Wednesday, December 31, 1997

The Thinking Media Holiday Party

There were quite a few events on Friday as well, but I headed over to The Thinking Media's holiday party for a chance to unwind with some friends. I ended up chatting with Mark Friedler of V-Cast for quite a bit about upstate New York and business in Sweden. Larry Aronson and Geo Geller were there with their S.O.'s and Tery Spataro with Bonnie Halper charmed a few new fellows. Owen Davis and I munched on terrific prosciutto as we pondered the unfairness of companies going with a less qualified client just 'cause they're rated by Standard and Poors. Obviously still an important barometer for older established companies, and yet the frustration exists when you have a better product and can't get in the door.

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

YIL magazine panel

On a final note, I participated in an online panel discussion organized by Angela Gunn of Yahoo Internet Life Magazine a couple of weeks ago. She organized quite a list of interesting women to discuss issues about women, men, online relationships and the like. Our answers were as varied as our panel: Isadora Alman (Ask Isadora), Danni Ashe (Danni's Hard Drive), Esther Drill (gURL), Mary Gay (NetNoir), Stacy Horn (ECHO), Xander Mellish (Daily News, telephone-pole samizdat), Rebecca Odes (gURL), Dr. Cleo Odzer (Virtual Spaces: Sex and the Cyber Citizen), Aliza Sherman (Cybergrrl), Ruby Yeh (FolksOnline), and yours truly.

Results can be seen in the upcoming March issue of Yahoo Internet Life magazine.

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Last week intro

There's a little more than a week left of 97' and what a year its been! I've never been to so many office parties before, and then again, there have never been so many offices I'd want to go to.

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Friday, December 19, 1997

Two Weeks Left in '97

We're just two weeks away from the new year and people still startle me when they say "See you next year!" Yet here it is, near the end of 1997. And that meant it was time for the annual Silicon Alley blowout: the WWWAC holiday party.

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Thursday, December 18, 1997

Think New Idea's Holiday Party & The Eliashevichs

I was also a fly on the wall at Think New Ideas' Holiday party the next night, Dec. 18th. In the spacious F-Stop in Chelsea, employees could fill up on the hot buffet of chicken and pasta or on some free holiday beverages. Former VJ Adam Curry and his biz-guy Ron Bloom were dashing about in zoot and pin-stripe suits (respectively). Guests were permitted after 11pm and then I'm sure it was a rockin'!

I headed over to the hip new spot Chez Es Saada on the lower East side for a quiet dinner with friends. We talked long into the night and I missed a few other events, but this is the season when time must be made for friends.As the week comes to a close, things are coming to a screeching halt as people realize no holiday shopping was done, there's just not enough time, and this is our last chance to rest before the new year ramps up. New Year's will have a few new media parties I'm sure, but its also nice to get back to "our roots" and rejuvenate for this coming busy exciting year. [NOTE: THIS WAS THE ANNIVERSARY DINNER FOR ANNA AND VANYA ELIASHEVICH]

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Wednesday, December 17, 1997

Darwin Digital and NYNMA Holiday Party

Wednesday the Dec. 17th's evening started out at the quickly evolving interactive/communications group, Darwin Digital. Similar to other large advertising agencies, this group is currently under the umbrella of Saatchi & Saatchi (who just broke off on their own, away from Cordiant). Darwin is a fully functioning company on its own, being pretty self-reliant for all aspects of website production, print and other media services for its clients. There was the typical Secret Santa gift exchange, some people getting coveted gifts and others getting giddy on the occasion.

NYNMA had their Holiday celebration not far away, the same night, at the Duggal Studios on Broadway in Soho. This has been the choice space for the members only affair for the last 3 years and still has quite a respectable draw.

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Friday, December 12, 1997

TCS intro (w/o 12/12/97)

'TIS THE SEASON for holiday parties, office functions and Internet World.The whirlwind generated from this major conference in our fair town, during the busiest tourist, season offers a sack loaded to the brim full with ideas, contacts, and Net presents (presence) a plenty. There were at least ten events during the day and five events a night to go to. Armed with an artillery of friends who were willing to brave the crowds and scene, here are some of the tidbits from the busiest week of the season...

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Thursday, December 11, 1997

WWWAC's Holiday Party Benefitting MOUSE

We're just two weeks away from the new year and people still startle me when they say "See you next year!" Yet here it is, near the end of 1997. And that meant it was time for the annual Silicon Alley blowout: the WWWAC holiday party.

I freely admit that this will be a super-biased account of the bash. I helped to plan, promote, and host it. Doubling as a benefit for MOUSE (Making Opportunities for Upgrading Schools and Education) the party at Irving Plaza on Dec. 11 managed to draw a good-sized crowd, despite all the competition that night.

The evening started off with the thrilling voice of Toby Williams and artful jazz musicality of Cocktail Angst. Early arrivals benefited chomped on the half dozen six-foot long submarine sandwiches from Manhattan Deli. (Thanks to SonicNet for tipping me off to this great place!) An open bar featuring local brewer Gidon's Original Sin Hard Cider warmed up anyone left cold from the vast dazzle of Javits and the chilly night. Glenn Hauman and Shara Zoll wowed the wallflowers with some very fancy footwork on the dance floor, with Brandy's (Glenn's wife) permission of course.

A bit later, the Bari Koral Band played and once again almost stopped the show (er, party). Almost as mesmerizing was the artwork Rainbow Heart and his assistant Kimba painted on people's faces and bodies. [He labored over my eyes and when finished, the effect was part mermaid, part Indian princess, I'm told.] Other guests had accentuated mustaches, hearts painted on chests, and sparkly swirly effects above eyebrows.] Even DJ Jon Spooner of Netmix, who spun tunes between bands, had dramatic Superhero eyebrows. Filling out the fun filled activities were Michael Chaut of Monday Night Magic and Caricatures by Akbar. I was a lucky Cinderella in a beautiful hand painted-silk dress made especially for me by Russian fashion designer Anya Eliashevich.

The beauty of the Internet was prevalent this night as I got to meet two of our @NY international readers: Karl Karlsson of Mindscape Interactive AB in Sweden, and Laurent Lathieyre of W3Cube in France.

For pics of two of New York new media's top sages and my Mermaid/Indian princess look, check out the website --

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Wednesday, December 10, 1997

Association of Internet Professionals dinner

Wednesday, Dec. 10 -- As Bill Clinton tied up all of midtown in knots, digital party-goers dodged police truncheons as they dared to walk to the Waldorf-Astoria for the first "dinner" (in the loosest sense of the word) of the Association of Internet Professionals. Andrew Kraft, chief operating officer for the nationwide group, welcomed House minority leader Dick Gephardt while folks like Brian Cooper of E&Y, Bennett Kleinberg of Edelman, publicity diva Lauren Shanahan, and wired club space guru Andrew Rasiej.

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Museum of Television and Radio event

Braving the security junta that descended on midtown to protect the President from marauding commuters, many folks made their way over the Museum of Television and Radio, where a positively glowing Steve Case hosted the AOL Studios bash featuring tasty pasta and chicken canapes.Making the scene were outgoing (and underappreciated) NYNMA executive director Lori Schwab, CyberTimes columnist Lisa Napoli, and a cast of hundreds.

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Tuesday, December 09, 1997

Doubleclick, Alta Vista, WWW tV; One Club Gallery;; Michael Kaminer PR

This was a week of excess, and fittingly DoubleClick, Alta Vista and Wild Wild Web TV show had their bash at XS, the multi-game arcade party space. The whole Alley, and many Valley folks were out to revel in the fun, frivolity, and feasts of networking and the Net. Meanwhile, all of 21st Street was literally abuzz with Silicon Alley revelry the same night. At the One Club Gallery, a cast of interactive agency honchos took in the august advertising group's first-ever digital media show, put together with the help of Agency.Com's Kyle Shannon and Chris McCarthy, formerly of Avalanche and how on the west coast with RedSky Interactive. Swilling Merlot and munching on salty olives were Wiredco-founder John Battelle, Peter Seidler and Cherry Arnold of Avalanche, and ubiquitous Alley party boy Jon Sarno. A few doors up the block at MayRose, digital PR man Michael Kaminer hosted a hopping holiday party for friends, clients, and countrymen. Among those sipping the (even better) Merlot were New York Times technology business editor Rob Fixmer, who recently movedback to the print paper after founding CyberTimes, Village Voice scribeAustin Bunn, and Cone Interactive ink-driver Shelley Bates.

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Monday, December 08, 1997

Canadian Consulate g-Digital Summit E-Commerce

Monday, Dec. 8 -- The Canadian Consulate of New York and g-Digital's Summit on E-Commerce aimed to bring together Canadian and U.S. new media firms to share ideas, create new ones, and generate biz opportunities. That same night, I was rubbing elbows with Mayor Giuliani and First Lady Donna Hanover at Gracie Mansion. Skitch Henderson was honored with the Handel Medallion and we listened to a piece by George Shearing just for Henderson.Many other music aficionados, notable New Yorkers, and other New York Pops supporters were on hand. It was a fine, elegant evening and reminded me of all the deep treasures the city has to offer in so many different industries. Meanwhile over in No Man's Land at the Javits Center, Silicon Alley met IWorld head-on as BizSig entrepreneur Miles Rose premiered his Silicon Alley morale building flick, "Why New York Works for New Media" and introduced Microsoft chief technologist Nathan Myhrvold to Silicon Alley.The peanut gallery included the likes of Fred Wilson and Jerry Colonna of Flatiron Partners, Microsoft's Howard Greenstein, and Ken Jordan who is now working for Andersen Lemke.

