Friday, March 31, 2000

The Cyber Scene in Dallas ~ by Gregg Wetterman

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“Big D” is not just “Big Tech” anymore.
The North Texas area is on everyone's top five list of technology communities. We have made it on that list by having companies with names like TI, EDS, Perot, and Nokia. They produce hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in revenue for the area. But as I sit here looking at the biz cards on my desk from DOT COM’s I see names like elogo, memorial, uBundle, efanshop, cpaQuest, FurnitureGuide, and BigFatWow and I cannot help but think that the tide is changing. I could fill this page with the names of companies from which I have met people and still not get everyone. Yes Big D may still be Big Tech but the big guys better watch out because these new folks are serious about what they are doing and they're out to change the world.

It’s the law

Thursday night at The Dallas Internet Society meeting Robin Brooks and David Willie of the Baker Botts Law Firm walked an attentive group of over 100 members of the Dallas Internet world through the some of the legal issues related to doing business on the net. They did a wonderful job of breaking down the legal issues concerning such things as cybersquatting, metatags, smart banner advertising, and framing. They also discussed issues relating to need for well-defined privacy policies and the legal/political environment in which privacy is being addressed.

Thou shall not talk biz

Paige Dawson one the founders of iThought.com, my wife and I meet Marianne Radwan of the VC firm Sevin Rosen and a few other local tech types for drinks on Friday.  It was a new experience because everyone decided that we could not talk biz so it was an evening full of food, drinks and darts. In case anyone is curious “There is life without work”.

Hump Day High Tech Happy Hour

Wednesday night was my weekly GeekMeet.com “High Tech Happy Hour.” We had about 115 members of the local Internet community show up for this week’s Happy Hour. CB Richard Ellis Real Estate hosted the event that was held at the Cool River Café in Los Colinas. We had free pool and darts plus drinks so it was hard not to have fun.   I had a chance to talk to Christal Aycock the biz dev manager of bigfatwow and Casie Caldwell of scient. Was able to meet the other co- founder of servicelane, Venkatesh Kumar who showed up with his VP of engineering Mark Ellis, and Jennifer Thompson who handles the HR department. Tom Howard a senior developer for satamausa showed up and we talked about the need to get more developers involved in the group. 








 

Microsoft Network buys breakfast

The MSN breakfast series rolled into Dallas on Thursday morning.  MSN treated the local Net Heads to breakfast and Mark Wright of @plan did a presentation on “Effectively Harnessing the Power of the Internet as an advertising, marketing and retailing Medium”. Dave Manchee the new District Sales Manager for MSn was busy meeting the new faces. I finally had a chance to put a face with a name when I bumped into Grace Chang. Have you noticed how you think you know someone in this wired world and then one day you really meet the person face to face.

As always “I am having the time of my life”.

Gregg Wetterman

Do I hear more ECHOs?




Peals of laughter from children rang out amidst the giggles of elders at
ECHO's 10-year anniversary on Friday, March 31. Stacy Horn, the founder of
ECHO, was playing the role of dutiful hostess, making sure everyone got a
nametag. My experience at this remarkable, historic event was similar to
others--faces faintly familiar and mutual recognition of past Caucus
buddies. ECHO was the de facto original community in New York's Silicon
Alley, before the term was even coined. And many of its original members
still flock to its text-based bulletin board system to discuss everything
from Chaucer to chance encounters (of all kinds).

ECHO is also typified by a class of true programmers, hackers, writers,
artists, as well as other artists from the technical, digital and creative
realms. Stacy is the doyenne of this literary and techie den, and she's got
a lot to be proud of. Ten years is a long time -- and to be successful and
show no signs of slowing down in this industry is a coup many can only
dream about.

While Stacy mingled with guests, who ranged from ages two weeks to 32
years, I caught up with James Sanders of his own firm, Molly Ker of
Agency.com (she’s going to live in London for six months) and Jackie
Donovan. Lianne Smith and Rob Tannenbaum were among the musicians present
-- both were performing at Fez and the Knitting Factory, respectively.
Stacy was also telling me about her new all-women samba band.

It definitely was a family affair too: Angus and Hadley brought their
newborn Gillan, who bounced quietly in Daddy's arms as they navigated the
room full of toddlers and preschoolers. Neandergal was another member who
had children in tow. Other GEO's (Geriatric Echoids) came out of curiousity
and reverence to see long lost friends.

Bits & Bytes -and- Shakers & Stirrers 3/31/00

News Bits And Bytes 
Send your announcements to: news@TheCyberScene.com



Shakers & STIRRERS

Foodline.com Names New Sales and Marketing Management Team
Katalyst Adds World Class Strength to Marketing Team
Changes at the Top of CDNow

B&B

Bidland.com Launches Web Based Auction Tool
Internet Companies Want Homegrown Content
Centerseat and Henninger to Produce Digital Programming Archive
Razorfish Launches Online Talent Market
Schwartz PR Spins Off Internet Company
Goa Media Group Launches Spanish-Language Football Site




SHAKERS & STIRRERS FULL STORY:

Foodline.com Names New Sales and Marketing Management Team

New York-based foodline.com (www.foodline.com), provider of diner information
and reservation management technology solutions to the restaurant industry,
has announced several new appointments to the company. The new hires include
Rebecca Young as Vice President of Marketing; Mike Young (No, they're to
related!) as Vice President of Sales (no relation); David Hlavac as Director
of Sales for the Western region; and Mike Dee as Director of Sales for the
Eastern Region.

Rebecca Young brings more than 10 years of business-to-business
and business-to-consumer direct and Internet marketing experience.  Most
recently, she held the position of Marketing Director at Concrete Media, a
top 50 Internet business development company. Michael Young has been
foodline.com's Vice President of Sales since January 2000. He has experience
in pre-IPO organizations, has managed complex multi-million dollar sales
processes and has consistently exceeded sales quotas. Mike Dee joins
foodline.com as the Director of Sales for the eastern half of the United
States. Mr. Dee has 15 years of experience at such companies as the target
marketing arm of Equifax, Inc., and LBR Group Commodities Trading Co. and
WWWeb Ventures, Inc. David Hlavac brings more than 16 years experience
selling business software solutions to a number of vertical industries.  Most
recently, as president and co-founder of WWWebVentures, Inc.


Katalyst Adds World Class Strength to Marketing Team

Katalyst has welcomed a few new senior marketing professionals into the fold.
The first Full Service Accelerator™ (FSA) providing strategic venture capital
and management services to B2B Internet start-ups has added three senior
marketing professionals and an in-house publicist to its staff.  Joining
Katalyst are Sandeep Thakrar, Venture Katalyst; Larry Pearl, Venture
Katalyst; Louis Carmellini, Venture Katalyst; and Kathy Knaub, Publicist.
Thakrar and Pearl come to Katalyst from Ecom Advisors LLC, a New York
eCommerce strategy consulting firm that they co-founded.  Both are regular
contributors to Fortune magazine’s Fortune Small Business e-zine, where
their bylines appear on the Net Guys column.  Also, they teach a course in
New York City titled "Successful Ecommerce and E-Tailing."


