IBM and Help Users Rate the Web's Best and Worst

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LOS ANGELES - 04 Apr 2000: -- At, Internet users can now influence search results by rating and reviewing Web sites using a new system developed with IBM. At the heart of the new system is the rate-and-review process built by IBM Global Services which uses Java applets and Java script to enable any Internet user to rate and review any Web site quickly and easily, ensuring that top-rated sites appear first in search results.

" is a powerful, exciting site based on an intriguing idea," says Gary Brown, VP Southwest Region, IBM e-business services. "We're proud to have been able to bring this idea to life. This project is one of many examples in the IBM portfolio of successful, innovative sites that help make the Web work better for businesses and consumers."

"Polls and surveys always show that the number one way people find out about worthwhile Web sites is through personal recommendations from other people -- not from ads, not from magazines, not from spiders or bots -- but from actual human beings who've spent time at those sites," observes Scott Danielson, President and CEO of, Inc. So identifying the opportunity was easy: we decided to build the Web's biggest and best human recommendation engine, fueled by the informed opinions of millions of Internet users. But making it work was a real challenge. Fortunately, IBM had the breadth and depth of talent to make this system really sing."

The challenges met by the IBM team included stabilization and migration of the database -- which already contains the world's largest collection of user-rated and reviewed sites, according to Planet Click -- from Sybase to Oracle, while optimizing performance to achieve the speediest possible search results. The IBM team also achieved greater reliability and fail-over through the implementation of a Read database, a Read/Write database and a standby database, and implemented Perl scripts using XML files to generate HTML pages to keep up with the site's high volume of continuously updated content.

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