The Best Internet Sites of 1999

No one can issue an honest list of "best" Internet sites. The Internet is too big, and so is the word best. As the Web penetrates its way into more and more of our lives, best becomes entirely relative. is great for one-stop shopping, and perhaps the best e-commerce site by some standards, but if it's something specific I'm after, I can usually find it cheaper somewhere else. The following, therefore, is a list of the best sites I use regularly; these are the URLs at the top of my bookmark list.

There's a reason this site crashed repeatedly when it first launched: it may be the best thing to happen to the Internet since the Mosaic browser was released back in 1993. For the past decade, it has been difficult to find information on the Web that was both reliable and extensive. The Britannica folks could have just offered the text of their encyclopedias and would have had one of the best sites online. But they went so much further, offering news, Web site ratings, magazine articles, and other features. In essence, they've become something the Internet has always needed: an editor.

Speaking of reliable information, the best news sites on the Web are still those founded by traditional forms of media: The New York Times,, CNN, BBC, etc. is essentially a search engine for news sites, and works far better than any of the others I've visited. Visitors can browse the news by region or topic, but since I normally use it to find religion stories, I usually just use the search box. It works wonderfully, especially if you know how to use boolean expressions. The engine still returns several unrelated hits, but it's well worth the effort.


"Yahoo!?" I can hear some readers' ...

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