Changes at the Top of CDNow

CDNow has announced a few changes at the top. Leaving the company are VP of
sales Bob Saltzman VP of Strategic Development Frank Fazio, VP of Opportunies
Steve Dong and VP of Direct Marketing Chris Hoerenz. He is heading over to
Publishers Clearinghouse.com.




BITS & BYTES FULL STORY




Bidland.com Launches Web Based Auction Tool
If you like the auctions concept you're going to love a new service from Bidland.com which allows businesses to create an auction on their site in under 30 minutes. The best part? Use of the technology is being given away for free. Instead of charging businesses to build the auctions, Bidland.com gets its revenue through a 5 percent commission on each auction sale the businesses make. Bidland.com is looking for strategic partners, such as associations, communities and agencies, to serve as resellers. And there's a few cool ways to use Bidland.com: chairyt auctions, market research, business-to-business sales and business-to-consumer sales.
Internet Companies Want Homegrown Content
Mass production may work for old media, but a new survey co-sponsored by Streetmail confirms that Internet users prefer local content produced in their own backyards. Launched to serve the small to mid-sized markets overlooked by most Internet companies, Streetmail employs local writers in communities across the country to deliver free email newsletters full of area news, views and listings. In the poll by Streetmail and Greenfield Online research, more than 70 percent of respondents said they would prefer to read local content created within their communities rather than content produced for their market by a remote source.
Centerseat and Henninger to Produce Digital Programming Archive
Online content is great, but once it's gone it's hard to get it back. That may change, thanks to a new partnership between Centerseat LLC (www.centerseat.com), the global digital media and commerce facilitation company is partnering with Henninger Media Services Inc., one of the nation’s largest and most respected video, film, and new media services providers. Henninger will take care of cleansing, digitizing, color correcting and audio correcting Centerseat’s enormous programming content archive, which currently contains more than 100,000 hours of films and classic TV. The archive spans a wide range of genres and periods of history and contains rare independent films from around the world, including some of the first silent films dating as early as 1908 as well as more current blockbusters, cult favorites, documentaries, cartoons, and classic TV specials. This archive will supplement Centerseat’s rich slate of over 250 original shows.
Razorfish Launches Online Talent Market
Not sure who you are? Check out IAM.COM, a new site by Razorfish, Inc. (NASDAQ: RAZF). The global digital solutions provider has created IAM.COM, the first ever global Web site to bring aspiring artists and entertainment industry professionals together in a virtual community. Razorfish leveraged its expertise in business strategy, brand enhancement, innovative technology, and user interface design, to introduce IAM.COM as a premier online talent resource. Razorfish created a site, consisting of four performance areas divided into categories of actors, models, musicians, and dancers, which communicates resourceful information as well as provides artists the opportunity for legitimate industry discovery.
Schwartz PR Spins Off Internet Company
Schwartz Public Relations is putting both feet squarely in the digitral camp. In a move to more effectively provide PR services for the Internet community, Schwartz has spun off Schwartz PR Interactive, it was announced today by Barry M. Schwartz, President, Schwartz Public Relations Associates, Inc. The newly-formed company will focus exclusively on providing creative and strategic public relations support to the interactive industries. As Schwartz Public Relations, the company has been in the Internet space since 1993, establishing it as one of the most experienced players in this category. Steven Wright-Mark, former Director of Internet and Special Events for Schwartz Public Relations, has been named President of Schwartz PR Interactive, and brings 15 years of PR experience to this position.
Goa Media Group Launches Spanish-Language Football Site
Time to brush up on your Spanish. Goal Media Group Chairman Alan Rothenberg today announced the launch of http://www.todogol.com/, the definitive Spanish-language football site, and the appointment of Sergio Ferraro as todogol.com’s Executive Producer. The site debuts April 17, 2000. Ferraro comes to todogol.com from StarMedia where he served as sports editor in chief. He previously was the sports editor in chief at LA PRENSA and the editor in chief of the football section of DIARIO DEPORTIVO OLE, the Argentine sports newspaper. Ferraro is the author of “Argentina en los Mundiales,” a book about the history of the World Cup and Argentina’s role in it. www.todogol.com will offer live match results, news, exclusive stories, opinion and feature coverage from a network of correspondents based in todogol.com’s news bureaus in Mexico, Colombia, Uruguay, Chile, Bolivia, Paraguay, Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela, Brazil, Panama, El Salvador, the U.S., Italy and Spain. Headquartered in Buenos Aires, todogol.com will provide coverage of all the leagues in Latin America, along with a comprehensive community section featuring message boards and chat. 

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eLance.com, the global services marketplace, is now paying people up to $25,000 to refer their friends and family.  If you sign up for the eLance.com Referral Rewards Program, you too can earn referral rewards for each friend that joins the program. And, you'll even earn money when your referrals get their friends to sign up, and so on, and so on... up to $25,000! To sign up for eLance.com's Referral Rewards program, click here: http://www.elance.com/cgi-bin/marketplace/main/referer.pl?rid=BHJ&action=dis play.

Join iSyndicate, the content marketplace, and special co-host AGENCY.COM, for Syndication 101, a one-day seminar for corporate Web sites at the Millennium Broadway on Thursday, April 13th. Space is limited, so RSVP today at www.isyndicate.com/nyseminar/.

2 Free Movie Rentals! You are not a member of KOZMO.COM yet?  You haven’t felt the utter convenience of getting a movie, 2 packs of smokes and an orange juice delivered to your door in under and hour? GO to KOZMO.COM. Sign up for a free membership. When prompted, enter the code CTWC – select two movies, sit back and relax! When you are done, return the movies to one of our 130+ drop boxes in NYC!

CYBER SCENE SOCIAL NOTES ~ 3/31/00

In an attempt to help facilitate better networking for new media professionals and "Scenesters," here are some points that will be added during the weeks. They will be archived here.
* Whether you are a guest of a small soiree or a major melee, remember you are a guest and when the host, hostess or sponsor speaks, it is your kind obligation to listen.

