Best of the Best

Best of the Best

Best of the Best

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About BEST of the BEST

Introduction

This site came about when we had difficulty finding things on the web relating to the UK. Yes there are other directories and search engines, but everything took so many clicks and so long to get to what we wanted.

You see we had to visit a vast number of sites to both UK and others so as to build a super portal. (START-PAGE) but we needed to have something to work from. 

So we sat down and entered well over 15,000 sites mainly UK, into a database, indexed all UK Internet and computer magazines  and bought every book and directory we could find.

Of course we then had a vast amount of information, and we created a classification system, the hardest part of the project, based on how we thought people would want to find information. We then assigned provisional section numbers and classified our database entries into these.

At this point the 'BEST of the BEST' was born, originally it was just going to be an on line working directory for us to use, but it proved so useful we thought you might like to use it as well.

Of course we have developed it further, adding a useful front page, and other top site listings and features to make it appeal more.

UK-list.com also came out of the same project, and is a classified listing of UK Internet magazines.

Would you like to help build one or more topic areas?

As you will see from the column on the left, creating super version of this site and the superior START-PAGE system is a huge task, taking very many man days, weeks, months...years.

We can achieve so much by database handling, but ultimately we need to have people look a topic or sub topic at a time, look at what each site has to offer, think how people will use them and how useful it is, and update our listings.

Of course the best person to edit a topic is a person with an interest in that area, for example search engines interest me, but football does not, so it is better that I concentrate on search engine topics and leave football to someone interested in it. 

You may think, sorting out a topic is a quick task but it is not, done properly. Below I explain how we go about this. Once we have a section edited, this is not the end as we then need to keep it up to date and constantly improve it.

Editors are identified, by their real name or a code name if they wish at the bottom of each table they create and the bottom of button and listing pages in START-PAGE. 

We need your help, please volunteer today.

Constant development

From our original database listings we created the sections of the classified directories that form the bulk of this site. Editors, some on staff, and some volunteers then set about taking a topic at a time and looking at every site, checking every link, and selecting the most useful sites to put at the top of the list. A huge job.

As each topic is worked on more screens are created, this system updated as well as the information used to build the sections of START-PAGE.

Why keep it as well as START-PAGE

Once you have seen and get used to START-PAGE, you may wonder why we plan to keep this site running. There are several reasons for this. We need a constant means of editing and extending the systems and there are people who will either prefer this format or have to use it, if the complex frame systems used in START-PAGE do not work with their system. If you want to always see text as opposed to buttons then this site is quicker to use than START-PAGE. Start-page has a button per site approach with classified lists backing up each screen.

Its a test site

The best of the best is a test site, by this I mean, we developed it to build another far more advanced portal. In order to add all the features you will find useful we need to try them out somewhere, so what better place than on this site. Most of what we try out, we will keep in this system. 

This site will also have features not being put into START-PAGE, particularly around the experimental areas.

How editors develop pages

Starting with our first draft listings, or taking over an edited topic the editor needs to become fully aware of the topic area.

They can get information from various search engines and directories. This is time consuming as each has a different system, and most contain a lot of dead or junk entries as does our first draft listings.

Some sites also contain useful links pages, and magazines on the topic area contain adverts and articles with web address, or names of manufacturers who can be searched for. You need to become a 'data detective' often collecting a clue and tracking a site via overseas sites and links.

Once you have a list together, then it needs to be checked, a site at a time, dead sites marked, non working links noted and correct ones found. Sometimes you have to come back again at another time, when it is working. Making notes as you go.

From this you can build an edited list bringing to the top of your list all the most useful sites. By most useful we mean of greatest use to the user, not the best graphics or fancy bits.

If you can, you want to access all sites from a listing on line, this is why we wanted the draft list put on line originally. You can also use lists in a word processor like 'WORD', or some editing packages. The advantage of doing it this way is that mistyping is not a problem.

If you are not able to do it this way, the edited list needs to be put on the system and all the sites worked through quickly just to make sure that they load, and no typing errors have occurred.

For site developers

While START-PAGE is built for general use, this site started off as a development tool and over time we would like to extend it into this area, giving more information to those who want to develop their own sites, and helping you promote your sites. 

Keeping it up to date

Once we have an edited list up on this system and START-PAGE, we then need to keep it up to date adding new sites, amending old ones etc. And following up any problems reported by users.

Feedback

Remember to let us know what you think, we cannot do everything people come up with, and of course a new facility is far more likely if you volunteer to help make it happen. Use the feedback form.

So how do you get started.

Start by completing the feedback form. We will then be in touch with you quickly.

Please volunteer now, you may not get around to it later.