Have you ever been a dinner party where everyone seemed to be talking to you at once? Doubtless there were a lot of sensible insights there, but with so many voices clamoring for your attention, how did you know where to turn? How could you even screen out the babble that kept drowning out the folks you really wanted to hear? What if there seemed to be a dozen people, all worth hearing from? Who would you focus on?
Now imagine the web as a really, really big dinner party, one that never ends. The web has (as of early 2012) 50 billion indexed pages. That might represent only 20% of the actual information available; the rest resides in the unindexed Deep Web. Just the phrase “mutual funds” turns up 52,000,000 webpages. Confronted by such volume, most people simply despair, shut down and ignore the whole thing. That’s okay if the subject is the latest Kardashian controversy. It’s a big problem if you’re thinking about something vital to your success and security.
We’re here to help. The Observer’s discussion community and readership is large, diverse and global; those of us behind the Observer’s scenes are often stunned by the remarkable depth, variety and sophistication of the topics highlighted by folks on our discussion board. And so we’ve enlisted their aid in finding resources that are actually worth your time and attention.
I’m Junior Yearwood, the team leader for this project. I am a freelance writer who has both run his own business and has worked in management at larger firms. Most of my other work focuses on technology. I usually write reviews for software, hardware and consumer products, so I’m enjoying the challenge of reviewing something altogether bigger, while at the same time developing greater expertise in personal finance. If you’d like to learn a bit more about me, you’re welcome to visit my e-portfolio page here at the Observer. With your help and David’s, I’ll be profiling one set of websites that’s related to a common theme each month. We’ll introduce the theme, highlight the most useful features of the most interesting sites, and perhaps give you a quick heads up on neighborhoods to avoid.
We’d like to thank Chuck Jaffe who originally had the idea. We think it’s a fine one. Our success in pursuing it will depend on you, so if you’ve got ideas for categories or websites to seek or avoid, write me!
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