TCS Intro ~ 3/31/00

THE CYBER SCENE
New York

NEW YORK March 31, 2000

This Week
Box 147
Planetary Influence
Robotic tonic
Divas in the Village
O Me! O My! A man on stilts!
The big six
A night of Worlds, Discovery, Excite@home and TheSquare
A butcher, A baker, a Candlestick maker
The Cyber Scene in Dallas ~ by Gregg Wetterman
Regular Features:
Cyber Scene Social Notes
Bits & Bytes


WELCOME! * All about Business Week
What's this thing all about anyway? Diane Brady showed off her easy-reading wonderful writing style in a profile of the woman behind the Cyber Scene and her various properties. April 3, 2000, page 110. Happy Reading! http://www.businessweek.com/2000/00_14/b3675163.htm
* It's Tres Bazaar
If you happen upon the April issue of Harper's Bazaar, page 88 has a little quote and pic of Yours Truly!
* I've got Spirit!
I'm honored to by included in The Spirit's article "Manhattan's Most Powerful Women (You've never heard of)" by David Colby, Alina Larson & Mary Reinholz. Page 10. Read the wonderful quotes by Jim Ledbetter (The Industry Standard) and Burt Alimansky (New York Venture Group).
* CyberSceneTV http://www.cyberscenetv.com/
Check out the first segment of our London show -- all about how the Cyber Scene got started in the UK. Fast or slow, Windows or Real, we've got your stream. There's also the first show, and stay tuned for updates.
* Cocktails with Courtney
Spring Black-tie benefit. May 24th. Sponsorships still available
* Speaking engagement
Please come to the panel I'll be speaking on at the Garage.com's NY "Bootcamp for Startups" April 11, 2000, 2:15 PM, PIER SIXTY at the Chelsea Piers "Let's Do Launch" Moderator: Guy Kawasaki

Thursday, March 30, 2000

A butcher, A baker, a Candlestick maker


Well, actually it was more a banker, an investor and an e-com developer. Dr. Geoffrey S. Carroll, president & CEO of Internet Commerce Corporation, hosted a cocktail party in his three-storied home on the Upper East Side. Behind the austere exterior there is a home rich in history, art, and commerce. Gorgeous tapestries hung from the walls, a small herd of antlers graced the others, oil paintings, illustrations and the family crest were other decorative features to the massive home.

Dr. Carroll and the other hosts Tim Straus, senior managing director of Bear Sterns and Doug Schmidt, managing director of ING Barings invited friends and associates for the intimate gathering. I invited a few friends that I wanted to include and David Friedensohn of BigStar, Diana Butler of iXL, Tery Spataro and Debbie Newman came up to meet some of these investment-types. I mixed in with the very pin-striped crowd and met Jonathan Pressman, SVP of Prime Charter.

David Rosenfeld of Eagle Growth found out he was on the same baseball team with one of Bob Ponce's neighbors. Peter MacGuire and Dermot McAtamney of DKM Equity Partners told me how they might try and plan a trip to Dublin to meet up with one of their newest clients. Key Compton and Gary Gluck of Solbright were also in attendance, and down by the baby grand piano I met the dashing Michael Peacock, SVP-Investments at Salomon Smith Barney. Upstairs, near the massive fireplace were Gilbert Dunham of The Courtney Group and Brian Tully of MViDigital. A creative infusion came David Weil and Raymond Roubeni of Ego Media and Anna, a consultant with Wit Capital, and Ann, an actress will be performing on broadway soon.

My introduction to this event came from long-time friend James O'Connor, a cousin of Dr. Carroll's. James, who is at Mercury Interactive, stopped by for a bit with his seriously successful wife, Melissa Grossman, managing director of Zefer's New York office. The party was proof that when you bring together quality people in an elegant setting, positive networking will be a result!

A night of Worlds, Discovery, Excite@home and TheSquare


Not many companies can host parties with live music in their very own office, but Exite@home is one of them. An additional attraction was the great view from their 23rd floor office on Fifth Ave overlooking Bryant Park. Their senior vice-president, John Kelly (the most senior officer of Excite@home in New York) talked to me about what they're up to: "with the Excite@home broadband portal launching next week, we will be offering the next generation of advertising opportunities, taking us well beyond the banner ad age". Among the eminent Silicon Alley-ites mingling with a good representation of Exite@home from Redwood City, were Josh Bourne, of global services at Register.com, Feisal Afzal of Kizna.com, Michael Cole of ezuz.com, Hunter Beall of Morgan Stanley and Ben Wallerstein, who works with Xerox CEO David Kearns.

Next stop was Harry Cipriani in front of Grand Central, the venue chosen by Discovery Networks for a party so fabulous that it included a huge luminous globe, a robotic baby elephant and the fuselage of a plane. Lynn McReynolds, the senior vice president of communications of Discovery Networks, explained to me how Discovery grew. They went from being one U.S. channel to a global media company with 15 different TV brands, a presence in 147 countries and a robust online portal that features content and e-commerce aligned with their various programming genres.

The other extraordinary event of the evening was offered by Worlds.com, the company of Steve Chrust: a Hanson gig at the Bowery Ballroom. If you are older than 19 you may not know the band Hanson, but not to worry: they're coming after you with a more mature repertoire, now that their original constituency is aging into the ripe early twenties (I quite like them, though, regardless of age).
And now it was about time to make it to Obeca Li for the party of TheSquare.com, which is an online community for students and alumni of Ivy-league universities. Co-hosting the party was UrbanFetch.com. Lauren Giglio (of previous Downtown Alliance fame), the director of marketing of TheSquare.com, said that TheSquare is trying to find a balance between online and off-line, and that this party shows that they can transform virtual traffic into actual attendance. Founder and CEO James Marciano promised that we are going to hear a lot about TheSquare in the next few weeks. Among the guests were Sarene Yablonsky of MusicVision.com, Felice Carson of Internet.com and Jody Kahn of 24/7 Media. I spoke with author and investor Jennifer Bawden about her recent book "Get A Life, Then Get A Man," is a rebuttal of sorts of "The Rules" that was featured on CBS earlier in the day. It made me think that writing a book is, among other things, a great way to have a rich conversation topic at cocktail parties. But hey, working on an Internet start-up is not far behind it, is it?"

The big six


Once again more than a handful of Internet companies decided to challenge event the most seasoned partiers and all throw their party on one day. Thursday night, March 20th was a busy one for net-workers. In the spring young men's minds turn to… and when you put 300 of them in one location, limitless drinks and fetching fillies, then the studs start acting up. UrbanFetch and The Square caterered to the young set setting them up for spring flings. Meanwhile, Discovery 2000 attempted to woo web-savvy professionals to their uptown soiree at Cipriani's on 42nd. The giant-sized inflated globe outside and neon lights definitely made an impact. Excite @Home's soiree impressed the guests with their new beautiful offices and announcement of their Broadband launch. And Earthlink drew in a good crowd too at their party at the All Star Café. "We wanted to have it in Times Square and utilize the TV monitors," said Howard Lefkowitz, VP BizDev and Internet marketing. He shouted out, over the racket, about the party and how they were ranked the no. 1 ISP by Media Metrix and one of the top 25 sites by Nielson, they had parties going on around the country and broadcast them all live. Michael Eisen spoke at one and Vanna White announced May Sweeps (May 1 - 12) as "Dot Com Week" where the Wheel of Fortune will begin to offer Internet firms' offerings as prizes (i.e. books from Amazon.com, services from usabancshares.com).

