Subject: NINTH FREE PINT "Market Research Resources" Free Pint Helping you find quality information on the Web ISSN 1460-7239 5 March 1998 #9 > = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = Welcome to Free Pint Number Nine! Once again we have a packed issue, full of tips, Web site reviews, articles and more. We have a super article about how to encourage others to give the Web a go, and a feature article about finding market research resources on the Web. We then have the usual letters section with some helpful guidance from a respected searcher and author. We have had a number of emails from subscribers asking about the Free Pint team and so I thought I'd give some introductions: Rex Cooke is the Editor of Free Pint. Rex has worked in the online industry for many years and is a Fellow of the Institute of Information Scientists and Royal Society of Arts. You can contact Rex directly by email to Alison Scammell is Account Director, and is well known in the information profession. Alison is a Member of the Institute of Information Scientists and can be contacted by email to or telephone +44 (0)181 460 5850. Being responsible for advertising, Alison invites you to look at the Advertisers page on the Web site where we have a number of special offers (including free banner ad placement on the Web site) and the facility to accept credit card orders. Then there is myself as Managing Editor. I am a professional information scientist and can be contacted by email to or telephone +44 (0)1784 423181. We also have a network of other information professionals and you can see their biographies at the end of the articles they write. Now you know the team, I hope will will read on and enjoy this issue of Free Pint. Kind regards, William Hann PS: This newsletter looks best with a fixed font like courier. If you do not already automatically receive your free copy of Free Pint, or would like to see past issues, then please visit our Web site at You may also find this issue easier to read and use if you print it out first. > = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = IN THIS ISSUE TIPS AND TECHNIQUES "But what is it good for?" by Ian Watson FEATURE ARTICLE "Market Research Information On The Internet" by Jill Bradley LETTERS > = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = TRAINING FOR THE INFORMATION PROFESSION TFPL, the premier training organisation in business information, presents the following courses in March: British Company Law 24 March Legal Issues for the Information Dept 25 March Managing Library Automation 31 March For further details please contact, visit our website or telephone 0171 251 5522 > = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =[tf91] HIPEx Ė the Headland Information Professionalsí Exchange. The new online community from Headland Business Information is your first-stop-shop for business information news. HIPEx membership includes Jobwatch, discussion groups, trials and one e-journal: Online/CD-ROM Business Information; European Business Intelligence Briefing; Whatís New in Business Information; or Business Information Review. Call 01342 330185 or e-mail for a free trial. Quote 'Free Pint' to receive 10% off 1998 subscription. > = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =[bs92] TIPS AND TECHNIQUES "But what is it good for?" by Ian Watson It's amusing to look back smugly at famous predictions that turned out to be spectacularly inaccurate. You know the kind of thing: "This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us." Western Union internal memo, 1876. "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943 "But what is it good for?" IBM Engineer on the microchip, 1968 "There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home." Ken Olson, president and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977 "The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?" Comment on radio in the 1920s. "Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?" H.M. Warner, Warner Brothers, 1927. "While theoretically and technically television may be feasible, commercially and financially it is an impossibility." Lee DeForest, inventor. (Source: via Ask Jeeves: These confident pronouncements were based on their authors' perceptions of the social and economic systems of the time. They were either not willing or not able to imagine the technical or social changes that would blow their learned declarations wildly off course. Yet today we hear the Web dismissed with the same confident bravado. The best way to counter this negative hype is to promote a better understanding of what the Web is and what it is not. Many people approach this new wonder in the way they would a new video recorder or toaster: "show me the buttons, give me a quick guide and show me what it does". This Tips and Techniques column is based on my experience of introducing journalists to the Web and suggests how to help new users get a feel for the medium. It's not guaranteed but here goes: What is it? It is important to understand that this is a communications medium, not a service or a product. It does not have a help desk although there is a lot of help available. Dispel the notion that the Web has the answer to every question. Befriend and Embrace it. Nurture the notion that this is an interactive medium where you will find lots of advice and information, but you will have to get to know it. You have to incorporate it into your life and work to get the best out of it. I'm not sure I want to get that friendly! OK. Think of it as a market or bazaar (a great electronic information bazaar) in which there are junk shops as well as high class retailers. There are bargains and rip offs. Get to know your way around. Sounds a bit scary. Get Streetwise. Have a look at Deja News ( and see how to tap into Usenet news groups to eavesdrop expert (or inexpert) information