Alert Your Business Desk To

By: Charles Bowen

The Web grows dramatically every single day. While that speaks volumes about the health of the medium, it also produces volumes of new articles, tables, graphics, facts, and figures that somehow have to be cataloged by our digital community’s ever-more stressed search facilities. Increasingly, those of us who use the Internet for research realize that relying on a one-size-fits-all search engine is becoming unrealistic. Google is great, but shouldn’t we also be cultivating specialized searchers for broad topics like business and the economy?

That’s precisely the thinking behind a new search engine devoted exclusively to financial Web sites. You’ll want to make sure your business staff is wise to, a search engine that scans exclusively for financial information across a database of more than 3.5 million documents. Visit the site at and click the “Enter the FinanceWise Site” link at the top of the resulting screen. You then are greeted by a tightly composed introductory page that explains the site’s three ways of searching for business-oriented data:

* Keyword. Type a word or phrase in the data-entry box at the top of the screen and click on the “Search” button. Put phrases in quotation marks. You also can use some logical operators. A space is treated as a logical OR, a plus sign (+) is AND, and a minus sign (-) is NOT. Wildcards (or “placeholders”) are also supported in your search. Use the asterisk (*) for several characters (so COMPUT* finds “computers,” “computing,” “computations,” etc.) or a question mark (?) for a single character (an ORGANI?E to find either the U.S. or British spelling of organize/organise).

* Smart Search. Clicking the “Smart” link below the data entry box enables you to find company sites by name, country, type, language, or region. This page has a number of unique search options. You can use just one of these, or combine these options, say, to search for all financial software companies which are headquartered in Western Europe. Sites matching your selected criteria are presented in a list with no relevancy rankings.

* Sector Search. When you click “by Sector” on the introductory page, the site takes you to FinanceWise’s directory of topics broken down into eight main areas with more than 80 sub-categories. Here you can find, for instance, a list of financial advisers, sites that offer venture finance, or brokers that specialize in commodities. Click down from general headings to specific. For instance, clicking the heading “Investments” leads to a list of 11 further investment options, from “emerging markets” to “hedge funds.” Clicking “hedge funds” brings you to a list of associated Web sites. Sites may appear in a number of these categories (or none).

Other considerations for using in your writing and editing:

1. The introductory page of the site also has links to search the site for “Jobs” (positions open in banking and finance along with related news and press releases), for “Conferences” (including financial courses, workshops, and seminars from at least 140 different organizers) and “The Bookshop” (for published works searchable by author, publisher or one of some 100 categories).

2. The main page also has a “News Wires” link for reaching current business news from Reuters, PR Newswire, and other resources.

3. In addition, also on the introductory page you can sign up for the site’s e-mail alerts on specific business-related topics. See the link on the right top of the main page.

To see Bowen’s last 10 columns, click here. Previous columns may be purchased in our paid archives. Search for “Bowen” in the “Author” field.

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