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Friday, December 05, 1997

N2K Holiday Party

Friday, Dec. 5 -- N2K's holiday party was also in the Digital Sandbox.Many, many music people were there, and a handful of new media types too.One woman (who shall remain nameless) horrified a good number of us as she combed her hands through the pretzel, peanut, cracker Chex mix searching for cashews. Ew! While guests filled up at a falafel serving station, a band set up and played after 9:00 pm. I ended last week at Times Square arcade haven XS for an interview on GRIT as the Tourde Grit stopped by there before driving (literally) into the Javits Center for Internet World. The local online radio folks, led by founder Rob Gould,drove an RV from San Francisco to New York, broadcasting all along the way,and throughout the convention. Talk about hearty travelers and talk show hosts!

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

TCS intro (w/o 12/05/97) - BVI, Mouse, New Media BC

News Flash! Special first-time coverage of the New Media scene in Vancouver!

Highlights of this week's column:
* The British Virgin Islands--sailing around the Caribbean, not surfing the Web
* MOUSE Holiday Benefit
* New Media BC--the scene in Vancouver

It's a rare opportunity when a person has the opportunity to travel from one corner of the United States to the other within a week. Seeing palm trees and sailing around the US and British Virgin Islands over Thanksgiving week to seeing the Rocky Mountains in Vancouver this week has been a unique experience and one that spans the range of digital connectivity on many levels.

You may have noticed my column did not arrive in your In-box last week. For once, instead of attending several new media events a week, I had the delicious experience of sailing from tiny island to tiny island between the USVI and the BVI, snorkeling and lazing around. Eating fresh Caribbean lobster on Jost Van Dyke--an island of 150 people, was something I'd never done before and relished every bit. As our lives get more connected and people become more "wired"--cell phones, Palm IIIs, laptops, voice mail--the chance to escape it all seems harder to do but more important than ever. Sure there were signs of Internet filtration: advertisements for the resorts', diving schools', charter boats', and other tourist companies' Web sites; but checking them out online was nowhere near my itinerary. This was one trip I'd do totally un-wired.

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Web Writers in the Flesh

EXOTIC ANTIQUE textiles were the backdrop in the Manhattan Internet Lounge ( for "Web Writers in the Flesh" ( Xander Mellish in a bright orange silk cocktail dress was the final of six poets and writers to perform on December 2. Each writer read a piece of their work in a multimedia fashion. Xander read from her own "Glory & the Golden Age" with the Duke Ellington song "Caravan" in the background. Her stage was decorated with large white foam board cutouts of Manhattan skyscrapers. CyberGrrl Aliza Sherman was there with some folks from CBS, whom she is consulting for. Also present was Sturges Warner, a theatrical director, who is collaborating on a dramatic piece with Mellish. Another highlight of the evening was Alison Dorfman reading some of her poems about high school life in the '80s. The audience roared as they had samosas and magaz, Indian specialties complements of Kumar Kalantri, director of the Gallery 678 in the MIL.

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Thursday, December 04, 1997

Exec Tech and N2K

Thursday, Dec. 4 -- What a night! Two big office parties competed with the ExecTech summit at 55 Broad Street for revelers and shop talk. Larry Rosen of N2K schmoozed with daughter Sondra (the company's publicity director)around the Digital Sandbox, while the money folks like Ronald Celmer of Prospect Street Ventures, Paul Gardi of Geo Capital Partners, and Bob Masiello of the Industrial Technology Assistance Corporation perused the booths.

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Connors Communications Holiday Party

Thursday, Dec. 4 -- Meanwhile, uptown, the office of Connors Communications office had an exquisite fresh fragrant evergreen wreath with lovely little white lights and sprite sprigs of holly throughout. All employees wore fresh red or white flower buds pinned on their lapels to identify them from the guests. The caterers were so efficient they scared me -- they kept whisking away the food, only to bring it back just as quickly but in a smaller, more appropriate bowl as the portion dwindled.

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

The Globe's Holiday party

Thursday, Dec. 4 -- The Globe's party was less subdued by the time I got there. Hits from the 80's were blasting from one employee's computer, as the sound system played other hip tunes, a full spread of gourmet hors d'oeuvres were still aplenty and the beverages were flowing. Co-founder Todd Krizelman beamed, as he should -- he and Stephan Paternot landed $20 million in financing recently.

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Wednesday, December 03, 1997

MOUSE Holiday Party

I arrived back in New York just in time to attend the MOUSE Holiday Benefit party on Tuesday, December 3rd. The crisp cold night made the excitement about this organization's first major benefit even more heightened. Executive director Sarah Holloway's and president Andrew Raisej's decision to host the event in Jonathan Leitersdorf's stunning triplex apartment added to the drama and sense of specialness appropriate for this non-profit. Letiersdorf donated the use of his six bedroom home-cum-rented-party-space complete with heated pool (outside on a deck facing East).

The guest list read like New York's Who's Who of new media CEO's, venture capitalists, and small business owners. Robert Levitan (iVillage), Lara Stein and Diana Butler (iXL), and MOUSE board member Peter Chislett came in support with friends. Gordon Gould, executive ++++++ for the Silicon Alley Reporter, Roz Resneck of NetCreations, ++++++, and +++++++ arrived early, along with many other attendees. Real estate guru Debra Lee Charatan and Victoria +++++ spent some quality time at the event, firmly entrenched in conversation by the massive stone fireplace with roaring fire. Andrew Klein and R++++ Rooo+++++ of Wit Capital, ______, and _______ all had the opportunity to enjoy stunning views and mouth-watering Asian cuisine hors d'ouvres donated from 1,2,3 and 4. Even Andy's mom showed up! Other family members of Silicon Alley movers and shakers and some high school friends of Ms. Holloway helped make this high-powered $250 a ticket event seem warm and friendly. Andrew Raisej spoke for a brief bit on MOUSE (Making Opportunities for Upgrading Schools and Education) and its successes. The non-profit has currently wired and trained teachers in 15 New York City public high and junior-high schools on integrating the Internet and new technologies. Two high school students shared their dreams of future success, conceivable due to the new world MOUSE has opened up for them. Upstairs the grass carpeted patio led to a glass-enclosed duplex where many guests stood in awe of views of stars above and their friends downstairs, which they could spy on thanks to the 12-foot projection screen monitor set in the room. Seasoned new media-ites Troy Tyler (NYC Investment Fund), Mark Hurst (Creative Good), Ted Werth (Digital Club Network), and (guys name in checked suit.....) were mixed in with a motley crew of seasoned investment types, some less palatable than others. One self-important gentleman stood impatiently at the door upon arrival, throwing a blank check at one of the guest list checkers, while on his cell, and barked "Just fill it all out." Upstairs, rumor has it another man flat out propositioned a woman (name withheld, but she was a classy art restorer). Well, not everyone had the class, or panache that newly IPO'd success stories Jack and Murray Hidary had as they escorted their father around. Judging from the happy faces of guests as they arrived and their even more beaming looks as they filtered out, the MOUSE event was a success in many ways. The stunning space and fund-raising success (unofficially it reached several tens of thousands), reflect and highlight MOUSE's grand goals and achievements. As the holiday season continues on, let's continue to look at the good works around us, take a little time for charity and for your soul. It'll feel good, and you'll probably have a good time at it!

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Spanker Site

SPANK ME BABY! Or maybe someone should have spanked The Spanker at his re-launch party of the site at Coney Island High on Wed. 12/3. His hideously long diatribe droned on but didn't keep the crowd from losing interest (for some reason). I guess they were all still dazed by the dazzling fire eating erotic dancers (who I first saw at the Webmasters Valentine's Ball '96), a fabulous Elvis Impersonator, and the lecherous Santa milling about.

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

CanApple Vancouver conference

Continuing on my travel mode, two days later I flew to Vancouver, British Columbia on Thursday, December 3rd. I was bestowed an honor from Matt Toner of The Canadian Consulate in New York, and co-director of the CanApple program, to speak with two other Silicon Alley-ers at a panel discussion on New York and new media. The newly formed New Media BC non-profit, similar to our NYNMA, has panels and networking events for members in the British Columbia territory with an interest in new media. Put on in conjunction between CanApple, New Media BC, Industry Canada and Deloitte and Touche at the geodesic dome Science Fair in downtown Vancouver the event was a classy introduction to the new media scene in BC. Jane Green, executive director of New Media BC, is a talented and dynamic woman whose energy and vision will take this organization far. I spoke first, providing a backdrop for the event and background on Silicon Alley and how the NY new media community and industry has grown and developed since the early days in 1994. Garnet Hernaman, co-founder and CEO of University Ventures, Inc. gave much-desired advice to the audience with simple, clear points on how to go about getting venture capital. Recounting the trials and tribulations of the experience for an Irish company doing business in New York, with a bit of humor thrown in, Niall Swan gave the attendees a sense of how foreign firms can survive in NYC and the new media community. Rounding out the session Matt Toner explained the CanApple program and how the Canadian government and Canadian organizations like his can assist interested new media professionals.