exchanges on almost any subject imaginable. You can follow a long tortuous discussion thread. Then you can ask for all other postings (comments) made by the author of the message you are reading. What? So all my ravings are recorded for anyone else to read? They certainly are. Imagine a verbatim account of your contributions to that heated debate the other night in the pub! The lesson is to be aware of netiquette especially the warning about posting messages in anger! Hmm. Sounds like going in at the deep end. Any guides? Get familiar with and understand the relative strengths and weaknesses of search services like Yahoo, Alta Vista, HotBot or Ask Jeeves. If you like the service offered by one of them stick with it until you feel like branching out. Anything out there that is better than print? Look for sources that are well organised such as Yellow Pages ( - it does more than a printed directory could ever do. Use to search for restaurants, swimming pools or golf courses by clicking a map. It will direct you to facilities within a radius - much better than A-Z guides which list Canterbury next to Carlisle! For maps is rather good, especially its A-Z of London. Look up online telephone directory to search for names or partial names or post codes. You can't yet get from a number to an address, although you can in the USA ( In fact in the USA you can send cards, letters or flowers (real ones) to addresses found! What about buying things? Taste and try before you buy. In the sixties, record shops had booths in which you would sample the sounds before parting with the pounds. Online record sales allow you to do this in you own home. Try out or Ask Jeeves to find you some other online music sources. Or sample online book buying at A couple of hours browsing in a good bookshop is hard to beat, but when you have a specific need, online can be more convenient. The lesson is that the Web is complementary to existing forms of communication and business. Use when appropriate. What about transport? Above all, make sure you get a reliable ISP and at least a 28,8 modem. Otherwise the World Wide Web can become the World Wide Wait. It still feels a bit like an anorak's paradise. Remember that answering machines, fax and mobile phones were thought of as nerdy novelties at one time. OK, so mobile phones have yet to shake off the nerdy tag - but if more Mr and Ms Sensibles adopt them the nerds will become a minority won't they? I still can't see it catching on.... Just like telephone, television, radio, and computers? Oh ... and the Beatles: "We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out" - Decca AOR man's verdict on the Fab Four, 1962. > - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Ian Watson is Information Services Manager at The Herald & Evening Times. He can be contacted by email to > = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = KNOWLEDGE MANAGEMENT - THE INFORMATION MANAGEMENT EVENT Knowledge Management Conference and Exhibition will provide:- all aspects of knowledge management from strategy to implementation, a leading edge conference with high profile speakers, interactive workshops and an exhibition featuring key organisations and rolling product demonstrations. 02 - 03 April 1998 - The Royal Horticultural Halls and Conference Centre, London. Contact: Learned Information, Tel: +44(0)1865 388000 Fax: +44(0)1865 736354, Email: > = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =[li93] *** Current Advertising Offers *** Five adverts for the price of four! Free banner advert on Web site for 10 weeks! Full details at Email or phone +44 (0)181 460 5850 > = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = Institute of Information Scientists IIS 40th Anniversary Conference Sheffield, England 8-11th July 1998 Day 1 Knowing what we know - Knowledge Management Day 2 It's there but where? - Archiving Electronic Publications Day 3 Who owns wins - licensing and copyright in the electronic age Day 4 Web and other workshops For the full programme > = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =[ii94] FEATURE ARTICLE "Market Research Information On The Internet" by Jill Bradley INTRODUCTION ------------ I have concentrated on World Wide Web sources which can be used for desk research, within this area the Internet has both strengths and weaknesses and it is understanding this which is key to the profitable use of this resource. The Internet is very high in the serendipity factor with the most unexpected subjects receiving good coverage and equally suprising omissions. This means that it is always worth a quick look but if you don't find a useful site fairly quickly it may well be more effective to turn to more traditional resources. WEAKNESSES OF THE INTERNET -------------------------- * Market size figures not usually available * Penetration figures and demographics not usually available * Strong US bias * Patchy coverage * Often there is lack of authority * Nobody is in control which causes lack of consistency STRENGTHS OF THE INTERNET ------------------------- * Access is cheap and information is often free * Some subjects very well covered * Good for background information * Speed of obtaining information * Wide geographic scope * Rapidly increasing coverage * More companies adding own Web pages MARKET RESEARCH --------------- Don't expect to find much free market research data on the Internet, it is labour intensive and expensive to produce and no company whose business is selling data can afford to give it away free. However many of the market research publishers now have Web pages so that the Internet can be a good place for checking availability of published research and a lot of them will offer free samples from some of their more recent reports. MR PUBLISHERS ------------- MAID is a host or supplier rather than a publisher, it therefore offers access