Here is a snippet from this weeks Barron's article: "Surf's Up" ranking of best web sites by category. The categories were bonds, chat/message boards, commentary, company research, economic data, investor education, financial news, global markets, mutual funds, portfolio trackers, screeners, supersites, tech news and technical analysis. __________________________________________ Web Feat Cracking our list of online investing stars isn't easy; here are the sites that did By KATHY YAKAL THERE WAS A TIME, hard though it might be to believe, that we got basic investment information somewhere other than the Internet. Of course, perspicacious news and analysis can still be found in weekly publications such as the one you're reading, yet it, too, is available online. But apart from a dwindling band of Luddites, investors go to the Web to quickly catch up on the markets, stocks or mutual funds. That said, the ubiquity of the 'Net makes apparent the mediocrity of much of what's found there. To counter that, Barron's presents its annual Best of the Web rankings. We scored using the same criteria as last year: the sites' usability, their design, and ease of navigation. And now that not everything available is free, as during the Bubble Era, we took fees into consideration, too. We mulled over each site's universe of market data, and how it was presented. We critiqued editorial content, both original and taken from credible sources, along with each site's tools and interactivity. And we considered the timeliness of each site's content delivery. We should mention, too, that we did not exclude sites from our corporate cousins at Dow Jones, the publisher of Barron's. We're no "homers," however, as some worthy competitors get top scores. Herewith the results: Chat/Message Boards Silicon Investor (www.siliconinvestor.com) once again got top marks. The site posts hot topics on its opening page, and you can drill down into all that's offered. Silicon Investor divides its message threads into several broad categories, ranging from Aerospace and Defense to Market Trends and Strategies to Web/Information Stocks. The boards are well-attended, with a minimum of fluff. Honorable Mention goes to The Motley Fool (www.fool.com). The site has developed quite a community over the years, evidenced by the rate of participation on its message boards -- and the quality of a lot of its postings. Message threads are divided by topic, but there's also an A-Z listing of individual stocks. Elite Trader (www.elitetrader.com) is a great compendium of message boards, divided into typical categories (trading, futures, technical analysis) and not-so-typical master topics, like the psychology of trading.