I was uptown at a private party for the Internet Commerce Corporation, which I assisted in coordinating, I asked everyone's favorite omnipresent charming networker Bernardo Joselevich of DutyFreeGuide to send me his thoughts on the night's activities.

Wednesday, March 29, 2000

O Me! O My! A man on stilts!


Obeca Li's serene sushi restaurant set the stage for March's "Cocktails with Courtney" event. Votives, candy and branded lighters and fortune cookies adorned the tables. As guests arrived, they were entertained outside by a fabulous magician and a man on stilts, compliments of Camera Planet. Once inside, Renaissance Multimedia offered them branded chopsticks. We had some noteworthy newsies like Phil Rosenbaum and Charles Molieneaux of CNN with their respective bookers, Matt Villano of New York Software News, Doug Donovan of Forbes, Alina Larsen of the Manhattan Newspaper Group and the super stylish Melissa Ceria of Harper's Bazaar.

Deborah Hadley of Appnet, Parke Steiger of LoadTV, Robert Pina of Register.com and Steven Fritz of Olive were among the cocktail set. Mark Policarpio, Sharon Shaw and Brandon Hensley of SixHat, Michael Tchong and Beth Weintraub of Iconocast and Sophie from French Elle magazine were also in attendance.

Tom Des Jardins of Lightningcast, Steve Rosenbaum of CameraPlanet and Andrew Edwards of Renaissance Multimedia said a few words of thanks over the unruly guests. I must say, it really is getting tiring, go to and host events where eager new media networkers refuse to quiet down to hear a sponsor speak. Have we really gotten this ungrateful, jaded or uninterested in the people and companies we're coming on contact with? Is everyone only truly interested in how many top-shelf drinks they down in a few hours, and do they all sniff with indignation at sub-gourmet hors d'oeuvres?
Well, the party resumed (not that it stopped) and the stilt-man and magician continued to entertain. The VIP lounge provided an opportunity for a few friends to mingle in a quieter place. Sake, wine and martinis soaked up the thirsty throats, and afterwards a few select folks headed upstairs for sushi. I joined the Soliloquy table and chatted with Catherine Winchester, Mark Lucente, Matthew Glitzer, Shelley Shick and David Berdon over some sake. And after brief hellos at a few other tables, I bid adieu and closed the chapter on this party.

Tuesday, March 28, 2000

Robotic tonic


In an odd way an animated kitchen appliance is relaxing. I know because I played with two on Tuesday night, March 28th. Now before you start getting ideas in your head--they were art installations by a student in NYU's ITP showcase. The blender and toaster were wired and light sensitive, so when I flashed it (with a flashlight) it operated itself across the stage.

The stage was set at Tonic on the Lower East Side for the SubDigital.org party. This conglomeration of new media minded entrepreneurs, artists, writers, filmmakers and others was hosted by the tried-and-true trio of RedFilter, InSound and MP3Lit. William O'Shea, Ali Afshar and Steve Weiss were text-book hosts. They introduced around guests who would benefit from knowing each other and made sure the evening ran smoothly.

Jen Lewin of Blueink.com was the other ITP installation -- she designed a harp that has lasers for strings and uses a small processor and midi commands to play. I chatted for a bit with Mark Singer of Togglethis and Nigel Wright of Shift magazine when Syl Tang of HipGuide showed up with attorney Havona Madam. Also upstairs, Daniel Holton-Roth of Broome Street Media educated me on his community site for filmmakers and awesome office space. Andrew Goldstein, reporter with Time magazine, Ed Halter of the NYUnderground Film Festival and Ari Paparo of Blink.com were there with friends and mingling with the artful crowd like Genevieve Field of Nerve and Danielle Chang of Simplicity.

Although it was quite dark, you could still make out a few faces. I met Marina Barinova of Deutsch Bank, Matt Wishnow of Insound and Dan Koetter, the newest Redfilter hire. I was ready to go, but there was a steady stream of creative media people streaming in.... the toaster was going to be busy tonight!

Planetary Influence


The stars were aligned perfectly for Samantha Saturn, president of Saturn Network, on Tuesday, March 28, for her launch party at Galaxy Global Eatery. Lou LaGrange, digital marketing specialist with Saturn, was also acting as gracious host. As Phil (see above) and I entered the night-sky blue room with galaxy lights twinkling above, we ran into Seth Price of USLaw.com and Marci Weisler of Vindigo chatting it up. Scott Heiferman of I-traffic was congenial as we marveled about how this industry is so large that two people could go out every night and never run into each other. He also was beaming like a new Papa about his next company, Rocketboard, of which he's the founder and board member. He introduced us to Rocketboard's CEO Peter Sulick. They'd just gotten some (nice) early press in Newsweek.

Samantha came over to say hello -- she was one of the first advertisers in my column when she was with N2K -- and to explain what her new firm does. They are the outsourcing marketing department for digital brands. Steve Klein of iballs.com said "it's the old guard that's here tonight" as he passed by to greet other early netnauts. Jim McCovey of Reader's Digest and Matt Cortellesi of The Globe.com were entertaining Patty Vandenack and Julia Regen who are starting up a headhunting firm. Stan Sandberg of ING Barings, Stacey Mayesh (a stylist), Peter Hyman of Middleberg and Leah Esposito (graphic designer) were enjoying the scene and the storm of hors d'oeuvres that flew out of the kitchen at the rate of comets.

Box 147


Box 147? Right this way, Ma'am. Almost 100 years ago this woman would've been escorted downstairs to a room lined with shiny solid brass security boxes. Today, this former bank (and residence of JP Morgan) is one of the newest members to the quickly expanding club of renovated buildings in the financial district. The vaults still have their massive doors, but now are lined with wine bottles and now act as private dining rooms. The bar is made of original wood from the bank's executive offices and the apartments upstairs may just house the next "dot-com JP Morgan." While this night, Tuesday, March 28th, there wasn't an Internet crowd, there were plenty of party planners and restaurant associated professionals who will soon enough be planning them for this fabulous marble and stoical space.

Jason Largever and Susan Andersen of 55 Broad Street were mingling with the other guests, and have definite plans to take advantage of the close proximity of Vine, at 25 Broad Street. Delectable hors d'oeuvres like Peking Duck pizzas, truffle risotto, spicy tuna sushi, spring rolls and caviar sprung off the trays as fast as they came out of the kitchen. No surprise since Chef John Tesar (of 13 Barrow infamy) is the master behind the meals. Kathy Reilly, Internet society player and a friend of the owners introduced me to Julie Menin, president of Vine. Julie gave us a tour of the upstairs restaurant, which also was understated and elegant. As much as the trendy, classic, nouveau space and cuisine kept me, other parties lured me out. My buddy for the night, Phil Rosenbaum of CNN, and I hailed a taxi and proceeded on to the next one.

