Paragon Publishing makes some cocky claims for its paper titles such as Internet Today ("Europe's First Internet Magazine"), Net User ("Europe's Biggest Monthly Magazine for Internet Users") and Webmaster ("Europe's Leading Business Internet News Magazine"). The company's site (http://www.paragon.co.uk) rolls together material from all of these, and more - so it ought to be something special.
In fact, it's an inflated, patchy affair, more hype than substance. Take the Internet Reviews section - "an unrivalled collection of Internet software reviews" and "the most accurate and fact-packed resource to Internet applications anywhere". Oh yes? Six reviews of largely small-time software.
The Web site of .net is part of Futurenet, the impressively big and mightily popular corporate webzine of Future Publishing (http://www.futurenet.co.uk). It's a plain-looking part, but there is some worthwhile stuff here. Hit Parade is a favourite of mine: a lively assembly of short reviews of "the hottest properties on the net", with links.
The .net Directory is a six-issues-a-year offshoot, consisting entirely of short reviews of Web sites and crying out to be put on the Web itself. What you actually get may be only a sample, but it's a beefy one - about 1,400 site reviews (with links, of course) as well as a few features and synopses of back issues.
Emap's site (http://www.emap.co.uk/ comp/magazines/internet/) is thoughtlessly constructed, with navigation links at the very foot of long pages. But it has the strongest content, with good news material (it now has a daily bulletin) and lots of other good reference material.
The Resources section contains all sorts of interesting links, including an impressive Marketing Hot List. And if you're looking for an access provider, Internet's Provider section will be a boon, with Web and e-mail links to (allegedly) all the providers in the country. Of course, you'll need an access provider before you can access it ...
VNU has come late to the party with Internet World, a brand new paper publication concentrating on the business angle - the impressive launch edition was bundled with current Personal Computer World, and there is a Web version within VNU's mag.net site (http://www.vnu. co.uk:81/ip_user/owa/register.login).
I guess the effort of launching the paper version of Internet World left the team just too tired to do it all again online. Many of the sections I explored contained nothing, and both the Features and News sections contained a single feature presented as a continuous and unreadable stream of text. Links? Not even the Site Listings page has links. Turn the server off, please.
To fend off transatlantic law suits, I should make it clear that there is a much more impressive site derived from a US-based magazine called, er, Internet World. There are - surprise, surprise - lots of impressive US-based webzines about the Web. But that's another columnReuse content