Believing in the importance of knowing who's who and who does what, I set out in Vancouver to discover some interesting companies and the people who run them. And what a discovery I made! I am so impressed with the amount of talent in this town, the professionalism of every person I met, and the energy and activity going on in this beautiful city.

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Tuesday, December 02, 1997

NYNMA Super Cyber Suds

Ah yes, Thanksgiving. A time to begin reflection on the first feast where two different peoples gathered to share in mutual bounty and benefit, and to remember all the things we are thankful for.

As I sit far away from the bustle of the Metropolis, I reflect on the good quiet country life. Snow on the ground, hearty healthy meals, family, and a chance to rejuvenate before the blizzardy days of the Holiday Season smack us in the face like a gust of cold wind.

Monday, November 24th was a good barometer of what's to come. The crowds swarmed in the Puck Building for the NYNMA's Super Cyber Suds and created a flurry of old and new happy faces. Strategically poised near the entrance was @NY and the SAR. @NY had brand spanking new buttons with the impactful new logo, and SAR ordered greasy pizzas at the last minute to satiate underfed sudsers. Catering was provided by La Casalinga and, but you know what an appetite schmoozing and browsing demo tables can be. A bevy of demos there were indeed. Companies represented included: Wille H Productions, Push Media Group (, Touchscreen Media Group (, The Duck Corporation (, and NetStakes ( A complete listing is at NYNMA's website ( During the schmooze fest, while I was stationed at the @NY table, Miles Rose was filming various industry folk for a presentation on the web. Of course by the time I got up there Miles bemoaned that they "just finished taping and I missed it." Funny how there was enough tape left for Andrew Raisej though... Hmph.

There were other events going on this week, but this reporter was busy tending to some transitional events in her life -- i.e. investigating "bomb threats" and new job notices!

Be thankful you didn't have to deal with that amidst the party circuit. But I would like to invite all of you to send me an e-mail ( with what you're thankful of, and I will post them in The Scene -- and start a Think Thank Board.

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Clement Mok presentation

Dec. 2
Just moments before, I was in a quiet seminar room at the Apple Market Center for a presentation by digital design guru Clement Mok. Heckled by an older gent in a ponytail, Mok pressed on trying to answer questions about his logo (the symbol is the original Phoenician letter "A") and design business. Afterwards I asked Tom Volpe what he thought of the presentation. He felt Mok spoke to the audience, meaning he catered to the "rowdy crowd who just wanted to know what tools to use to make quick easy Websites. The true designers just sat quietly." Maybe that heckler should've gone over to the Spanker party.

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Monday, November 17, 1997

Digital City New York (AOL) "Meet Your Makers"

Sock it to me! The partyers at the "Meet Our Makers" sneak preview of the upcoming Digital City New York --due on your screens in January -- were hosted by visiting Virginians Ted Leonsis (president and CEO of AOL Studios) and Paul Benedictis (president and CEO of Digital City) and consumed over 90 liters of Sake, 4 cases of wine, 8 cases of beer, and over 48,000 pieces of sushi. Zounds! Unfolding at a spacious photographer's studio on the grimy far West Side on Monday, Nov. 17, the bash feted an impressive list of content providers who will be partnering with AOL/DC on the upcoming launch, including @NY's own Jason Chervokas and Tom Watson, Talking Heads founder David Byrne, Latin songster Ruben Blades, and playwright Wendy Wasserstein. While I didn't meet Byrne or Wasserstein, I did see some other notable contributors, including John Perry Barlow.

I met Pam McGraw (VP communications, Greenhouse Networks), Bill McIntosh (director of marketing, Digital City), Robert Deigh (director, Communications AOL Studios), and Jim Riesenbach, the new general manager of DCI New York who just moved from the Valley to the Alley. The guys from Social Science ( were helping me out at the Sushi table, giddy with our sake-filled bellies and slick steel martini shaker gifts, as the local Total New York/Digital City crew of Janice Gjertsen, John Borthwick, Guy Garcia, Eric Baudelaire, Benjamin Weil, and Andrea Scott made the rounds.

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Friday, November 14, 1997

SonicNet's StreamLand

You can't really call a 10-foot roast beef sandwich "streamlined," but SonicNet's StreamLand music video product is just that, as the Nov. 14 party celebrating its launch proved. Ed Steinberg (president, Rockamerica) stood out in a fabulous floor length coat from Hyper Hyper in London. Business development rep Maria Aivatzidi was out networking and probably met Scott Harmolin (VP, ICon CMT), Dennis Adamo, (ICon CMT), and "Galinsky 1.5" of Pseudo, who seems to have added a number to his single name. Eric Oldsfield of N2K had kinds words for the competition: "I'm really excited to see that somebody's stepping into the high bandwidth arena for the music industry."

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Thursday, November 13, 1997

POV, Sports New York Cybertini party

POV and Sports New York held a Cybertini party for its latest issue featuring the Top 100 Websites on Nov. 13th. Representatives from most of the selected sites were present, including Gabrielle Middaugh (MSNBC), Art Winslow (The Nation) and Robert Tacchino (Instinet) and many more. The band Very Very played some oldies but goodies (and some not so goodies) and I made the rounds. Jayson Goldberg, Randall Lane, and Ben Cramer (all of POV) showed me around their offices. David Birnbaum and W. Vaughan Turner of Flatiron Consulting Chelsea Networks were hanging out in the back, where you could breathe a bit. John L.A. Wilson (CEO,, Jeff Paro (publisher, VP The Outdoor Company), all enjoyed one of the classic beverages, and enjoyed one of the fun Fortune Cookies provided by John Maggio. Peter Levitan (president of New Jersey Online, which produces Sports New York) was distributing phone cards from his other sites (Yuckiest Site) while Joe Cerbo (NJO) was struttin' around in his spats. On my way out Myles Weissleder of i-traffic introduced me to Ruben Perez (NJO) before he chivalrously offered me his SportsNY cap to protect against the increasing heavy rains.

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Tuesday, November 11, 1997

Web Writers honoring Steven Johnson's "Interface Culture"

While the banks were closed in honor of America's veterans, plenty of veteran Web writers were out honoring Steven Johnson and the recent publication of his new book, "Interface Culture." Feed Magazine ( sponsored the intimate soiree on Nov. 11th at the Merc Bar's brick walled and softly votive-lit room.

Stefanie Syman, Feed's co-founder, was conversing with Rufus Griscom and Genevieve Field of Nerve Mag ( Genevieve enticed me with news of their upcoming anthology -- "The Best of Nerve" (working title) -- and a new site and community space with Echo (who will manage it).

When I asked Sam Lipsyte, senior editor of Feed, what it's like to work with a big celebrity now, Sam beamed, "Steven's a great celebrity! He's my boss." Steve seems to be taking it well enough. He said after having the proposal in for about a year, he finished a chunk in March and then wrote the rest in about three months. He confessed when people come up to him and tell him they really enjoyed reading his book, over 250+ pages, it creates quite a swell in his heart.

Others who were also among friends were Jamie Levy, CEO Electric Hollywood, Betsey Schmidt, a freelance writer and editor of Open City magazine, and Cherry Arnold of Avalanche Systems. "This is a good party, everybody's here," said Mark Tribe of Rhizome, at which point I turned around and spied Nick Butterworth of SonicNet and was introduced to Mark Amerika of Black Ice Press in Boulder, CO. Of the Allen Ginsberg School of Disembodied Poetics, owner of the website, and a pioneer of Hypertext, and Gamatron, Mark is truly an interesting specimen in our fine world or bytes and bugs. We spoke of how the beauty of the Web often lies in the communities that come out of it, and how essential these social events are to it.

Of course "attitude has worked its way online as commerce has" he noted. This very point was echoed later as I spoke with David Kushner, contributing editor of Spin Magazine and writer for Wired News. We were comparing what's been happening with the Silicon Alley "Scene" versus Silicon Valley. While SV has been around developing soft and hardware for much longer, it seems as if there is a stronger community sense here. He commented, parties like this one are not fringe, or trivial at all, but essential and core to the scene. It is events like this that propel the scene forward and give it validity.

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Thursday, November 06, 1997

Image Info's behind-the-scenes - Fashion Week

"You better work!" I'm down with that RuPaul. Okay, enough hipster talk for me, but being amidst the dramatic setting of the 7th On Sixth Fashion shows on Chelsea Piers, I couldn't resist. I was the special guest of Dietmar Petutschnig, technical guru of Image Info Inc. (, who gave me a private behind-the-scenes tour of this glam-machine on Nov. 6. Image Info was there as the exclusive digital imaging source for the entire show. Temporary offices held about 20 computers, high-end and color printers, scanners, boom boxes and pizza for three shifts worth of students all willing to have the opportunity to work and learn from the experience.

