Many will probably remember the story of the intelligent, talking frog, sitting on his lily pad and being bombarded by two kids with a host of books from the library. Glancing at each book and tossing it aside, the frog’s only response is, "Read it … read it … read it."

Okay, so this is an abridged version of the joke, but it was a good one after a couple of pints.

Funny thing is, for the past month or so I’ve felt just like that frog (figuratively, G, figuratively!) – telling almost every second person looking to tip me off on something, "read it … read it … read it."

And the reason for this? www.it-online.co.za.

Before I digress into some marketing pitch, picture the following:

… Sitting imbibing a few of the amber ones with Reggie’s mate Robbie in the corner of his favourite local (funny, it’s always in the corner, back to the wall). The bokkie bristles like a threatened sea urchin. "Jislaaik, bru, did you hear about those IT okes tapping journo’s phones?" tapping his temple with his forefinger. "Sheesh, they’re mal! They’re going to chookie for yonks!"

"The HP Five," I nod. "Not really … they’ve already been offered pretty lenient plea bargains."

"Troosbob? How’d you know that?" Robbie squints, like a boxer wondering where the sucker-punch came from.

"Read it," I reply. "On IT-Online."

… Intel’s PR. Bright, on-the-ball and enthusiastic as ever: "Got a hot story I’m sending to you RIGHT NOW! Intel’s using phenomenal new materials to build the insulating walls and switching gates of its 45nm transistors!"

"Read it," comes my deflating monotone. "On IT-Online."

… Deep Throat, huddled protectively over his half-full pint mug, strokes his Zapata like a pet ferret and whispers in the hoarse manner only he can, "Hear Tarsus is launching a new security division. Net-something-or-other."

"Nope," I wink. "MB Tech is launching a separate security company – and it’s NetDefense. Believe Guy Whitcroft’s heading it up until they find someone."

He’s not well-pleased. Reputation and all that. "Hmmph! Where did you get that?"

"Read it" I shrug. "On IT-Online."

… One of my "impeccable sources", almost breathless in anticipation of his tip: "You didn’t get it from me, but Hans Horn is leaving Lexmark."

"Hans has already left and his replacement is Branislav Zivkovic; the new CFO is Roland Huber whose predecessor, Hamid Ait Madi, is now services manager," I breathe the life out of him.

"Ag, nee man! I only just found that out! How’d you know?"

"I read it," I smile. "On IT-Online."

… Zed Leppellin on the phone, exchanging pleasantries and then, as is his habit, quickly cutting to the chase: "I heard something about Ingram Micro coming to South Africa," he says. "Is this just the rumour resurfacing, or is it for real this time?"

I pause. "This time it’s for real. It’s a joint venture with MB Tech. Part of Storgate will be folded into the new company – Ingram Micro South Africa – and part will be spun off as a storage solutions company yet to be named. It’s said that they’re only going to do components, but that remains to be seen. They’re going to be based in Linbro Park and, as yet, haven’t announced who’s going to head it up. It’s going to be a local MD, though, and I’d hazard a very good guess at who … PS, it won’t be Leo or Guy."

"Jikkel-Stikkel," Leppelin exclaims. "Where’d you get all that from?"

"Wrote it," I reply. "For IT-Online."

IT-Online (www.it-online.co.za) is a new website featuring what we like to call REAL IT news. It was launched in January by yours truly, Kathy Gibson and Karen Matthews.

Go on, take a look … and maybe next time YOU can make like the frog.