Friday, March 24, 2000

The Cyber Scene in Seattle ~ by Larry Sivitz



Boom With A View: Seattle Blows Up the Dome--Sunday Morning, March 26, at 8:30a.m. 11:30 eastern

Drummers from across the globe are in town for the World Rhythm Festival,but the big boom this Sunday won't be coming from a conga, bongo, or bass drum. Kicking off parties all around the Sound, and the World Wide Web, the BIGGEST boom in Seattle history will take place at 8:30a.m. PDT as the walls of Seattle's Kingdome come tumbling down. Join the party and watch the Dome's implosion from high above like a bird, or from four Web-linked cameras located inside the Dome itself (yes, they will be destroyed).

It's Seattle's own brand of Shockwave at http://www.windowsmedia.com/preview/kingdome . Concrete flying through the air, smoke threatening to envelope you, tons of rubble collapsing before your very eyes -- and all from the cushy comfort of your mouse pad.

Or watch the Dome blow in 3-D. Microsoft has teamed up with Canadian company Isee3D.com to create a live 3-D Webcast. In order to see the multidimensional images, you'll need a pair of red- and blue-lensed 3-D glasses. The fun starts Sunday at 8 a.m. and includes a 3-D helicopter tour of the Dome before it's blasted. Head to the site right now and you can watch archived footage of buildings that have already been imploded.

Explode the champagne and ice the smoked Northwest salmon.

All over this city Sunday morning, people will gather around televisions, log onto the Net or wander outside to watch the destruction of what has long been regarded as the world's largest Chia-Pet.

Matt Trusdale, a manager at Seattle's Harbor Club, doubts there will be an inch of window unaccounted for on the club's 17th floor. The Harbor Club is catering two special events for the implosion -- one for members only; the other a private affair for 350 people. On the 15th floor, Harbor Club employees and their families will have their own brunch. At Ernst & Young, the accounting firm had to hold a lottery to limit its party to 200 people because the demand for their 32nd floor view was so high. For those low on cash and not lucky enough to work in a downtown high-rise, Seattle FM radio station STAR 101.5 will throw a bash on the Space Needle's observation level.

Some Seattle Web designers will find an explosive mix of work and play Sunday morning, along with a brand new view. Martini Design is a multimedia development firm located across the street from the Kingdome. To celebrate the big event, the firm has installed two cameras on the roof of its building and will offer a live stream of the implosion as well as an archived copy for viewing later. http://www.martinidesign.com/kingdome/home.htm  Seanet Corp. will offer a superb view of the implosion. Its camera will be located on the 68th floor of Seattle's tallest skyscraper, the Bank of America Tower (formerly Columbia Seafirst Tower), looking down to the top of the Dome.

Saltmine Creative and MPL2.COM Merge to Form Pacific Northwest's Largest Online Solutions Firm

Saltmine Creative and MPL2.COM, two of the largest Internet development firms in the Puget Sound area, are joining forces to form the Pacific Northwest's largest online solutions firm.With 475 employees, the new Saltmine far surpasses the size and service offering of other online solutions companies in the Northwest, and is already one of the most prominent online players in the United Kingdom.Saltmine will extend its leadership position with an impressive client list that includes Microsoft Corporation, BP Amoco, Amazon.com, Herman Miller, The PGA TOUR, Frank Russell Company, Nat West Bank, Nordstrom, Sears Hardware, Muzak and Columbia Sportswear.

Washington State's SPAM law has been ruled unconstitutional.

Last Friday, King County Superior Court Judge Palmer Robinson threw out a case filed by the Washington Attorney General's office against an Oregon man, Jason Heckel, who was accused of spamming Washington residents. In his ruling, Robinson held that the state's tough anti-spamming law violated the interstate commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution. Robinson ruled that the law was "unduly restrictive and burdensome" because it would require Heckel to determine the state where each e-mail recipient resided. The ruling is already being criticized. The author of the book, Stopping SPAM, Alan Schwartz, observed,"Spam should not constitute interstate commerce, as no commercial transaction has occurred between the spammer and the recipient -- by definition!"

Bellevue Washington's ImageX.com, the leading b2b Internet market maker for printed business materials, is acquiring Creativepro.com, Inc., the vertical portal and software supplier for creative graphic arts and multimedia professionals. With the addition of Creativepro.com's functionality and market position, ImageX.com will offer Web-enabled automation of the entire graphic arts workflow, from concept to production.

Giving Billy Crystal a run for his money, the Pets.com Sock Puppet has been named the official host of this year's 72nd Academy Awards coverage on Seattle-based GO.com's Mr. Showbiz (www.mrshowbiz.go.com), and is currently appearing exclusively on the site. Frolicking alongside the comprehensive Oscar(TM) news and information on Mr. Showbiz, everyone's favorite pet continues his high-profile antics as he makes predictions, offers insight, and provides commentary on the entertainment industry's biggest event. The puppet comes to life on visitors' desktops, gesturing, joking and engaging his audience using Learning Agent(TM) technology from Learn2.com. "You will be hard-pressed to find a sock puppet who knows more about movies than me. I know about all the categories: Best Supporting Canine, Best Cinematography by a Turtle, Best Foreign Fish...and some others. Think of me as your guide dog to the Oscars!"

Divas in the Village


Just like the music, fashion and entertainment industries have their cast of Divas, the working world has them too. And now there's a place online where women of all diva levels can go to get their diva-injection of advice, information and tools to use. IVillage's "Working Diva" section is being headed up by one of my personal favorite Diva's -- Harriet Rubin. Founder of Doubleday's Currency imprint, Rubin has written two books, "The Princessa: Machiavelli" and most recently "Soloing: Realizing Your Life's Ambition" and is a contributing editor for Fast Company. I met Harriet at the iVillage offices where she described in more detail this new channel and it's goals.

Working women of all ages need a mentor, and the Working Diva area will have Divas in Residence that will share their stories as inspiration. If you need a little more of a push to be a diva yourself, you can enroll in the Leadership School, which has more subscribers making it larger than two Big Ten schools put together. What if you don't even know if you have leadership skills or want to discern your true talents, take Stuart Atkins Life Orientation analysis test. There's also an Entrepreneur Institute, a mentoring center where women from all ages can learn from each other and a Job Resources area. If you want an inside scoop on how to win and lose in the working world, check out Pundita, a pseudonymous headhunter with some spunk!

And of course, it wouldn't be iVillage if there wasn't a major community aspect to this section. Community pervades into all areas and the overarching experience with this site. And under the tutelage of Ms. Rubin, this area will soar and nurture scores of Divas.