Image Info does all the digital image content from these shows for various Websites. With the flip of an ISDN switch, they send the images to a digital printer. They will burn CDroms of the various lines for clients (current and potential), produce "look books" and studio sheets from the runway shots.

The sponsors lounge was open and airy with high counters and metal swivel stools. Thick binders were on the counters filled with pictures (five or six of the same outfit shot from different angles) and handouts with recaps. Reporters could also browse two computers' databases of 20,000 images, request certain photos and send them directly to their picture desk around the world to be filed with their story. This function is cost effective for publications as they might not have to send photographers to these shows as well. Although Kodak had a lounge for traditional photographers, as they sponsored all high end print work.

The dimmer, cooler lounge sponsored by Moet & Chandon, with dark woods, big smoky mirrors, had a beautiful Golden Labrador hanging out with some fashion show coordinators. The runways branched off from here, and the aluminum stanchions lined against the wall betrayed the chaos that would soon ensue around 5 p.m. that day for the next show. Many were off-site -- even as far downtown as 55 Wall Street -- like the Issac Mizrahi show for example.

All the work Dietmar and Image Info have done on this major Fashion (and now digital) industry event is paying off. The first credit for a photo attributed to a Website occurred after last year's show in the L.A. Times. Next time you see a shot of the latest super tall skinny super model, look closer at the photo credit and you may too see "" as the credit.

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Wednesday, November 05, 1997

Swedish Breakfast

We all know that New York is the "Capital of the World" (Giuliani), but our dear little Silicon Alley has reached up its new arms and grasped internationalism with a tenacious hold. Everyone knows the Web is boundless and your audience is not just BMT, IRT, or M104 riders, the tri-state area, or even the Continental U.S. anymore. (Indeed, @NY is read in more than 40 countries every week). And Silicon Alley's international strength is just starting to form its bud and burst open.

And on the morning of Nov. 5, I had an engaging breakfast at the Soho Grand Hotel with three top executives from Sweden. Over mushroom omelettes and coffee Lars-Henrik Friis Molin and Boris Nordenstrom, president and VP (respectively) of Universum (, and Jonas Granstrom, president of Jobline (, and I mused over the direction Silicon Alley has taken, is taking, and what will be. I have a feeling we'll be noticing a larger presence of European companies over the next year and they will be viable contributors to Silicon Alley and its success.

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Thursday, October 30, 1997

T3 Media's Bubbly party

I headed on down further in Tribeca to the Bubble Lounge (same night folks, Oct.30th) and who should I meet but Aliza Sherman at T3 Media's party. Michael Diamante looked smashing as the ever cordial host in the downstairs lounge. Champagne was flowing and strawberries were floating as Jennifer Runne, Cliff Ainsworth (Cliffsworld) and Omar Wasow (New York Online) all looked happy and pleased with the nice intimate setting.

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

E-pub's "Uproar"ious launch

Speaking of beasts, E-Pub launched their new game Up-Roar at their offices up the street from the Soho Grand on Oct. 30th. Tarot card readers tamed the wild curious party-goers desiring to know their future. Nestled between smooth light oak Ikea (?) desks with an assortment of colored votive candles and Peacock feathers around the office, Myles Weissleder, Lesla Pflager, and Shlomi Ron (all from down the hall at I-Traffic) waited in line, numbers in hand to find out what lie ahead for them. If they were lucky, they didn't get bopped in the nose by one of the Boxing Nun puppets that made their way around the office on the dexterous hands of Robert Lo Cascio (President of Sybarite Interactive) or Michael Simon and Timothy Ewing, Managing Directors of E-Pub. Mike entertained me with visions of Hungary, which is E-Pub's home base, as Paris in the 1920's. Coming to NYC in the Spring of 1995 he began development of Cosmos Conundrum. "Sebastian" in a peach polyester suit had batman painted face of purple and blue. Bob Ponce and Miles Rose (Two of WWWAC's new Board Members)were there with Brand Dialogue's kewl crew (including Asi Zuriel, formerly of Web Partners, and Samantha Sancho, just back from vacationing in beautiful Trinidad).

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Wednesday, October 29, 1997

New Media Summit

China was visiting the US, Iraq was burning our flags, Russia and Japan officially ended disagreements from WWII, and the New Media Summit went on with no "We will crush you!"'s or shoes slamming on table tops. No one expected thi sevent, put together by Itochu Technology, Sun Microsystems, and MeriselMOCA, to stir up too much controversy held at the elegant Soho Grand Hotel on October 29th.

Speakers included top new media thinkers including Owen Davis of TheThinking Media Corp.; G. Craig Murray of@Radical Media; Sean Skilling of BrandDialogue; and Eric Swenson of Hearst New Media. Tim Nadeau of Bowen Consulting offered that it was a good first attempt at a summit and it seemed like after the overused repurposed jargon some real substantive viewpoints came out. It must have been true judging from the length of discussions Kevin Sickles (SunMicrosystems) and David Frackman (Brand Dialogue) had going on after the event. Owen Davis's Java banners that track virtually (literally) everything were mulled over with tasty morsels of mushrooms in philo dough. Clay Shirky (sporting a handsome beard) encouraged others nearby to attend (and tell friends) of his Animators Ball in February. This event will not only be a showcase of animator's wildest dreams, forcing developers to meet the challenge for these applications, but also a chance for them to get to know about others in their field and begin a strong network.

G. Craig educated me on the inevitable convergence of TV and Web. Basically, TV is not interactive enough, the web is too interactive. Studies show that the TV is on for 8 hours but only watched for 2, and when a URL is on a commercial, traffic to that site spikes high. He believes a website has to be a natural extension of TV advertising, and that most people watch TV with laptops. I think a lot of people just happen to have computer and TV in the same (family/den) room. The web audience is one of affinity -- they come to sites because they want something from them, if someone is fed information (via commercial - and they couldn't click on the remote fast enough to get away) then the web is a natural extension of getting more information about the product or company. New media is offering a dialogue mechanism the beast media(um) (TV) isn't offering.

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Tuesday, October 28, 1997

Webcinema @ Club Chaos

The red plush velvet curtains and sconces couldn't keep the throngs away. Just a short few weeks ago Jonathan Sarno and his Webcinema organization had its first party to drum up interest and financial support for the upcoming soon-to-be-in-a-theater-near-you "Silicon Alley." Held at Club Chaos on Tuesday, Oct. 28th, there were models, there were actresses, there were producers, there were new media people! Perched near the door, puffing away at big ol' stogies, were Arnold Bruck (President, A.H.B. Financial Group) and Stuart Goldman (K-Tel International). They were there to show support for Jonathan, who was busy being host and getting actresses service numbers and biz cards from backers. David Kidder and Lesley Pinkney (Think New Ideas) filled me in on the whole "Jackass" label they sent co-worker Vernon Steward out with last week at a party. Derived from an error Lesley made when she rented cars for staff members for an HBO event in Miami but forgot maps, this term conveys affection around the Think offices. Larry Nagel (E-Pub) and Michael Diamante (T3 Media) came by a bit later and joined Anton Self (Telephant), Manos Megagiannis (TeKnowledge Industries, Inc.), Stephen C. Filler (Attorney), Tery Spataro and Alec Pollack (Stir Associates) up in the VIP lounge. David Johnson of the Filmmakers Collaborative spoke enthusiastically of the 3D renderation (rendering rercreation) of the Acropolis. Block by block this historical monument will be restored digitally for virtual tourists throughout the world. Mark Chackerian (Programmer, Reuters) and I made some interesting observations about people who observe each other. His conversation was most amusing, as we were subjects of an impromptu portrait artist at the last WWWAC meeting. He also is the webmaster for one of the more useful sites on the web. Coming from a family of scientists he wanted to do something useful that no one else had done before on the web. Imagine that! Something *useful* on the web. The New York City Street Cleaning Rules Suspension Calendar for 1997 has gotten 200 hits a day (

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Doubleclick @ Fred's Beauty Bar

Look Smart! Dress Sharp! Click, Click Here! Which one doesn't fit in with the other? Ha. Gotcha! They all fit together, and did so nicely at Fred's Beauty Bar on Tues, Oct. 28th. Held in conjunction with Doubleclick, the party drew a well-dressed crowd of new media parties. Nate Elliott (Doubleclick) filled me in on the Doubleclick scoop and this companies wide net work of sites for advertisers to buy into. Public Relations manager Amy Shapiro (DC) was on her way out in a fun faux (I hope) fur collared coat with Michael Tchong (Iconoclast) who just finished a research study on "Music on the Net."

