Personalized news offering is new way to shout 'Yahoo!'

Dec. 22, 1996


The PointCast Network is the top Web-based system of news distribution that has taken the Internet by storm since its introduction 18 months ago.

And as much as I like it, the folks at Yahoo! may have created a product to give PointCast a run for its money.

Its called My Yahoo! and getting signed up is as simple as surfing your Web browser to the Yahoo Web directory.

At the Yahoo! main home page, click on the "Get Personal" link. From there, you'll go to a screen to register for My Yahoo!, which offers the latest news, sports scores, stock quotes and customizable links to content you want.

For example, if your a college sports fan, you'll have the chance to pick your sports -- and if you want more information you will be provided with links to major sports sources and national newspapers, including USA Today.

Once you're signed up (free of changer, naturally), you'll go to the My Yahoo! site, which is laid out in a well-organized and easy-to-use format.

Big national and international news stories are updated about every 90 minutes; other stories like business and technology aren't updated quite as often after the close of the business day. The sources included Reuters, SportsTicker, PR Newswire and Business Wire.

A handy feature I've come to appreciate is the ability to search the day's news stories. If you hear something about a story that happened, you can perform a search by entering in some terms likely to be found.

Your MyYahoo! configuration can be edited should you want to change your news priorities. All information and setup parameters are password protected.

While the interface isn't as pretty as PointCast, it is easier to use -- no additional software is necessary. You set it up and use it. And the best part -- it's free.

For more information, point your computer to and click on Personal Yahoo!.

WEB WONDERLAND. If you plan on having guests over during the holidays, there's no better way to encourage your family to get on the Internet than a little show and tell.

The Net offers much for family and friends -- e-mail is a very simple yet effective way to stay in touch. It's faster and cheaper than regular mail, and the transmission time is virtually instantaneous. No two- or three-day waits.

So if you want to dazzle your guests with the Net, I recommend you show them some of the newspapers available online.

For your guests out of state, try USA Today at The on-line edition is very comprehensive, and even color-coded like the tree-killer edition. You'll find good coverage of the Internet and related news as well.

Though often criticized for being behind the times in a variety of areas, Kentucky has a healthy share of its newspapers already available on the World Wide Web.

THE NEWS-ENTERPRISE ONLINE. While still building up its content at this writing, the News-Enterprise's own Web site features news sports and general information about Hardin County. There's even a link to submit a electronic letter to the editor.

Visit The News-Enterprise Online at

COURIER-JOURNAL. The Courier Journal's Web presence is mostly contact information and links to columnist Ric Manning's Gizmo Page.

Earlier this year, Manning said the newspaper's management apparently did not want to shift its content to a Web site, preferring instead to create specialty Web sites, targeted to promote events or topics.

Such specialty Web sites include the C-J's extensive Kentucky Derby and PGA Championship Web sites, and more should be forthcoming.

Manning's Web site features an extensive archive of his columns, and probably one of the best list of Louisville/Jefferson County-related hyperlinks that I've ever seen.

Visit the C-J's home on the Web at

KENTUCKY CONNECT. In the past year that Kentucky Connect has been on line, this service by the Lexington Herald-Leader has grown rapidly.

The Internet is a wonderful place to market specific products, and Kentucky Connect seems to specialize in sports, with additional Web sites under its domain that include The Lexington Herald-Leader Online, KY HOOPS, KY FOOTBALL, KY HOOFS and KY BLADES.

KY HOOPS and FOOTBALL deal mainly with collegiate basketball and football. KY HOOFS covers the horse industry, and KY BLADES deals mostly with the Kentucky Thoroughbreds hockey team and related stories.

The Herald-Leader Online features a selection of local stories (local to Lexington), as well as some state and regional stories. If your or any of your holiday visitors ever called the Bluegrass region home, they'll enjoy a visit to Kentucky Connect.

Point your browser to

DAILY NEWS. Bowling Green's Park City Daily News has its Web site at

You won't find much news content from the day's newspaper online here (yet), but you can find each day's classifieds that are fully indexed and searchable. News content is promised for the Web site's future, using the "The Wire" Web content feature offered by The Associated Press.

For the Western Kentucky University graduate (or even the Western student-to-be) the classifieds offer a peek at what's going on in Bowling Green.

The site also has a short history of the newspaper, as well as department contact information.

ADVOCATE-MESSENGER. Danville's "online news source" features news and information about the community, which includes Boyle and surrounding counties.

I visited the site earlier this year and it was nearly devoid of content, save for a nice section on The Great American Brass Band Festival.

But now the site is chock full of local content, from news to columns and obits that are indexed going back to May 1996.

The site features local sports (and UK, of course), the paper's classifieds, local calendar of events, agricultural news, links to state and federal agencies, and local weather reports. A first class site.

AM Online does use frames, so if you find them a nuisance, you might want to steer clear of this site. In defense of frames, I think the folks at the AM Online make one of the best uses of frames I've seen to date. It's worth a visit.

Surf to

@THE POST. Northern Kentucky folks get to see their daily, the Kentucky Post, online at

@The Post is a full-featured Web site that you'd expect a metro daily to create; top local, state, national and world news, business, opinion and even obituaries.

The site is linked to its sister paper, the Cincinnati Enquirer.

The Post has an outstanding classifieds section that is completely searchable.

A first class WEb site, that is fast loading. Nice!

MAYSVILE ONLINE. The Ledger-Independent in Maysville, Ky. offers its Maysville Online Web site.

The newspaper, with a circulation of just about 10,000 subscribers, is one of the smallest with a Web site. The paper puts much of its news, community and sports news on the Web site, as well as a nicely done community information section, plus data on all the staff of the paper.

The paper's online archives date back to April. All in all, its a very nice site for that market.

COLLEGE NEWSPAPERS. The state's major colleges have on-line editions of their student newspapers. Just remember that since classes are out for the holidays, it isn't likely you'll find the sites with up-to-date reports. You'll still get a chance to see how college-aged journalists are taking advantage of the World Wide Web.

KENTUCKY KERNEL. The University of Kentucky's Kentucky Kernel has its Web site just chock full of campus and sports information. If you want to know what's going on in the campus scene at UK, then the Kernel's online guide is a must-see.

For information, surf to

THE CONCORD. Bellarmine College's student run independent paper is online at

The is the electronic version of the print edition, and the staff of the college weekly do a good job of transferring it to the Web.

This site uses frames, which are effectively done in this case. You can look at the past issues online, which go back to the beginning of the Fall semester.

COLLEGE HEIGHTS HERALD. While it wasn't easy to find, Western Kentucky University's online student publication is available at

The site uses frames and lots of graphics, but loads quickly. The Herald's layout and design is certainly hipper than most online newspapers.

You can check out what's going on around campus look back over past issues or visit the staff's photo gallery.

One of the selling points about the Internet and the World Wide Web is that it can be many things to many people. For instance, I find it useful for work and entertainment. My daughter enjoys surfing with her Dad to see such sites as those connected to the latest movies, like "101 Dalmatians." My sister finds it useful for keeping up with not just me, but her personal and professional contacts.

But most of all, enjoy the season; and may St. Nick leave a faster modem in your stocking.

Comments and questions about this column may be sent to, or visit on the World Wide Web.

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