Bits & Bytes -and- Shakers & Stirrers 3/24/00


SHAKERS & STIRRERS
Send your announcements to: shakers@TheCyberScene.com
Check out the site for the latest in who's movin' and who's shakin'!
* For the whole scoop, go to: http://www.thecyberscene.com/ss/newyork/index.shtml

Brownstein shoots over to the Gallery
Bumgardner Leaves Pioneer for Pittard/Sullivan
The Mouse Has Moved Its House
R/GA hires Jim Bixler as Senior Producer
Tech Editor Ullman Joins Working Woman
Stalter Leaves Creative Good

BITS & BYTES
Send your news to: news@TheCyberScene.com
* For the whole story, go to: http://www.thecyberscene.com

Venture Vortex Announces New Site to Fuel Smarter Start-ups
Listen to the News from Silicon Alley
Amazon.com Teams up With Kozmo.com
Razorfish Creates Relocation Portal in Finland
Centerseat and Digital Club Network Ink Deal
Advisory Commision on E-Commerce Moves on Net Taxes
Razorfish Redesigns Armaniexchange.com
Eyada.com Hosts Multimedia Videogame Show
Bruce Arena Teams up with Goalnetwork.com
I-Hatch.com Gives MobileSpring "Pervasive Computing" Title
Novell and Passlogix Announce Single Sign-On Space
mySEASONS.com Chooses ORB Digital 



SHAKERS & STIRRERS FULL STORIES

Bumgardner Leaves Pioneer for Pittard/Sullivan

Looking for some right-brain stimulation, Jim Bumgardner has left Pioneer Digital Technologies in Burbank, Calif., to join the media design firm Pittard/Sullivan, in Culver City, Calif. Jim is one of two senior technical people working in the Convergent Media division. Pittard/Sullivan is well known for its Emmy and Clio- winning broadcast design work for numerous major entertainment companies such as Disney, Fox & ABC. Brian's division. Jim says that he's also excited about the interesting work that's going on there in the area of web design, settop interface design, wireless, kiosk and CD-ROMs. Good luck, Jim!

The Mouse Has Moved Its House

MOUSE Inc. has moved to new offices on Broadway and Franklin street.The company's new contact information is:

MOUSE Inc.
361 Broadway, Suite 600, New York, NY 10013,Phone: 212-431-1919, Fax: 212-431-4321, www.mouse.org

R/GA hires Jim Bixler as Senior Producer

R/GA has boosted its production team membership by naming Jim Bixler as senior producer. Bixler joins R/GA from Pixelpark, where he served as director of production and acting creative director, and worked on projects for Proctor & Gamble, WestLB and the German-American consulate. Prior to joining Pixelpark in December 1998, Bixler was at THINK New Ideas for four years. While at THINK he became a senior producer,working with clients such as Anheuser-Busch, Oracle, Gillette and Heinz. Congrats, Jim!

Tech Editor Ullman Joins Working Woman

Continuing her ascent in the high-tech journalism world, Ellen Ullman will join Working Woman magazine as technology editor! She'll be at her new post on March 27. Ullman is leaving FamilyPC magazine, where she has been a senior associate editor. She was previously with Small Business Computing & Communications magazine.

Stalter Leaves Creative Good

Kate Stalter has left Creative Good to move over to Studio One Networks, where she is now Vice President of Program Partnerships. Studio One syndicates original content to selected Web sites -- a very cool business model. Way to go, Kate!


BITS & BYTES FULL STORIES
Venture Vortex Announces New Site to Fuel Smarter Start-ups

Now start-ups can get the help they need -- free of the typical friction that goes into building a company. VentureVortex, Inc. (http://www.venturevortex.com) announced plans to launch the next generation of online communities for entrepreneurs and the venture capital industry in April 2000. The Vortex site has one main goal: to help people dramatically compress the time it takes to plan, fund, staff and scale start-ups in the Internet or Hi-Tech market spaces. It outlines a strategy of education, execution and interaction.

Listen to the News from Silicon Alley

Tired of reading stuff on your computer screen all day? Check out Silicon Alley Recap: Viral Edition (http://siliconalley.net/radio/recap0320.ram ), a weekly radio recap of some of last week's news stories, as well as a peek at this week. This week's edition is Pre-Launch Viral (in english, it means that Silicon Alley Station (http://siliconalley.net). The site is preparing for a re-launch and this week's edition is being distributed solely by e-mail for your listening pleasure. Silicon Alley Station is Silicon Alley's Radio Portal, covering technology and business news from a Silicon Alley perspective. If you want more information on the full Silicon Alley Station launch, you can send an e-mail to recap@siliconalley.net or launch@siliconalley.net. If you have questions, recommendations or comments, please send them to feedback@siliconalley.net.

Amazon.com Teams up With Kozmo.com

Amazon.com (www.amazon.com) has put its stamp of approval on Kozmo.com (www.kozmo.com) by investing $60 million inthe leading "e-mmediate" Internet-to-door delivery service. Also, in exchange for dibs on additional shares in Kozmo.com, Amazon.com has reached a three-year strategic alliance with Kozmo.com. Amazon.com will begin offering its customers a one-hour delivery option for certain book, music and toy orders via Kozmo.com.

Razorfish Creates Relocation Portal in Finland

Want to move to Finland? Then head on over to Razorfish, Inc. (NASDAQ: RAZF), the, and check out the global digital solutions provider's newly launched theme portal www.muuttaja.com. Razorfish produced the portal for Fortum, one of the leading consumer energy companies in the Nordic countries, to help relocating individuals and companies to plan their moves. The site also inaugurates Fortum's first electronic commerce initiative, offering the users electricity agreements and heating oil purchasing services among other relocation related services.

Centerseat and Digital Club Network Ink Deal

You're finally going to get centerseat at some high-profile entertainment events. Centerseat LLC (www.centerseat.com), the digital media and entertainment company, today announced a partnership with the Digital Club Network (www.digitalclubnetwork.com), the Internet’s premiere live music channel. Under the pact, the two companies will work together to create high-end concert programming for delivery over the Internet and broadband networks. Digital Club Network already has exclusive relationships with more than 40 live music venues around the country to webcast and archive performances from a broad range of artists. As part of this agreement, Digital Club Network and Centerseat will target select performances from these clubs for full-scale video production using Centerseat’s award winning production arm, Second Coming Productions.

Advisory Commision on E-Commerce Moves on Net Taxes

In its final meeting, The Advisory Commission on Electronic Commerce voted this week to repeal the federal 3% excise tax on telecommunications services, simplify states' sales and use taxation systems, permanently prohibit states or localities from taxing Internet access subscription charges, extend the current Internet Taxation moratorium legislated by the Congress on multiple and discriminatory taxation, and clarify Nexus standards that impact the obligation of businesses to collect and remit state and local taxes on remote transactions.

