Personalized news offering is new way to shout 'Yahoo!'
By JIM BROOKS
The PointCast Network is the top Web-based system of news distribution
that has taken the Internet by storm since its introduction 18 months
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
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
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 http://www.yahoo.com/
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 www.usatoday.com.
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 www.newsenterpriseonline.com.
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 www.courier-journal.com.
KENTUCKY CONNECT. In the past year that Kentucky Connect
has been on line, this service by the Lexington Herald-Leader has
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 www.kentuckyconnect.com.
DAILY NEWS. Bowling Green's Park City Daily News has its
Web site at http://bowlinggreen.ky.net/dailynews/.
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
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
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
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 www.amnews.com.
@THE POST. Northern Kentucky folks get to see their daily,
the Kentucky Post, online at http://www.kypost.com/
@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
A first class WEb site, that is fast loading. Nice!
MAYSVILE ONLINE. The Ledger-Independent in Maysville, Ky.
offers its Maysville Online Web site. www.trib.com/MAYSVILLE/.
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'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 www.kernel.uky.edu/96/fall/1211/front.html/
THE CONCORD. Bellarmine College's student run independent
paper is online at http://theconcord.com/.
The Concord.com 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
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
But most of all, enjoy the season; and may St. Nick leave a faster
modem in your stocking.