channel surfing

channel surfing

Janine Crawford is the marketing communications manager for the local operations of Seagate Software. Most of her Web surfing activities are for personal pleasure.

While much of Crawford's work involves posting information to the organisation's intranet and public corporate Web site, she told us she has very little need to scour the Net for work-related information.

"Seagate has someone employed internally to gather and push out all sorts of industry news and information relevant to our business. So, as far as work is concerned, I get an overload of information fed to me through our intranet," said Crawford. "Therefore, most of my favourite Web sites are purely recreational." the recreational sites she regularly visits, her favourite at this time of the year is the Resort Sports Network, which offers all sorts of information about ski resorts of the world.

Most resorts on the site have live cameras with updated shots every few minutes, including Thredbo, which is just a few hours drive from Sydney and where she is a regular when the conditions are right.

"There are four different cameras showing different views which gives you a good idea as to whether the drive is worth it," she said. "I find it useful to check the conditions to see if the media are reporting the truth about the conditions."

Meanwhile, she tries very hard to avoid looking at all the other fantastic resorts from exotic locations on all continents listed on the site, as she fears she will never get to them.

For keen skiers, Crawford also suggested a visit to (, which is a more local site with lots of great Quite the lover of good living, Crawford's next nominated address is a guide to a wide variety of information from agriculture to wholesaling. She says it comes in handy when the cellar needs to be stocked or when a dinner party is on the cards, amongst other things.

"This is a fantastic global Web site. It serves as a guide to a huge array of topics such as wine organisations, wine and food commentaries, good living guides and other sites housing that sort of information," she said.

"I use it as a major wine finding source and once you get to the home page, you can head off to whatever site you choose. I like the food guides and what kind of food should be eaten with what type of wine etc." www.dilbert.comAnother site Crawford admits to visiting regularly is the one devoted to the comic strip Dilbert. "Why have you stopped running it in ARN?" she asks.

Confessing to having a deep affinity with the Catbert character, she gets a particular kick out of the way the strip often hits the button on a lot of marketing issues. She implied that, like any good cartoon, Dilbert gets very close to the truth in a lot of areas in which she operates and that every computer office has personalities which fit the characters. Well worth it for a daily Crawford is also keen to keep an eye on how her small portfolio of stocks are performing and visits quite a few financial sites on a regular basis to get a feel for what is going down in the world of dips, bulls and runs.

"I like to go to a couple of different financial sites but probably stockwatch is the one I log into most. It allows me to quickly keep an eye on various stocks of interest." No prizes for guessing the origins of this highly informative cyberspace location.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is one of the world's most renowned information technology schools and research centres.

"It tends to keep you well and truly up to date with whatever is happening in IT and telecommunications. It gives me a good idea of some of the developments which are taking place and what sort of advancements we [Seagate] should be looking out for," said Another area of interest to Crawford is natural science, and the best information resource she has found is the Australian Geographic site.

Since being started by Dick Smith (of electronics fame) about a decade ago, Australian Geographic has become a highly successful publication and a great sponsor of significant scientific research.

Some of the expeditions it has organised include isolating married couples in places like Antarctica and remote north-west Australia for 12 months with no contact with the outside world.

"From there I can get a picture of what sort of research is currently being undertaken and any special events that may be of interest," said Crawford.

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