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Corporate Angels

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These articles by Bart Jackson and Kathleen McGinn Spring were

prepared for the April 3, 2002 edition of

U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.

Tracking Through The Invisible Web

Signs can be difficult to interpret. Be they Delphic

smoke, trembling oak leaves, or the twitching runes upon a magnetic

web, they do not easily yield up their treasure to anyone who just

hollers for an answer. You need a pro — some priest(ess) who knows

how to seek out and interpret the gushes of mysterious verbiage.

A great and clever host of these informational wizards will convene

and reveal their Web wandering secrets at the spring conference of

the Pharmaceutical and Health Technology Division (PH&T) of the

Special

Libraries Association (SLA) on Monday and Tuesday, April 15 and 16,

at the Princeton Marriott. Cost: $250. Register at www.SLA.org.

The SLA is a professional organization for librarians who typically

direct the information collections of businesses, medical

institutions,

and law firms. Convention seminar topics include "Pipeline

Databases,"

"Competitive Intelligence," and "Building a Workflow

Tool."

Cynthia Hetherington, founder of Hetherington Information

Services,

speaks on "Information Discovery on the Invisible Web."

Definitely the most invisible and underused research tool is one that

businesses and individuals have already paid for. You can phone or

E-mail your research question, and no matter how exhaustive, a team

of experts goes instantly to work, phones you back with the answer,

and will fax you whatever accompanying papers you desire. Whether

you seek only the total weight of the Pentagon, or an entire corporate

profile on a competitor, they can get it into your hands. After hours

in the Garden State, they provide the same service 24/7 via

www.QandA.org.

Where labors this bought-and-paid-for team of information experts?

At your tax-funded public library.

Our skewed vision of the public library — as a place merely for

lonely spinsters to find romance novels — causes many information

seekers to overlook this powerful resource. Speaker Hetherington

herself

began as a public reference librarian for the Hawthorne, Teaneck,

and Englewood libraries. Despite advanced degrees from New Jersey

Institute of Technology, she claims "nothing was as valuable for

Web-searching work as my Rutgers MLS (Masters of Library Science)

degree. It gave me not just computer savvy, but organizational skills,

and a host of research hunting grounds."

In 1996 IBM began to realize the potential of library science and

asked Hetherington to help establish what she calls "a very fancy

indexing process." This first freelance assignment launched

Hetherington

into the private sector. Shortly after, she founded her own

Hetherington

Information Service, based in Elmwood Park (201-794-3075), which has

provided an astounding range of data for the criminal justice system,

the intelligence community, as well as the pharmaceutical and other

competitive industries. The calls come in over her website at

www.Data2Know.com:

Can you find me a female jockey who is sympathetic to workers’ comp?

I need a printout on this railroad freight train — the contents

of every car. Does my new wonder drug have any competitors and will

its new name work in every country? Hetherington is every inch a free

agent whose knowledge of the Web’s invisible strands makes her a much

sought after wizard.

"Most people are just now beginning to learn that an invisible

sector of the Web actually exists," says Hetherington. She defines

this invisible Web as "that whole unlisted collection of sites

that standard search engines, such as Yahoo and Google, never

see."

It is such sites that have disproved the old maxim of "everything

is out there on the Web if you just surf long enough." Businesses

have neither the costly in-house time nor the staff expertise to find

answers in this ever-broadening uncharted vale. To both tantalize

and test your web knowledge, Hetherington proffers these few sites.

Do you know how to reach these?

SEC.gov. Supposing you want to find out who truly runs

a business, just how well he is running it, and exactly what he is

getting in compensation for this direction. The Edgar database of

the SEC.gov site details every public document that every firm

grossing

over $10 million annually must file. This includes quarterly and

annual

reports and a list of everyone in upper management with profiles and

compensation records. The tricky thing about the Edgar database is

that Google will lead you into a portion, but not all of the site.

U.S. Patent and Trade Office database. Who else produces

your new medicine or software? In what regions and nations are they

selling it? Will your new trade name trip over that of your competitor

or that of some unknown export firm located in Peru? Again, the

general

site is easily reached, but the full site remains mostly invisible

to most engines.