to a very wide range of material worldwide but the subscription charges are very high indeed. Mintel is well known for their published market research reports, they specialize in the UK consumer and retail markets and this site lists their available reports, with ordering and pricing information. Euromonitor, Datamonitor and Keynote are all well established and respected market research publishers, with their sites also listing available reports, with ordering and pricing information. Publisher of market research, specifically in the IT area. MR COMPANIES ------------ Coopers and Lybrand site, this site has a nicely organised launch pad page which lists 450 useful sites. SGA do commissioned research rather than published reports but this site is interesting for two reasons. Firstly SGA have an online costing option which allows you to fill in your requirements then you are emailed with a quote for your project, I don't know how well this works but it is an interesting development. Secondly, on their site is posted an article by Pete Comley, 'The Use of the Internet as a Data Collection Method' which describes the results of one of the first commercial surveys to be conducted in the UK over the Internet. MORI is best known for their election coverage but their main business is commissioned research for industry, this home page is their Internet showcase. NOP Web site, this has some interesting figures on Internet use. AMSO is the trade association for the major UK market research companies this is a good site for market research buyers to check before commissioning work. ESOMAR is the European professional body for market research companies this is a good site for market research buyers to check before commissioning work from overseas agencies. List of market research companies in USA MR MISCELLANEOUS ---------------- A Canadian site with information on the international food market, it also has some useful links to other sites. Site contains statistics on internet users and usage. Centre for Applied Social Surveys, this is a UK academic/government initiative which aims to set up a question bank , it is still under development and is not updated very frequently at present. Home site for a construction company this gives some very up to date market statistics on the construction industry and forecasts. SEARCH ENGINES -------------- These are the key to using the Internet for any kind of research. Bookmarks are useful for frequently accessed sites but spending large amounts of time compiling an extensive collection of bookmarks can be counterproductive. The Internet changes so fast that keeping your bookmarks current is like painting the Forth Bridge, a never- ending task, so that it seems more sensible to use the resources somebody else has produced. I often use this for new subject areas before I have bookmarks set up, it coverage is excellent so it is good for broad searching and for offbeat subjects but you can be overwhelmed by too many hits. Strong US bias but you can restrict to domain:uk, it allows some structured searching but search capabilities are primitive compared to online and CD ROM systems. Listing or launchpad of sites by subject area, this is pretty good if it covers your subject area. This search engine sets up custom folders which categorise your search results and enable you to refine your search more easily. & This is the old staple and it is still a useful source, it is structured into subject areas but also allows keyword searching across categories. Links to over 300 search engines, is very useful for the more obscure subjects. FTP site locator, very useful for finding company sites. Multi search engine, it uses several other search engines at the same time using your keywords. TELEPHONE DIRECTORIES --------------------- There are business telephone directories available on the Internet and a smaller selection of residential directories also. These are the online equivalent to the yellow pages or the national telephone books. Some of the most obscure countries are available but there are also surprising gaps so you need to check for the specific country required. Some have English versions of the search screen but many are only in the original language and the level of searching and ease of use varies considerably. The coverage of the lists below overlap to a large extent but they are not identical so it is worth searching around. UK business telephone directory (yellow pages) searchable by; location, subject category or company name, results are listed alphabetically 10 to a page with a random start letter. List of links to telephone directories mostly business (yellow pages) available on the Internet, coverage is worldwide and some of the most surprising countries are available. Search capabilities are variable as is language availability. List of links to European telephone directories mostly business (yellow pages) available on the Internet. Search capabilities are variable as is language availability. STATISTICS ---------- Site of Eurostat which is the EEC statistical organisation gopher:// United Nations World Population Figures UK Office for National Statistics Launch pad page with list of useful CSO statistical data links An extended and regularly updated version of this document including live links is available online at: > - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Jill Bradley has been a qualified Information Professional for 15 years and for the last 4 years has been the Information Manager with Harris Research, a company well recognised for high quality research, innovative thinking and excellent client service. Harris has specialist consumer and business to business expertise in the Automotive, IT and Telecommunications, Retail, Financial and Social and Political research. Harris interview in over 55 countries and have a fully-owned