection and reduction in user price; and “Information and Communication Technologies” article dated October 2, 2009 on the revolutionary developments in ICT concerning the internet (with 10 times increase in users from 2000 to 2007) and mobile phones (with 3 billion users).

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT, 2009) continually works on innovating and enhancing worldwide computer literacy. Thus, MIT has made its undergraduate and graduate course materials and publications on Computer Science courses available to the public without any fee under the MIT OpenCourseWare and can be accessed at http://ocw.mit.edu/. The course titles though deal more with the intricacies of computer concepts and applications.

Nicholas Negroponte (chairman and founder of MIT Media Lab) has initiated a project that would give computers to children in developing countries (Woodruff, 2005). To implement this project, Negroponte initiated the move to design a $100 laptop that would be distributed to millions of children from around the globe and thus, allow them to access the internet. Funding for the project came from private donors and several governments. Around 130 countries signified their interest to be recipients of the laptops. The project, called One Laptop Per Child (OLPC), was endorsed by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) (Trotter, 2006). UNDP participated in initiating the project so that poor countries can use the devices for educational use (Trotter, 2006) by primary and secondary school children (Heidi, 2005). The Memorandum of Understanding, signed on January 28, 2006, formalized the partnership between UNDP and OLPC (Trotter, 2006). OLPC, a non-profit organization based in Wilmington, Delaware started to design and manufacture the cheaper laptops in 2005 (Trotter, 2006). OLPC is formed by the faculty members of the MIT Media Lab (Heidi, 2005). The first working prototype of the laptop was unveiled by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on November 16, 2005 during the World Summit on the Information Society in Tunis, Tunisia (Heidi, 2005).

References

CEOExpress. (n.d.). The Executive’s Internet. 2009. Web.

Google news. (2009). Web.

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Heidi. (2005). Look out education FMs: MIT presents the $100 laptop. Facility Blog. 2009. Web.

Magellan’s. (2009). The World’s Most Trusted Source of Travel Supplies. Web.

MIT. (2009). Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Web.

Trotter, A. (2006). U.N. Agency Signs On to Help Spread Low-Cost Laptops. Students Abroad Targeted for Technology. Web.

Woodruff, B. (2005). MIT Professor Spreads Computer Literacy Worldwide. World News Tonight. Technology and Science. ABC News. 2009. Web.

World Bank. (2009). Global Information and Communication Technologies. Web.

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