Pac-Info.com This is a superwarehouse of state records.

For example, every corporation must receive a charter in every state

in which it transacts business. These charters can prove very

revealing.

In addition to the charters, every scrap of trade law and official

regulation for each state can be found on this site. Pac-Info links

onto Canadian and many foreign sites as well.

Sonbiz.org. All Uniform Commercial Filings are listed

here. Every registered agent and full financial disclosure are

available

state-by-state on this site.

Specialized sites. Just to name a few, Cannanews.com

provides

all the political, sports, and business news of the Caribbean area,

along with a deep archive. NCES.ed.gov/surveys/intl will

link you into the National Center for Education Statistics, where

you can find out how well your son’s high school shapes up.

Classynet.com

opens of an entire Pandora’s box of nationwide classified ads.

My wife and I have a saying in our house: "If you don’t see it,

you don’t own it." Truly, the World Wide Web has become a

magnificent

new millennial oracle. But without the proper wizard to interpret

the message, you will wander through it as blind as poor old Oedipus.

— Bart Jackson

Top Of Page
Donate Please

Sponsor a hole at the Links to Youth golf outing for

the Princeton-Blairstown Center, and you will send one child

to camp. The outing is Tuesday, May 21, at 10:30 a.m. at Cherry Valley

Country Club. Round up a foursome to play the Rees Jones-designed

course and your fee of $1,500 pays for sending five kids to camp plus

get a quarter page ad in the program. The individual golfer pays $250,

which includes lunch, greens fees, golf cart, reception, buffet

dinner,

awards, and prizes. A business card ad in the program costs $75.

The Princeton-Blairstown Center, established in 1908, is an outdoor,

adventure-challenge experiential education center in northwest New

Jersey. It operates year-round and during the summer hosts 400 at-risk

low-income youth from social service agencies and schools. Steven

Weintraub MD chairs this event; call 609-258-3340 for information.

United Way of Greater Mercer County says it has suffered

a $500,000 shortfall, has cut program funding by $283,000, and will

have to cut more if contributions don’t pick up. The agency, whose

website is www.uwgmc.org, says more funding decreases will affect

programs meeting basic and emergency needs in the community, including

food, shelter, intervention programs, and supportive services for

the disabled, elderly, mentally ill, and at-risk youth.

Donations can be made at the organization’s website. For more

information,

call 609-637-4900.

Top Of Page
Apply Please

The New Jersey Business/Industry/Science Education Consortium

and the Public Service Electric and Gas Company are sponsoring

the 10th annual Environmental Education Grant Program. The competition

is open to teachers of grades K-5 and 6-9 who teach in PSE&G’s service

area. Teachers who can successfully link their students’ understanding

of math, science, computer science, and/or technology concepts with

an enthusiasm and appreciation for the environment are encouraged

to apply.

Applications that focus on the development of one of more classroom

units, the expansion of an existing course or curriculum, or the

extension

of classroom work to community or after-school activities will be

considered.

The grants provide financial resources to carry out the project for

two years. Grants are available in amounts of up to $3,500, and may

be used to purchase materials and equipment, take field trips, and

develop innovative curriculum-related activities. Call 201-216-5635.

Top Of Page
Corporate Angels

The Trenton Thunder has donated more than $1.8 million of its

intended goal — $2 million in donations to area charities. For

its "Grand Slam/We Care" fundraiser, the Double A affiliate

of the Boston Red Sox has partnered with First Union National Bank,

Johnson & Johnson, New Jersey Education Association, Princeton

University,

PSE&G, Merlino’s Waterfront Restaurant, and Wawa.

New this season is the "Minding Our Business Market Fair Days"

co-sponsored by Merrill Lynch and Rider University. Rider University

provides seed money for Trenton middle school students to start and

run their own businesses, and the baseball team runs a series of trade

shows to help the students understand business concepts. For

information

call 609-394-3300.


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