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Published on March 7, 2000

News Business Reporter
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On the Internet it's easy to surf globally, harder to act locally.

Search Yahoo! for "child care" and "Western New York," for instance, and you'll turn up a center on Long Island that happens to have a Web presence. That doesn't mean Buffalo's invisible on the Internet. They're out there, sites with local information about everything from child care to dining, hospital report cards to auctions of local goods. But many of them are on a Web less traveled, where they languish in obscurity because of scant promotion or a hard-to-remember address.

To help cut the global computer network down to size, here are 10 untrampled sites rich in local content. Computer systems administrators, Internet service providers and other area cybernauts contributed their discoveries. -- With 8,000 pages, the Regional Information Network is the mother-lode of Western New York Web directories, but it's hampered by a slow access times during the day. Search by area or subject for government or community services. Operations Director Olivia Arditi doesn't think RIN's 500 daily users are enough. A faster server to improve access should be in place in about a month, she said. Another directory of community links is available at -- How good is the care at your hospital? Use this site to find out, operated by the Niagara Health Quality Coalition. In addition to survey results on area health care providers, there's a search engine for medical papers on what ails you. Bone up before you talk to your doctor, NHQC executive director Bruce Boissonnault recommends. The ad-free site is supported by state funds and private-sector donors. -- Internet auctions are booming, but ever try to ship a sofa UPS? Go local from eBay's main web page,, to connect with area buyers and sellers and save shipping fees. Cars and other oversized items are well represented. Another local auction site,, is operated by local Internet service provider Web Technologies. Few items were listed for sale last week, but it may be worth checking on later. -- This independent restaurant guide by University at Buffalo computer science professor Bill Rapaport lists area eateries by location, cuisine or alphabetically. It includes his rating and diners' comments, some well aged. It's heavy on selections near UB and in Buffalo, thinner in the suburbs, Niagara County and beyond. This giant map of Buffalo and its neighborhoods is deep within UB's library site, along with neighborhood descriptions, history and pictures. Drawbacks: it can take a while to load and street names aren't legible. Sponsored by the Shannon Pub in Amherst, this page has a collection of links to Hibernian cultural, shopping and news content. of the RIN sites, this baby has a searchable directory of area child care providers and other information for parents. "It's on our site but nobody knows about it," RIN's Arditi said. Another site, at operated by consultant Child Care Management Services, provides its own listing plus classified ads and tips on choosing a center. Roots won't tell you who your ancestors are, but the Buffalo Genealogy Forum is a place to start for family tree research. Resources in the area are many, but genealogical research means actually leaving the computer screen and looking up records on paper, Roots warns. This cryptic address takes you to the search page for the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library. The Beacon search system is hardly a secret for regular library visitors, but might be overlooked by others. Check it before you head out the door -- the book you want may be signed out at the downtown library but available at a branch. The search is a click away from the library's main page, Want more? Here's a links page to other less-traveled local sites, including a live Web-cam trained on Niagara Square and a "You know you're from Buffalo if . . ." list.

Know a locally oriented site that deserves to be bookmarked? Click will run a list of Web sites of local interest as they are compiled. E-mail suggestions to
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