Razorfish Redesigns Armaniexchange.com

Establishing a compelling brand in line with its creator, Giorgio Armani, Razorfish, Inc. (NASDAQ: RAZF), the global digital solutions provider, today announced a cutting-edge redesign of www.armaniexchange.com, a website featuring a versatile collection of clothing that merges seasonal fashion items with Armani-basics. Together Razorfish and A/X Armani Exchange developed the innovative electronic commerce site that includes compelling editorial information to help users personalize their shopping experience.

Eyada.com Hosts Multimedia Videogame Show

A new Internet videogame show that lets players take on the host -- and learn his tricks -- is becoming the hottest ticket in gameland since Sega Dreamcast. Videogame guru Matt Sager is playing interactive host to a crowd of high-score fanatics every night on eYada.com http://www.eyada.com -- while hundreds of wannabe players around the world wait in the site's virtual wings for their turn to play against the host.

Bruce Arena Teams up with Goalnetwork.com

U.S. National Soccer Team Head Coach Bruce Arena today announced that he has joined www.goalnetwork.com, the global soccer web site, as commentator and analyst. The announcement was made at a press conference in New York City. Arena will pen a bi-monthly column, host online chats and provide post-match analyses of the U.S. National Team’s performance. Also joining goalnetwork.com’s editorial team is best-selling author Joe McGinniss whose latest book, “The Miracle of Castel di Sangro,” chronicles the struggles of a tiny Italian village’s soccer team in the big leagues. McGinniss will be writing an opinion column every Tuesday, beginning March 28.

I-Hatch.com Gives MobileSpring "Pervasive Computing" Title

I-Hatch.com has named MobileSpring as a new Silicon Alley "Pervasive Computing" company. MobileSpring is an investment of I-Hatch.com Primedia Ventures, Impact Ventures, Broadview, and Mark Ein/VentureHouse a founder of Aether Systems (leading wireless company) MobileSpring was founded by an I-Hatch advisor, Mark Caron, who was most recently a co-founder of OmniPoint (yes he did the "parrot" ads) along with other wireless pioneers described in the attached release. MobileSpring will be building and spinning off next generation services and companies pioneering the wireless ecommerce space.

Novell and Passlogix Announce Single Sign-On Space

Novell and New York based Passlogix Inc. announced the advancement they have made in the Single Sign-On space through their partnership. The partnership enables the integration of Passlogix's v-GO single sign-on technology into the next version of Novell's single sign-on product to further extend the power and flexibility of NDS eDirectory across the entire enterprise and Internet Infrastructure.

mySEASONS.com Chooses ORB Digital

MySEASONS.com has chosen ORB Digital as its online agency of record. ORB Digital is directing the multi-million dollar campaign that will position MySeasons.com as the authoritative source for online gardening advice, perennials, bulbs, shrubs, fruit trees and trees. The mySEASONS.com site launched in January, and mySEASONS.com launched its online initiatives on March 20.

CYBER SCENE SOCIAL NOTES ~ 3/24/00



In an attempt to help facilitate better networking for new media professionals and "Scenesters," here are some points that will be added during the weeks. They will be archived at:
http://www.liv4now.com/cgi-bin/hosted/cyberscene_cgi/Ultimate.cgi?action=intro&BypassCookie=true

* When invited to someone's home for dinner, bringing a gift is optional. However, it is always nice if you present your hostess with a small gift on your first visit. (flowers, wine, dessert are fine choices)

The Cyber Scene in Dallas ~ by Gregg Wetterman

What a crazy week

The third week of each month in North Texas is always busy. Most of the professional Internet and technical groups have a night staked out for meetings, but this week has been busier than normal.

Monday - The Internet Tax Conference brought their road show to Dallas and with all the press and leaders in town it seemed that everyone was having a press conference to express their opinions. I had breakfast with David Young a Director at Trilogy, Patrick Ryan the CEO of the Texas Chamber of Electronic Commerce, Scott McCollough the lead Counsel of the Texas ISP association and Andy McKinnon of fordpreowned.com before the fordpreowned.com press conference I was attending. FYI- The Eggs Benedict at the Fairmont may be the best in Texas.

The Internet Tax commission could not even agree on what to disagree about, but that was not a big surprise to anyone paying attention. Everyone knew each other’s opinion before the conference started and the possibility of having a vote with a two-thirds majority on any issue was never a possibility. So the tax issue will be fought on another day.

Tuesday  TIE Net had their monthly “Happy Hour” for founders and principals of local E-COM’s at St. Pete’s Blue Marlin in Deep Ellum. Laura Kelso a co-founder of U-Bundle.com was the hostess.  About 50 people showed up for the gathering of minds. Talked to Chris Seifert the founder of CPAQuest.com about their plans for the future. Had a great time talking shop with Paige Dawson the director of marketing and co-founder of iThought.com. So many great minds and ideas and there is never enough time to talk to everyone.


Wednesday – The Dallas Fort Worth Interactive Marketing Association (DFWIMA.com) was as entertaining as always. Neil Conklin and Sheryl Gatto of iChoose.com have a way of lighting up the room and turning a meeting into party. A packed house filled Club Corp’s La Cima club as Kim Martin of iChoose.com and Ellen Trammell of BeFree.com did presentations on “online customer acquisition”.  Macromedia’s local E-Biz team sponsored this month’s festivities. The DFWIMA meetings are a paradise for networking. I had a chance to speak to Lee Blaylock the CEO and Lydia Chase the Director of Interactive Marketing of ServiceLane.com. Shelly Logan of Beenz.com is always worth finding in the crowd. Trista Collier, the president of the local AMA, and I talked about the Pinnacle awards her group has each year. If you have not nominated your company or another worthy group you only have until March 31st. 

Thursday – I had lunch with Jeff Bounds, the tech writer for the Dallas Business Journal and Baron Aldrine the biz dev king of CB Richard Ellis Real Estate Dallas office. We spent the whole lunch discussing the Internet boom in Dallas. Baron may know more about who is who in the Dallas Internet sector than anyone I know and he is not even in the biz.

Thursday afternoon and night we will be at Scient's E-Brief and Party, followed by the Dallas Internet Society meeting. Friday we will be at Marianne Radwan’s  (Director of Marketing and PR for the Dallas office of Sevin Rosen) “Happy Hour”.  So many events so little time and only two legs to get you there, but I am “Having the time of my life.”

The Cyber Scene in London ~ by Maggie Rosen

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Brits & Bytes--or, The Clerkenwell Social evening, March 9 at the St. John's Restaurant and Bakery on St. John's Road in Clerkenwell, EC1

Clerkenwell Socialites Meet Nose-to-Tail at St. John’s Restaurant, London London’s new media community may not yet have a name like ‘Silicon Alley’ or ‘Silicon Valley’, but its heart may well lie in Clerkenwell, EC1. Just a bone’s throw from the boardrooms and suits of London’s City (financial district), Clerkenwell has long been home to the meat-packing, printing and other skilled labor industries and is slowly but surely transforming itself into a cyber-mecca.

