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Newsies on the

Tom Mangan

Friday, July 11, 1997

Harley Lond's World of Video

(http://www.onvideo.org/cyber pod/index.php)

by Tom ManganHarley Lond's personal Web site does everything but rewind the videotapefor you. Lond, chief copy editor at the Hollywood Reporter, has puttogether OnVideo, a site so vast in its detail that it can ensurevisitors will have at least ten good movies in mind so they can find atleast one of them among picked-over video store shelves.

OnVideo caters to the hardened film buff who must know when Sling Bladecomes out on video, but it also has capsule reviews of all the topreleases as they arrive in the stores. His calendar of video releasesgoes backward and forward so you can see what you've missed or know howlong you'll have to wait if you'd rather not pay the cost of afour-course meal for greasy popcorn and watered-down Cokes.

He also realizes there's no better baby-sitter than a video, so he has alarge section devoted to finding the best movies for kids. Those thatreally measure up get the "approved by Lizzie" rating, which includesthe picture of a little girl who could be a stand-in for any future"Curly Sue" sequels.

The news, reviews and children's movie sections will satisfy moms, dadsand casual videotape renters, but Lond knows there's a small but devotedclique of serious videotape fans -- the ones with the wide-screen TVs,seven-speaker home theater systems and the easiest of the easy chairs.They want more, and what they can't find at OnVideo they can find in oneof the links from his site. His resource guides tell the best places tofind rare, and even out-of-print, videos that will never weigh down theshelves of your local Blockbuster store. He also has a very fat list ofmovies available in wide-screen format for those video-hounds who alwayswonder what they're missing when they look at a video scene whose earshave been cut off to fit the needs of square television sets.

About the only thing missing is a search engine to help people sortthrough the reams of video data at Lond's site. The absence of a searchengine, though, is sort of refreshing because it shows that for all its depth and complexity, this is still a personal Web site, somethingsomebody is doing in his spare moments (lots of spare moments,obviously) for his own fun and the enjoyment of those who care to dropby. Sites like this always beg the question of when their creators findtime for such necessities as friends, family and reruns of The Simpsons,but that's none of our business anyway.

Just enjoy it and hope Lond doesn't find a new hobby.

~ ~ ~

Because they are created by professional writers, the personal Web sites of journalists tend to be features of interest and significance to a broad audience. In 1996, Tom Mangan, copyeditor of the Journal Star in Peoria, Ill., started searching out and collecting the URLs of journalistsí personal Web sites for his own home page's "Newsies on the Web" directory. Each week Mangan highlights one of his finds in this exclusive E&P Interactive feature.

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