Finding Online Sources To Trust

    June 4, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

In the United States and the United Kingdom, a couple of librarian-driven resources show just how potent informational sites with vetted content can be for Internet users. Resource Shelf’s Gary Price tells us more.

Before our recent phone chat, I hadn’t heard of either Librarians’ Internet Index or Intute. It’s a great big Internet, and finding new resources like these usually means you need to get a tip from someone like Gary.

Despite his prolific speaking schedule, Gary can’t talk to everyone. Those who know him probably don’t believe that statement, but I have it on good authority from the newlywed Mr. Price that this is the case.

Here’s why he likes LII and Intute. They both have standards for reviewing and cataloging content in a manner that the likes of Jimmy Wales can only fantasize about for Wikipedia. Wales has the advantage of scale, but the vetting process doesn’t match that scope.

LII calls their index "Websites You Can Trust." In the Computers category of Web Design and Management, government sites appear listed with other useful commercial and non-commercial sites. Visitors can drill down by subtopics, and group and sort results for viewing.

Intute offers an intriguing service called the Virtual Training Suite. These free tutorials have been arranged by professions, and are oriented toward helping people within a profession use the Internet more effectively.

It’s always fascinating to see how well resources online can be provided to others. Wikipedia has its value, and in some areas its volunteer contributors have done a very good job. But the necessary corrections for Gary’s Wikipedia entry have not been made (he isn’t a stuntman). A vetted resource wouldn’t have the world believing Ask’s director of online information resources spent some time on the set of The Italian Job.