And On March 9, there was no better place for 180 of the local brains and brawn to be scene than St. John’s great offal Restaurant and Bakery -- by day, a temple to the little piggie and the fresh focaccia – by night, a cool and calming whitewashed haven where event sponsors Moreover (news dissemination service); Guardian Unlimited (newspaper group and recent winner of Revolution Magazine’s award for “best use of the internet by a media group”) and the sharp-edged Razorfish welcomed a chic t-shirt and jeans-clad crowd, who were kicking, er, back -- and taking names.

What the local scene may lack in “brand” identity, it makes up for in enthusiasm. I had just made it past clipboard-wielding Caroline Sawyer, European bus dev director for news-disseminator Moreover, when I was invited to run the gauntlet of strapping Swedes from Razorfish. No complaints here!

Fredrik Harb af Segerstrad was visiting from the Stockholm office, while his friend Mattias “the Eel” Amstrand is based in London, and tells me he is truly amazed by MP3’s music download software “beam-it.” Note to self: next time, find out more about Mattias’s nickname.

Next, Kevin Sefton from y-creds -- a financial services platform that enables teens to e-shop til they e-drop with their parents’ consent (and more important, their dosh!) -- explained how his product differs from other e-cash, points, affiliate and voucher schemes (see www.y-creds.co.uk for more detail). We then admitted our mutual affinity for the online payments sector -- sexy as anything to those in the know.

A scene by any name…any name at all

Kevin, his colleague Paul (a self-confessed Yank-o-phile who spent some formative time in this writer’s native New York City) and some fellow journalists (Carlos Grande, from the Financial Times; Guy Middleton of Tornado Insider) tackled the subject of coming up with an appropriate name for London’s scene. A couple of drinks later, ideas included: EC – (for Clerkenwell’s post code, and for electronic commerce); Silicon fen (already located in Cambridge, England); e-souper (a play on London’s famous erstwhile fogs, known as pea-soupers); and e-bollocks, which I cannot explain in polite company. We are still accepting suggestions.

Hacking for fun and profit

Who says Brits are slow to make a decision? Within five minutes of starting a conversation with Clyde Johnson, a freelance intrusion detection expert (clyde.johnson@pipex.com) – and another party, the two agreed that Clyde would attempt to hack into an Undisclosed Party’s website. If unsuccessful, the Undisclosed Party’s existing security consultant gets to keep his head. If not, Clyde will have a job – and I will have a story. Stay tuned.

Forget global, go local

By 21h00 (9:00 pm to you and me), I felt right at home in a debate about the relative merits of local vs. global. Documentary film-maker turned site design consultant Vikram Shah (www.tandav.com) contends that in their zeal to be international, most companies ignore the customers knocking on their literal front door. ‘What good is it,’ says Shah, ‘to be able to shop for shirts online – if the American company that sells them doesn’t put pockets on shirts the way that English people like them.’ (As an aside, Shah’s business card reads: ‘Tandav: the dance Shiva performed to destroy the world that existed then to create an illusion in which we live now’: what this says about the global-local debate I would not like to
 interpret – but I’m intrigued nonetheless.)

This is where Shah and Dr. Ali Alibhai, a physician specialising in sports medicine, see opportunity for British companies. They believe that the tides have turned in favor of UK companies, and that a “dot co, dot UK” suffix is de facto preferable these days, to “dot com”, which implies that it’s US-based.

Not necessarily so, say Brit Peter Kenyon and American Josh Hanna, who advise that many UK-based e-businesses have dollar signs in their eyes – building into their business plans an exit strategy that usually involves being bought by an American outfit. Maybe this is a bit of latent Stanford MBA cynicism from former classmates. Neither Kenyon, who has just launched leapingsalmon.com – which delivers pre-cooked gourmet meals to your door (no, they aren’t just salmon-based) – or Hanna, whose company insightmarket.com is so secret that I’d be dead by now if I knew what they did – would admit to incorporating a potential takeover into their agenda at such an early stage.

Clerkenwell Social, a monthly informal event for New Media companies based in Clerkenwell, is the brainchild of Nick Denton, introduced to me by Sophie Silocchi, who does PR for the Guardian Unlimited. Nick helped establish the very popular First Tuesday group, which matches up folks with the fun with the folks with the funds. First Tuesday (to which I must say I’ve never been, so this is just hearsay) is known for a tradition (if something that has been going on for about a year can indeed be considered a tradition) on the part of participants to don green stickers if they money grubbers (read: entrepreneurs); red if they are grubbees (i.e. i-bankers, venture capitalists, incubators, etc.) and yellow if they are “other” (looking to skim a bit off either side). Or something like that. Nick envisioned that Clerkenwell Social would be a more relaxed, less-money oriented spin-off, and he has obviously hit “a six” (cricket’s equivalent of a home run.)

Tabloids and other notable examples aside, there is a British proclivity toward the quiet and understated. Networking events organisers have not yet cottoned onto the blatant lure of can-you-top-this-hors-d’oeuvres-and- tchotchke-fest that like-minded US new media party-goers have come to expect. Or maybe free booze is enough to draw a crowd – and they obviously know their audience, as there was much letting down of hair as the party wound down.

I have always had a thing for redheads, and Robin Goad, researcher at market analysis company Datamonitor (www.datamonitor.com) is no exception. So as the party wound down, nobody had to twist my arm to accompany Robin; Michael Jemmeson of Moreover; Kevin Sefton and colleagues from y-creds; and Jules Ruston of French company webysm (webysm.co.uk) to Pizza Express, where after
 trying three other restaurants who had stopped serving dinner at about 9 pm, we were grudgingly allowed to give them our business. (Early closing hours are my one big complaint about the local cuisine
scene – maybe there is indeed a market for the above-mentioned leapingsalmon!)

I look forward to seeing more of the Clerkenwell crowd next month – and/or  at the intriguingly-named Boobnight, another cyber community happening also launched by a Guardianite -- Geoff Inns -- that I heard about from Ellen Spernagel, PR director for ChemWeb (http://chemweb.com), which may bill itself as the “world wide club for the chemical community”. But I can honestly say that neither the ultra-hip ChemWebbers nor the other Clerkenwell Socialites require chemicals to brighten their future.

[PUBLISHED LATER: CORRECTIONS]

Some London corrections: Creative ownership of the Clerkenwell Social should be credited not to Nick Denton, as I stated, but to Vic Keegan, editor of the Guardian's IT section:  the event was Vic's idea and then executed and now maintained by Guardian Unlimited and Moreover.com.

=> The Guardian Unlimited and Moreover do not actually sponsor the event, but run it - each month the opportunity to sponsor the event is offered to a different local company (i.e. pay for it in return for credit as a sponsor)

=> The title of the award Guardian Unlimited won it is "Best Use of New
Media by a Media Owner," not "Best Use of Internet by a Media Group."