Mark gleefully told me he's at CBS News after a long affair with Site Specific (which we all know is now married as CKS/Site Specific). Jim Orsi, who's still at CKS/SS was looking no worse for the wear however, even as Mark mentioned "its the little perks" like a free wool David Letterman cap and t-shirt that he just got. Key Compton (President, Solbright) and Taylor Ongaro (Co-Founder, Dir. of Ops, Solbright) have a key market in developing software for the publishing industry. Their more backend product will only become more useful as more people publish. And these days, anyone can publish on the i-n-t-e-r-n-e-t.

David "Happy Feet" Carvajal (Hotjobs) danced around the floor as he told me of a system "designed by headhunters for headhunters" that will be the "internet recruting strategy of the future." This didn't sway Larry "Happy Legs" Melzer ( from persuading me about all his company's capabilities. Moving from there I did a dip into a chair and plopped right in the midst of a fascinating heated debate between Cathleen "Eco-feminist" McGuire (Kokopelli), Katie Peters (Partner, Kokopelli), and Jacqueline D. London (Acct. Exec, Playboy). "Are men gender or culturally biased?" was how Jackie started it off. Cathleen passionately conveyed that even for women to lord over men with the power of their bodies is still maintaining a patriarchal society. To move out of it, we move to a closer concept of equality. Katie had good counter-points but I was thrown off track when Jackie cited that from an anthropological basis, men were first attracted to women's rear-ends. Over centuries the interest moved to breasts, of which the cleavage resembles the crack in a butt. -- Hey. I just report the stuff, I don't make it up!

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Friday, October 24, 1997

Audart & Audcom's Circus

Audart was at it again. The gallery and performance space, which integrates technology with art, began a few years ago when Neil London and Audrey Regan took over an abandoned Swiss bank in the Wall Street area. They wanted to create a space that served and promoted artists, and combine it with technology. The technology part of the company, Audcom, is a full service Internet company. They provide ISP service, Web hosting, are resellers for many top products including Digital computers, T1s, FORE Systems, Oki technology and others. So far they've had more than 1,000 people at each gallery opening, which are also online. After the most recent exhibit, the Premiere for The Art & Technology Circus, they will have over 200 artists online.

The Circus opened on Thursday, Oct. 16 and runs until Dec. 12. I breezed through it on my way to a WWWAC board meeting, but did have enough time to meet Neil London. Each installation had art and a performer within the space. These ranged from exotic to stupefying, but always engaging. If you haven't ventured down to this true art space, I'd highly recommend it. Before entering the gallery space, you walk through a gallery store -- beautiful functional pieces for sale. The gallery itself is at the end of a series of short sharp corridors dotted with art and whimsical things to look at from every turn. Each exhibit and opening is even more uniquely different from the previous in that they also completely change the physical layout of the gallery space. The next performance, where 50+ artists collaborate with 20+ technologies is Nov. 6th.

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Brett Leveridge's Sister's Benefit (announcement)

AMIDST THE LATEST technology hype, there are personal stories in the Silicon Alley that rarely get told. Here is one. Brett Leveridge publishes the well-known Brett News online zine and works as features editor for Barnes & Noble's new Web site.  Brett has a sister who is getting out of an abusive marriage and needs support.

When confronted with the realities of his desire to help out his sister financially, he went to the first place he thought of for support -- ECHO, the New York digital community. Brett privately contacted about 125 people there about a Benefit he is having to raise money for his sister's legal and medical bills, slated for next Friday, Oct. 24. He has not told his sister he is doing this yet, but she's not a wired person and isn't likely to know until he presents her with a big check and lots of cards.

The initial response was overwhelming and highly gratifying. Stacy Horn, founder of ECHO, has been especially supportive and has offered a door prize of six months free on this virtual community. Branching out from ECHO, Brett also sent an e-mail out to the Silicon Alley mailing list, created to support the need for community, non-technical, and design issues that came up on the WWWAC list. People he didn't even know sent e-mails saying they would come and bring friends. He has received lots of encouraging notes from women, for whom he feels this issue must resonate. Many more people who cannot attend but want to make a contribution sent supportive e-mails. The first check (for $50) arrived this Wednesday, from someone who can't attend.

Horn's ECHO mantra goes like this: "the online connection isn't complete until you meet someone off-line." Leveridge is seeing the power of the medium to bring people together in the real space. He believes the fundraiser will bring together many people who actually know each other from prior events. All the money from the benefit will go directly to Leveridge's sister and he is personally handling all expenses, mailing of flyers, transportation, and other incidentals. He has also arranged for three friends that are New York musicians to perform and a second door prize of a massage therapy session.

The contribution suggestion is $10 for the benefit. For more information, check out and see if you can help.

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Brett Leveridge's Sister's Benefit

If you kept up with @The Scene last week, you know that October 24 was the night of Brett Leveridge's benefit for his sister at the Void. Many warm-hearted Echo people showed their support including Stacy Horn (Echo's Founder), Primus (Sensenet), and three wonderful bands. During Lianne Smith's (conference manager at Echo) set Marianne Petit (hosts the art galleryon Echo) played the accordion and Horn did her first attempt (wonderfully) on bongos!

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Thursday, October 23, 1997

Touchscreen Media Group's 5 Year Celebration

Right after the historical WWWAC board election, fellow board member Howard Greenstein (Microsoft) and I headed up to the remote New York Carriage House on October 23. Touchscreen Media Group was celebrating five years of successful business, a devoted staff (current and former) and a strong client base. Cheryl Mollenbeck, Dennis McCole and Tom Skinner have something to be proud of. Even ex-employees were present, raving about the company and how wonderful it is.Kristina Krawchuk organized the classy evening of fine food and beverages.Incredible smoked brie and other yummy hors d'oeuvres from Michele & Company adorned a center table and the drinks warmed the crowd as well. A.J. Mollenbeck(Cheryl's father) was a most unique character, donning his tall grey western-styled beaded hat, plaid shirt, bolo, and cowboy boots, looking every bit the beef farmer/real estate broker that he is.

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Wednesday, October 22, 1997

International Webgrrls Day

When Mayor Giuliani names a day it *must* be big time and International Webgrrls Day was a true networking experience. Web cams and chats from Japan, NewZealand, Italy, Canada, South Africa and Long Island were armed with women chatting all evening on October 22. Champagne was served and founder Aliza Sherman honored several Silicon Alley women, including Esther Dyson (Edventure),Tery Spataro (Stir Associates) and Connie Conners (NYNMA). There were door prizes including software from Microsoft, Dyson's new book, t-shirts, and a one hour massage therapy session.

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Saturday, October 18, 1997

Ken Schaffer's Birthday Extravaganza

Not only are Halloween and new technology-related parties sprouting up, but birthday's are as well... Ken Schaffer ( celebrated his 50th with a close group of friends on Sat. Oct. 18 at roof top party.

Alla Kliouka and Kibo (Ken's wife and son, respectively) made everyone feel at home with hugs and lots of caviar. Dietmar Petutschnig (Image Info Inc.) and I chatted for a while on his recent trip to Paris for the fashion shows.

Seeing as his company builds image databases, the fashion companies have been a logical client base for him. Richard Brand (Adult & Adolescent Psychiatry) who has a different client base, and I spoke of how he could publish some of his medical articles. He and his lovely wife Jane and I also talked about his earlier career in the music industry. How many of you remember "Walk Away Renne" by Left Banke? Dr. Ivan Eliashevich, another Dr. -- of Semiconductors at Emcore (, and his talented wife Anya (Fashion Designer -- and I spoke at length of my time in Moscow, traveling, and Russia.

The Russian Web Girls ( came in and soon everyone was dancing! (PS. Look for me in an exclusive dress designed for me by Anya at the Upcoming 3rd Annual WWWAC Holiday party.)

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Friday, October 17, 1997

Swell Farewell to McCarthy and Jaffe

All's well that ends well, and it was a swell farewell to Chris McCarthy and Nancy Jaffe Friday night Oct. 17th at the Suzy Wong Lounge below E & O Restaurant on Houston St. Donned in black, and Nancy in a hot-to-trot leather skirt, I mused how well they'll fit in with the Valley counterparts.
Clem Paulsen and his lovely wife May beamed as they told me about their upcoming trip to Russia to pick up their newly adopted 8-month old baby girl. May, Anne Yoakam (freelance writer) and myself had an involved discussion on the status of women in relation to Communism vs. Capitalism.
Our conversation got cut short by Bonnie Halper as she flew in with a flock of men including Taylor Standlee and Vernon Steward (sporting a name tag of "Jack Ass" -- apparently a cruel joke from a collegue) from Think New Ideas.

David Kidder was charming as ever, although I just met him. He's a good person to have around 'cause he knew all about the Alley to Valley Rally and that always fills a  bucket o' conversation. David Turnbull (Director, New Biz Dev., RareMedium), Andrew Gelman (my first cyber-lawyer), Marielle Smith (Greene Communications) and Chris Starace (VP Prof. Services, Social Science) populated the red lit oriental themed lounge and all looked like they're weathering our new media storm quite well.

