Sreenath Sreenivasan, a Columbia University professor,
has taught "smarter surfing" workshops to more than
2,000 writers, editors and broadcasters, including folks
at "60 Minutes," The Nation and The Wall Street Journal.
But you don't have to attend one of his classes to
benefit from his knowledge. Like many journalism professionals,
he's created his own Web site -- http://www.sree.net/stories/web.html
-- offering tips on how to make better use of your time
Sree.net offers a streamlined list of well-known reference
sites, such as Encyclopedia Britannica and Refdesk,
plus quite a few sites I've not encountered elsewhere,
such as http://www.worldskip.com,/
a handy place to find the basics about individual countries.
Sreenivasan's list of search engines is also solid
and includes a few lesser-known sites like Vivisimo.com
and Copernic.com. In recent years, I've visited -- and
promptly forgotten -- numerous engines geared to search
for e-mail addresses and phone numbers; some of the
sites listed here look like keepers.
Perhaps the most useful part of the site is lumped
under "journalism stuff," an easy-to-navigate list of
newsie links. I discovered and rediscovered quite a
few interesting sites here. I'd recommend spending some
time surfing through them.
In addition to the Web site, Sreenivasan offers a free,
monthly tip sheet. You can subscribe from a link at
his Web site and also take a look at an archive of recent
And for folks who live in the New York City area, you
can catch the professor on "Tech Guru" at 6:45 Thursday
mornings on ABC's Channel 7. I haven't seen the show
myself, but judging from the Web site, it's likely to
offer an appealing menu for early birds.