June 1, 2008 (Vol. 28, No. 11)


Strong Points: Educational content
Weak Points: Commercials

Recently I was asked by someone pushing their own commercial website what it took for me to list a site in this column. I replied that it had to have materials that would be useful to the visitor, and useful didn’t translate as “an online product catalog or tech info thereof.” In other words, it had to have material that was not dependent on what the company was selling. The Olympus Microscopy Resource Center, with a lot of technical information on light, color, techniques info, a microscopy primer, and other extensive information not dependent on a particular microscope meets these criteria nicely. Included also are informative, interactive Java-based tutorials on subjects covering much of the lingo of microscopy, which are simple and easy to understand. To be sure, Olympus does, in fact, cleverly tuck commercials for their products amongst the many things they offer at the site, but is that really any different than TV shows with commercials embedded in them? Worth a visit.