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Tuesday, October 14, 1997

PC World Annual Wine Tasting

"Oh you simply MUST try the truffles," cooed the English-accented voice near me. I turned and it was Jan Biggs with her husband Jeremy Biggs of Helix Software. Standing nearby, Pat Altman of RDA International agreed. How could I resist such temptation, especially when paired with such a fine Port? The PC World Annual Wine tasting at Merlot's Bar & Grill on October 14 was an exquisitely civil event. Held mostly for advertisers and prospective clients, the gathering featured newly-appointed publisher Jeff Edman and VP-associate publisher Bob Carrigan as gracious hosts. While I enjoyed sampling wines from around the world, Jeff confessed he still preferred Californian wines.

Meanwhile Francis Fisher (McCann-Erikson) held a group of other PC World reps captive with anecdotes on his experiences at this agency. Susan Corke and Amy Cerrone of Ogilvy & Mather's IBM account were indulging in the very rare roast beef, sliced thickly by a white beret-capped Frenchman. And a good bunch of other ad world people looked to be enjoying the fine wines and hors d'oeuvres.

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

A SonicNet Party

No fine wines and hors d'oeuvres at the SonicNet party, though. No Thank You, Ma'am. Just Rolling Rocks and a small plate of crumbled crackers and dry cheese. Well, what do you expect when there's a half-sized basketball court in the office, and the Chat Diva, Marti Zimlin is holding her own court at the other end of the office? While young programmers and designers shot hoops, Marti shot witty comments for the chat with rapper Mic Geronimo. "Yo! It's mad. It's an original, cool way to bring people together ... I had a good time." It all came trippingly off his tongue, and why not? Today's rappers are the Billy Shakes-peer of this generation -- at least online.

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Thursday, October 09, 1997

John Perry Barlow's 50th Birthday Bash

WHERE ELSE WOULD you find Spaulding Grey, Ed Bennett and Stacy Horn all in the same room? At John Perry Barlow's 50th birthday party, of course. It was set in the Gemini Lounge in the East Village last week, where the dark gray brushed steel walls and deep eggplant hexagonal columns section off low eggplant velvet sofas from the low-lit bar. The crowd is dressed mostly in black.

After a lengthy and descriptive poem read by Avalanche's Cherry Arnold and sing-songwriter Lisa Cunningham, the likes of Steven Levy, Mark Frisk and Matt Peyton enjoyed some Ferrara Pasticceria birthday cake. Rezrocket jammed early at the party, with the unique software that allows you to play live, studio-quality music with anyone around the world. Unable to find Lingala, the African trance music, the newly-ancient Barlow suggested looking at Lincoln Center while DJ Jon Spooner mixed together some perfectly slick cyber sounds.

Super-tall skinny model-waitresses strutted in tight black lycra stretch pants and corsets taking drink orders. Andrew Rasiej of Irving Plaza and Cecilia Pagkalinawan of Abilon and spoke with me about the upcoming WWWAC Holiday Party.

Aside from the birthday boy from Wyoming, the most "colorful" character present was Rainbow Heart the body painter. Feathers in his hat, sparkely scarf and beaded vest, he sat down and painted various adventurous souls' faces. I ended up with glittery red, white, and blue wings on my eyelids dramatic enough to grace the side of a souped-up Harley. Hey man, face paint wants to be free.

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

(Other notes edited out:

Taking Barlow for his word, Mr. Grey was in attendence with his significant other Kathy Russo and kids including new son, Theo.
A prime example of how the mood at parties can change dramatically ensued at the urinal:
DJ Jon Spooner is standing next to Birthday boy John Barlow.
DJ Jon: "Hey. Happy Birthday"
Bday John: "Oh. Thanks."

Then the door opens, Bday John glances in the mirror and waves at a woman standing outside.

Woman: "No, no, not you! I want to talk to the other guy!"
DJ Jon: "Me?"
Woman: "Yes! I just broke up with my boyfriend and would like to know if you could play "Freedom" by George Michael?"
DJ Jon: "Uh...NO..."
Meanwhile, the other dude at the far end perks up when he learns our damsel is recently unhitched...

A Chaotic Webcinema Party

CHAOS WAS THE WELL-NAMED venue for Webcinema and CNI Cinema's party Tuesday celebrating the upcoming feature film production "Silicon Alley."

The invitation promised "the Digerati and Gliterati converge," but I think it was more just a lot of actors posing for Jonathan Sarno and a few producers. Witness tall, svelte, milky-skinned Rhonda Roenfeldt, who was pulling all the stops to get "Spyder" Sarno to cast her in his movie. With six years of high fashion modeling (at Click Agency) and more than a year of acting under her tiny belt she was ready for the ask. And with a credit from the MTV Promo show "Austin Power's Psychedelic Pussy Cat Swingers Club," it was straight to the front of the line, Baby.

Canadian Consulate types Jonathan Faber and Matthew Toner were also in attendance. I learned exclusively that @NY editor Tom Watson has been cast as a Damon Runyon ink-stained journalist type in the film, but may be balking at a proposed nude scene. After an argument with the bartender and Sarno over whether I should order water of a cosmopolitan, I grabbed a T-shirt and headed for the balcony.

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Thursday, September 25, 1997

Flatiron Partners' new offices

Unveiling a stunning new office suite straight out of the pages of Architectural Digest that looked like it cost as much as many Silicon Alley companies have for seed money, the Flatiron Partners opened a real-world monument to their cyberspace business last week that does everything but shout "class" up and down Broadway.

Stepping out onto the 12th floor landing at 257 Park Avenue South, visitors to the Partners' new digs were greeted with calming green and beige tile mosaic framing the historic Flatiron building. The smooth blond wood floors pulled you toward the massive glass doors, washing up onto a hard grey corian-like floor balanced with dark grey monochromatic checkerboard clipped carpeting.

Right at the entrance of this sleek new airy office space, designed by David Levin, was @NY editor Jason Chervokas chatting with Evan Goetz of Edelman PR. After announcing his recent promotion from senior account executive to account supervisor, Evan divulged that Jeff Ratner (vice president, associate director, Brand Dialogue) used to be a very generous baby-sitter and let him watch Night Rider. Awwww.

The crowd was thick with stylishly clad notable new media types including the partners themselves, Fred Wilson and Jerry Colonna; some of the folks they've invested in, including Yoyodyne honcho Seth Godin and eShare chief James Tito.

While Citysearch was having a party the same night to celebrate the redesign of their site--and Metrobeat founder Mark Davies flew in from the west coast with newly-dyed bleach blond hair--I couldn't pull myself away from the sleek black filing cabinets clustered near desks separated by low folding screens of hard-frosted plastic with black frames. As beautiful as a seven-figure SoftBank check...almost.

Outside the glass-enclosed conference room, with its revolutionary ironing board room table, I met Jeffrey Phillips, director of sales and marketing for Rhizome Internet L.L.C., who talked about the objects in StockObjects' new media stock library. Similar to a stock library of photos, StockObjects licenses 3D models, Java, Shockwave, gif animations, VRML, flash and other Web development objects for developers.

Ed Bennett greeted me enthusiastically and I told him about all the fun I had traveling across the country and riding a motorcycle at Burning Man. He had many good stories too about his travels to beautiful Vietnam, which is hooked up to the world...sorta. Not the Internet, but "NamNet" is owned by the government where apparently all e-mails stay for several days on the server. Whether these are actually read or not is still up to speculation.

Ed also spoke lively of his days at VH1 in 1991. Inundated with calls from record labels who were sending him bucketsfull of demos, Ed decided to try and make something more useful with all this money being poured into producing music videos. During a typically beautiful Napa Valley evening at Francis Ford Coppola's, Ed and he planned a series on VH1 of long format programming. No shortage of film students knocking on Mr. Coppola's door, they decided to reroute the undiscovered talent from the typical arduous path of getting a job as a director of music videos to commercials to big movies (if lucky). Coppola would find the grads and they would use the record lable company's money to produce something worth the great director's time (not your average 4 minute video). The first one was William Burrough's "A Junkies Christmas" done by a Yugoslavian director who was an animation genius.

These days Ed is busy with "10 different things" ranging from radio syndication, a new cable network launch that is niche driven to foreign languages. He told me how the US is really one of the only countries that is so niche driven in its marketing, and outside the US "its mass marketing." For instance China is installing 14 million cellular phones a year, and the demand is increasing.

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Celebrites and the Russian Web Girls 2nd party

The party was still in full swing as I left to go uptown to an opening at the Sally Mann gallery. There was a hip crowd mostly dressed in black mingling outside smoking cigarettes and getting fresh air from the very packed show upstairs. While waiting Alec Baldwin and Leonardo D'Caprio briskly walked past, regrouping before a dinner out at a sushi-restaurant.

