In the dotcom boom years, internet users became positively indignant if a site asked them to pay for its editorial. These days, it's actually reassuring: not only does it give the material on the site a value, but it also means the website stands a chance of commercial success and therefore longevity. ManagementFirst has been set up by Emerald, which is the new trading name of MCB University Press, a management publisher of some 30 years. Its mission, it says, is to make you a better manager and it aims to do so by providing a range of free but also paid-for in-depth articles, distillations of key management information, business news and management theory. Users can click one of 13 channels, which includes HR, CRM, and knowledge management, and are taken to a selection of news stories in that area. These stories then lead on to a précis of an article from the 35,000-strong Emerald database where you can read more on the subject and are given the chance to buy the full text. There's plenty of free-to-access info, polls and discussion forums, and when we dropped by the HR section there were handy guides on carrying out background checks and establishing a policy for whistleblowing.