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)