Cut-crystal and silver buckets filled with mounds of fresh caviar were passed around at the Russian Web Girls second party at the Gallery at 678 Broadway (owned by Sean Gibbons and Kumar Kalantri). In true celebration of Moscow's 850th birthday, and all things extravagant and Russian, there was a fur fashion show by Levenson Furs models Alla Goldshetyn and Julia Livinov, Soprano Anay Fidelia with accompanist Alla Katchan and comic singer accordian performer Yury Lemeshev. RWGs Tanya Aleksa (executive producer), Alona Makeeva (art director) were sporting their domain name address painted down full length clingy shimmery dresses -- original creations from designer Anya Elia. Vica Vinogradova, creative producer, and artist Marianna Trofimova were all boogie-ing to the loud pumping music while Vodka Boy pouring shots of Kremlyovskay for thirsty dancers. Next to the kiosk selling St. Peter's styled Faberge eggs, ikon e ikonka (icons and miniature icons), and posters was a mini bar with piles of Russian chocolates and drinks.

Ken Schaeffer and his famous Russian actress wife Alla Kliouka were donning typical Soviet military caps, scarfs, and jackets. They were just back from Moscow where Alla won the Russian equivilent of the Oscar ("Green Apple") in 1995, and the Sochi Film Festival in June, both as "best actress." Back in NYC at Carnegie Hall last Tuesday she emcee'd the "850 Years Moscow" spectacular, with all the ambassadors and lots of Russian stars of stage, sceen, TV, ballet, opera, and pop! There were 6 pages on Alla in September's Premier (Russian edition, same publishers -- Filipachi). Ken, not anyone to sneeze at either, has been to Russia approximately 65 times since 1985. After planning on retiring from Russia a couple of years ago, when he married Alla, sold his satellites-over-Russia company to Comsat, and had a baby ... But when he visited in August, just to see friends in Moscow and Almaty -- he got hooked again. Currently Ken is working with some companies back in Kazakhstan (11 times zones) to solve some impasses/disconnects with their partners.

We were compared notes about Moscow from '91 when I'd been there originally. Boy has it changed! The Arbat -- Moscow's "Bleeker Street" -- has gone from slightly seedy, with small tables set up by Ukrainian Babushka's, street-smart urban youth selling watches and underground paintings to a typical cobblestoned street in Paris or Soho. Not the "looking for a spouse" crowd of last year, well dressed people sit at cafes sipping cappuccinos while beautiful people parade by.

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Tuesday, September 23, 1997

echoMEDIA's new product, Sesame-Ad

OPEN SESAME! echoMEDIA demoed its new product, Sesame-Ad, to a select audience Tuesday morning (9/23) at The New York Yacht Club on 44th Street. Based out of Rhode Island, this club a natural choice for this company's demo.

If you've ever walked down 44th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues, you may have noticed odd bubble shaped windows jutting out over the sidewalk. Originally designed in 1901 by Whitney Warren, who studied at the L'ecole Beaux Arts and went on to design Grand Central Station, whose Model Room has these windows.  Inside, under these windows are soft deep red velvet and leather banquettes, perfect for sharing a cup of tea in the morning or cocktail in the afternoon.

Of course there is nothing dainty about the interior this room. Was this space designed by Wm. Randolph Hearst? It could have been for "Oppressive," "Massive" and "Domineering" are the words one might use to describe this two-storied room. Dark polished oak wood covered the walls, ceiling fixtures, and moldings. Nautical motifs including sea monsters, dolphins, and seaweed adorned most every fixture: a wood balcony on one side was detailed with light and dark painted green seaweed, 10' tall Caen stone (from Normandy) sea monsters flanked a large oil painting of ships at sea on the 47 ton fireplace. Heavy black iron chandeliers with coconut-sized frosted glass lamps speckled the ceiling and, while dark, couldn't hide the 30' oval brilliant golden-toned stained glass sunroof. Dark Teal fabric covered with halves of ship models covered the walls in addition to large models contained within even larger exhibition cases.

But enough about the impressive nautical room. echoMEDIA has hopes for Sesame-Ad to be the secret opening to a new wave of interactive-web advertising. This software delivers already made TV commercials on the web in either 1/4, 1/2, or whole page ads in child pop-up windows, or as interstitials. The user doesn't go away to a different site as with a banner click-through, or have the entire page blocked by an ad (with the exception of the interstitials).

You can see samples of this new exciting model at: Jumbo (one of the largest software, promo download sites) and (a 23yr. old company and one of the largest publishers of travel info on the web). Some current clients include: Kodak, Sandals resorts, Carnival Cruises, United Airlines, and USA Today.

Among the guests at this morning's preview was Katie Antheil
( of Rodale Press ( Not focusing on the model, as that's a proven big competitor, Rodale has created various websites based on books they've published. Some sites are: and Men's Health magazine (

Introducing the panel and this product was Richard Fisher, Director of echoMEDIA. echoMEDIA was founded in 1995 and is based out of Newport, R.I. Fully owned by NetMaster now, echoMEDIA is traded on Nasdaq as NETZ, and is a major
player in the web advertising arena. Tom Burgess, President/CEO of echoMEDIA came up to speak and take us through the demo. WOW! Slick presentation.

This software will deliver the appropriate ad based on various user specifications. It will be delivered in any format you want, any length, has auto scheduling, and starts playing during the download of the webpage. Part of the software is the Campaign Manager, which can determine the frequency of the ads, target the audience by time, timezone, website, and ensure there are no
repeat ads -- if you so desire.

All of this wondrousness is served up from (quess what? -- that's right) the proprietary ad-server. This efficient machine not only serves up the ads but also generates a report in the structure you want.

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Canadian Consulate + Augustine Fou's "e-dinner" (Entreprenuer's Dinner)

Later on Tuesday, 9/23, the Canadian Consulate General and Augustine Fou (go-Digital Internet Consulting Group) hosted this month's "e-dinner" (Entreprenuer's Dinner Set down in the concourse level of 1251 Avenue of the Americas, our trip to Canadian soil was a modern
comforting experience. The fine blond wood paneled room with seafoam green marble tiled floors and matching carpet was a warm invitation despite the nice wine and cheese.

Here's the run down of the speakers:
Ted Werth who co-founded TotalNY, and managed it successfully until it was recently acquired by Digital Cities/AOL. Merger completed, he is consulting with several entertainment and new media start-ups.

Todd Krizelman/Stephen Paternot - Todd and Stephen co-founded WebGenesis, the company that created The Globe which today boasts 600,000 registered users and recently landed $20 million in additional funding.

The topic of this month's e-dinner is "Internet 201: Managing Success."

Following are some sound bites for the quote hungry...(please note these are not direct quotes, and in some instances I summarized).

What works?
Krizelman: it's developing the team, there's no room for egos...stick with an idea, persistance.
Werth: Building a big brand on the web...the brand is critical.
Paternot: Unless you have a big brand, or lots of money, you probably can't make it.

(!) wow. Telling that to an audience of New York Entrepeneurs is like giving Jimmy the Greek tips to a betting junkie. Case in point, Susan Tracy is looking to start her own business, has "a dollar and a dream" and aspires to be on the WWWAC Board and Party Coordinator.

Question posed by seasoned journalist Katherine Cavenaugh:
What's their definition of success?
Werth: Everyone defines success differently...Not to have it [TotalNY] go down the tubes in 6 months.
Paternot: Is finding venture capital succss? No. Is having people leave AOL to join them success? Yes.

Other questions asked were:
How did they start their marketing?
Paternot: Word of mouth.
Krizelman: Gut instinct... thought about how they were being presented in brochures, on the web. They launched on 4/1/95 (no joke) but didn't begin subscription services until late summer of '96. Their subscription is pretty reasonable considering it is $25/year, and you can have a no-obligation 6 month
trial period. If at that time you decide to get a paid subscription -- you get a discount!

Werth: Lots of cross-marketing -- did article/link exchanges with  Hampton's Magazine, Flatiron News, did lots of events, cybercast...

Krizelman: they turned away money because the Angel didn't share the right vision

Paternot: The Globe is beginning to follow the Silicon Valley lead in handing out equity to employees as a way to give/get something and loyalty from the employees.

Ted encouraged Heidi Lee, a recent grad from American University, to explore her interests by researching on the web, and that there are books and websites devoted to business plans if she needed.

Co-Host Augustine Fou added the Small Business Administration is also on the web (

What's the future of the internet?
Paternot: building routers and switches (!) Actually -- How people socialize, virtual communities... New York *will* become the top financial center.
Werth: E-commerce... How will anything be sold but at the cheapest price. There will be a lot of competition in this area. Also: they've been saying "content is king" for a long time now -- content will eventually converge with TV so you will be flipping through and be able to see streaming TV.

Ted Werth goes to the "About" section of any website first to find out who are these people? Who will I be dealing with? What type of organization is this?

Other guests present: Chef Ashbell (, and in size 23 shoes!), Mariel Smith, Bob Ponce, and Bonnie Siegel who needs volunteers for some exciting educational programs with children and computers. Larry Kessler of "Let's Talk Business" network ( mentioned the mentoring program at Columbia University's New Media and Business Program. They are looking to raise $10 million, which will match corporate mentoring of an individual's education. Lauren Wechsler
(Dir. Marketing and Communications, Kokopelli) filled me in on an upcoming Valentine's Day event. Kokopelli is doing the website for V-Day '98 where celebrities (including Drew Barrymore, Susan Sarandon, Bette Midler, Wynona Ryder) will perform pieces from Eve Ensler's renowned "The Vagina Monologues."

Gregory Belmont ( informed us his site's virtual communities, specifically the Chess Club which has existed since March 1995. Michael Chaut, insurance-man for internet companies by day/magician by night performed a few impromptu tricks for us after the panel. He produces a Monday Night magic sgiw,

I joined Jeff Stewart, Sunny Youn (inventor at AT&T Bell Labs,, Ann Yokum, the svelte Uta Knablein and GQ-ready Justin Greene (Greene Communications,, afterwards for a diet coke while they munched on a slice of pizza.

(This is the unedited version. The edited version appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Thursday, September 18, 1997

SonicNet, Sherry Netherlands, Conde Nast, Pseudo

While all the big web music industry types were hobnobbing and breakdancing at the SonicNet party, I ended up on a unique span of New York's nitelife. After meeting up with Ann Yokum, who currently works with the Metropolitan Museum of Art on a special photography magazine, we went to a black-tie event at the Sherry Netherlands for the Colonial War Foundation. I unexpectedly bumped into Randall Stempler ( who told me of all sorts of fun parties, and his work in the Law sector of late. He introduced me to Cliff Ainsworth ( who has a number of interesting projects.

After tasting some yummy desserts we headed down, but alas! too late for SonicNet. Instead we chatted with Mohammed, the security guard up on the 10th floor at Conde Nast International about Baywatch and the magazines they publish. Continuing south we spied a group of people hanging out on the sidewalk in front of Pseudo's building.  We ventured upstairs and indeed there was a mini rave going on.  Wafts of strange smoked weeds greeted us as hosts and producers Thomas "T-Bo," and Uzi Fisher of the show "FreQ" were well into a jam session. FreQ is 3 hrs. of electronic music ranging from house to techno and trip-hop to jungle. Thomas had already painted his face all bright blue, donned 4 ties, a red Bozo clown wig, tweed hat and jacket, fake glasses with eyelashes, raw silk beige shirt, faded charcoal twill pants, and birkenstock-like shoes. Hopping around, and warming up, he wasn't too talkative to us. Uzi however filled me in on how this show is more rave oriented and they are interested in building a community or mud-like channel. (They should try Burning Man!) Uzi states: "People get ahead by helping each other." The interface he describes as like a Matryoshka, a doll within a doll, a navigable world, multi-national based community. Regarding Burning Man he comments the "cultural fragmentation is unbelievable...Sometimes the fragmentation doesn't' lead to wholeness."  We were like magnets to the blue screen and the big guys break dancing in front of it... In near giddy-hypnotism we moved behind the ravers and boogied a bit ourselves. After a few rounds of songs, we stepped out from the mesmerizing music (you should see the psychedelic colors on the webpage!). One raver came up to us and said, "the contrast was intense!"

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Wednesday, September 17, 1997

Calendar of Events - published 9/17/97

Artnetweb ( offers courses, projects, readings, links, bulletin boards, and a host of other things making this site a true resource for all things digital art related.

9/11 - 12/18: Thursdays @12:30 pm (except 11/27) Thundergulch presents Lunchtime @ the Wall, utilizing the building's impressive 14-foot video wall located in the lobby as a site to present artists' video, CD-ROM,
and internet projects to the downtown lunchtime crowd. More info: (

Started 3 months ago, Steven Koplowitz, in collaboration with Webbed Feats, (nonprofit org of artists devoted to presenting site-specific performances developed w/www audiences) launched to solicit contributions for the project. You can contribute to the event in a # of ways. Check out the site for more info.

9/23, 7 - 9 PM, e-dinner at the Canadian Consulate (SW corner of 50th Street and Ave. of the Americas, entrance on 50th Street) Dinner will not be served due to unreasonable catering prices. And speaker bio info and much more are on the website

9/25: Columbia Business School Alumni Club/New York Media and Marketing Committees presents the first of two events dealing with Electronic Commerce: "Electronic Commerce: The Next Frontier or The Latest Buzzword?" Sony Building, 550 Madison Avenue (at 55th St.), (20th Floor), Recep: 5:30 PM, Program 6:30 PM, Fee: $10 advance, $15 at the door, For more info call (212) 854-8815

9/24, 5:15 - 7:45 PM, MIT Enterprise Forum of New York City, Inc. presents "Blueprints for Success in Elelctronic Commerce: Building Virtual Communities for Real Profit," Chase Manhattan Bank, 270 Park Ave. (47th St.), NYC.  3rd floor auditorium, Pre-registration required by Thursday, September 18th, Prepaid members $25.  Prepaid nonmembers $40.  Additional $10 at the door, Send registration/payment to: Dick Reisman, Digital Media Committee Member, MIT Enterprise Forum of NY, 420 Lexington Ave., Rm.2400, NYC 10170.  Voice 212.681.1112.  Fax 212.687.3524., e-mail:

9/25, 8 - 11pm, Russian Web Girls party, Gallery @678 Broadway, 2 floor, Join in the secret celebration of the 850th anniversary of Moscow. Come feel the chill of Red Square, where the Mausoleum of Lenin and the Cathedral of St.Basil stand together, where the old and the new freely mix. Vodka and peroshkis will warm you spirit and strolling minstrels will warm you heart. On the walls, the works of artists, no longer underground, will make a miniature gallery. And, the runways will be cleared and forbidden Russian beauties will show the latest Moscow styles. wine/beer cash bar, $10 cover charge, dress in red RSVP: 212*475*6393,

1998: March 31st - April 2nd, Computer World Expo, Sweden, Current invited speakers from the US are...Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison,, Robert Palmer, Louis V Gerstner... Topics for the 3 days focus on politics-economics-technique, Electronic Commerce, the millennium problems. For more info and suggestions on speakers/topics, please write to: Christian Bergenstraahle (

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Steve Joblonsky art show

Steve Jablonsky was busy as he had an art opening at the Howard Green Gallery 2nd floor (120 wooster Street). Some of his online work can be found at ( Among the digital artists were Lorraine Tobias of STIR and Howard Wanderman of Site Specific.

(Appeared originally in @The Scene in the @NY newsletter)

Calendar of Events - published 9/17/97

Artnetweb ( offers courses, projects, readings, links, bulletin boards, and a host of other things making this site a true resource for all things digital art related.

Started 3 months ago, Steven Koplowitz, in collaboration with Webbed Feats, (nonprofit org of artists devoted to presenting site-specific performances developed w/www audiences) launched to solicit contributions for the project. You can contribute to the event in a # of ways. Check out the site for more info.

9/11 - 12/18: Thursdays @12:30 pm (except 11/27) Thundergulch presents Lunchtime @ the Wall, utilizing the building's impressive 14-foot video wall located in the lobby as a site to present artists' video, CD-ROM,
and internet projects to the downtown lunchtime crowd. More info: (

9/23, 7 - 9 PM, e-dinner at the Canadian Consulate (SW corner of 50th Street and Ave. of the Americas, entrance on 50th Street) Dinner will not be served due to unreasonable catering prices. And speaker bio info and much more are on the website

9/25: Columbia Business School Alumni Club/New York Media and Marketing Committees presents the first of two events dealing with Electronic Commerce: "Electronic Commerce: The Next Frontier or The Latest Buzzword?" Sony Building, 550 Madison Avenue (at 55th St.), (20th Floor), Recep: 5:30 PM, Program 6:30 PM, Fee: $10 advance, $15 at the door, For more info call (212) 854-8815

9/24, 5:15 - 7:45 PM, MIT Enterprise Forum of New York City, Inc. presents "Blueprints for Success in Elelctronic Commerce: Building Virtual Communities for Real Profit," Chase Manhattan Bank, 270 Park Ave. (47th St.), NYC.  3rd floor auditorium, Pre-registration required by Thursday, September 18th, Prepaid members $25.  Prepaid nonmembers $40.  Additional $10 at the door, Send registration/payment to: Dick Reisman, Digital Media Committee Member, MIT Enterprise Forum of NY, 420 Lexington Ave., Rm.2400, NYC 10170.  Voice 212.681.1112.  Fax 212.687.3524., e-mail:

9/25, 8 - 11pm, Russian Web Girls party, Gallery @678 Broadway, 2 floor, Join in the secret celebration of the 850th anniversary of Moscow. Come feel the chill of Red Square, where the Mausoleum of Lenin and the Cathedral of St.Basil stand together, where the old and the new freely mix. Vodka and peroshkis will warm you spirit and strolling minstrels will warm you heart. On the walls, the works of artists, no longer underground, will make a miniature gallery. And, the runways will be cleared and forbidden Russian beauties will show the latest Moscow styles. wine/beer cash bar, $10 cover charge, dress in red RSVP: 212*475*6393,

1998: March 31st - April 2nd, Computer World Expo, Sweden, Current invited speakers from the US are...Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison,, Robert Palmer, Louis V Gerstner... Topics for the 3 days focus on politics-economics-technique, Electronic Commerce, the millennium problems. For more info and suggestions on speakers/topics, please write to: Christian Bergenstraahle (