international network of offices through the TN/AGB/ SOFRES Group, this gives Harris' clients access to global scale methodologies for UK, European and International projects. Jill can be contacted by email to > = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = *** Do you have a comment, feedback or suggestion? *** Why not post a message on the Free Pint Forum Accessible on the Web at > = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = URGENT: Sue Hill Recruitment & Services Seeks Abstractors down-under Can you commit to regular abstracting (Mon-Fri)? We need work done daily between midnight and 8am British time Good quality abstracts - subject current affairs government issues It can all be done by FTP so ideal for homeworkers - good rates of pay of Fax +44 171 732 6718 > = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =[sh95] "Advertising in Free Pint Works" Full details and offers at > = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = PROFESSIONAL WEB SITE SERVICES At Willco we provide a wide range of Internet & Intranet services. These cover Internet and Intranet site creation, promotion, consultancy and out-sourced updating and maintenance services. To find out more call us on 01784 423181 Email: Web: > = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =[wi96] LETTERS & FEEDBACK This issue we have published a letter received from a well-respected online information searcher and author. Marydee Ojala makes some excellent points in her letter which you can find reproduced below. Thank you for all your emails of support. We really appreciate your comments and suggestions, so keep emailing The Free Pint Forum on the Web site is also receiving a number of requests for information, so why not pay a visit? You can post a question or help another subscriber out with their query. The Forum can be accessed on the Web site at: > - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - To William Hann Managing Editor, Free Pint First of all, thanks for telling me about Free Pint. Iím enjoying it immensely and mentioned it in an article I wrote for Searcher Magazine, reviewing International Online. I do have a few concerns about your article "Fabricating Information" in your Issue #7, 5 February, 1998. I know you addressed the issue of copyright in your summary but I think it needs more emphasis. Copyright is an issue that information professionals should take seriously. Before incorporating information from the Web Ė or from commercial, premium-priced online services, for that matter Ė it behooves the searcher to ensure they are not violating copyright. To simply import huge chunks of text and entire Web pages into a report, article, training course, or proposal, thereby passing them off as your own, is neither legal nor ethical. I urge readers of Free Pint to credit any information they import into their own writing and to ask permission of the Web page creator before even attempting to import them. Having said that, I should admit that I frequently need to illustrate an article with a picture of a Web page being discussed. I find the best program for this to be Paintshop Pro. Essentially it takes a snapshot of the page displayed on my screen and saves it as a graphics file. The extension is up to you. I tend toward JPEG. Your section on "Problems with Frames" was extremely lucid. I canít find a browser that prints a whole page with all the frames, either. I think you should have mentioned in your next section, "Printing Blank Pages," that those very same frames may be the culprit. Most browsers print the frame where your cursor last was before you issued the print command. If you donít pay attention to where the cursor is pointing, you may inadvertently ask your system to print a blank page. Itís a waste of paper and leaves you feeling silly. Keep up the good work with Free Pint. Marydee Ojala Editor, DATABASE: The Magazine of Electronic Resources & Research > - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Please note, if you write to us we will not publish your letter if you do not wish us to, and cannot guarantee a reply to all letters. Letters may be edited for content and length, and we will withhold your contact details if you wish. > = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = Well, we hope you've found this issue of Free Pint useful and informative. If so, then please remember that the best way you can thank us is by letting other people know about Free Pint. Why not write a review, forward a copy to colleagues, or print out a copy and pass it around the office? See you in two weeks, Kind regards, William Hann, Managing Editor (c) Willco 1998 > = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = Free Pint (ISSN 1460-7239) is a free email newsletter for anyone who uses the Internet to get information for their work in any business or organisation. The newsletter is written by professionals who share how they find quality and reliable information on the Internet. More details about subscribing, contributing or advertising can be found at or call +44 (0)171 681 1653 Please note: The newsletter is published by the information consultancy Willco (, and the publishers will NEVER make the subscriber list available to any other company or organisation. The opinions, advice, products and services offered herein are the sole responsibility of the contributors. Whilst all reasonable care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the publication, the publishers cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions. This publication may be freely copied and/or distributed in its entirety. However, individual sections MAY NOT be copied and/or distributed without the prior written agreement of the publishers. All rights reserved. > = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = > = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =