Monday, March 23, 1998

MOVERS AND SHAKERS - published 3/23/98

Alan Ginsberg has recently joined Mercury Seven, the Internet development company and publisher of, as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.  Alan was formerly a manager in Arthur Andersen's Business Consulting practice where he helped Fortune 500 companies manage through large-scale change initiatives.  Alan was instrumental in the creation and launch of Arthur Andersen KnowledgeSpace, an award winning online service for business executives.

Touchscreen Media Group has been busy with some organizational changes: Cheryl Moellenbeck, previously the Executive Producer, will now devote her attention to the consulting arm of the company. Tom Skinner, Senior Producer at TMG has been promoted to Executive Producer. And Lisa Rawding has just been added as an executive level marketing consultant to their staff.

Tierra Communications, Inc. is moving. Their new address is: 8283 Fernbank Road, Ashton, Ontario, K0A 1B0, Canada, Phone:    (613) 253-7577, Fax:    (613) 253-2303.

Kenneth Crutchfield, a 15-year veteran of the online/interactive industry, has recently joined US Interactive as Director of Strategic Planning and Development.

David Corales, former Marketing & Public Relations Associate for New Jersey Online   has joined Middleberg Interactive , the new media division of the NYC based Public Relations firm Middleberg + Associates, as the Internet Public Relations Coordinator.

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

Open-I Media's 2nd Annual Oscar party

Women with powder dusted creamy backs in gowns dripping with beads and men in crisp tuxes. Of course its Oscar night. Yet I'm not talking about the fancily clad movie stars. I'm talking about the fancily clad crowd at Open-I Media's 2nd Annual Oscar party. "Black Tie Optional" and held on Monday, March 23, in their offices at 73 Franklin Street during the airing of the Oscars, Open-I benefited The CityKids Foundation's Cyber Links and Safe Space programs. Cyber Links is relatively new (it just started last week!) and has the goal of getting kids on computers. Safe Space is a physical space at the non-profit's Leonard street facility where city kids can go and express their feelings. Now, thanks to Open-I, they have a space online where they can safely express themselves as well.

Dana Story of Open-I wasn't just acting when she played the role of a good hostess, she gave me a very informative tour and spoke enthusiastically of their relationship with CityKids. In a stunning full length black gown with clear criss-crossed straps she navigated the space with me and pointed out how their office was transformed to accommodate the guests. The space is long and divided by a glass rectangular "backstage" area in the middle. "Backstage" is the color output center and where technicians can service the computers--like add hardware (zip drives)--for the computer terminals on either side. Hot hors d'oeuvres were stationed on what was the video editing suite, and next to the avid system (covered in blue plastic and strangely resembling one of those life boats in this year's winner "Titanic") were the computers people rent out on a monthly basis. Actually, Dana explained, some people just rent the space and bring in their own equipment. This way they can have their own business, but not have to deal with also being CFO or Office Manager, they can just do what they do best -- create. Downstairs are 3 rooms for computer classes.

Students created 3 games for this night's festivities: "Find That Oscar Tune," "Bingo," and a trivia game. The prizes weren't so shabby either: dinner at one of the fine Tribeca restaurants, 1 full day at Chelsea Piers health club, a 1 year membership to NYNMA, a bottle of Skyy Vodka or Ocumare Rum, and other goodies. All these fine things, including the much needed elbow grease to put on such a fine event were donated. The Special Events Marketing class at FIT offered students to work on a real-life project and receive credit. Two students I met from this program were Sacheen Cicero and Joanna Fillie, who both were pretty much rooting for "Titanic." Down the hall I chatted with Jeff Stuart who had that glowing "just back from a skiing vacation" look. Having his company get bought didn't hurt his relaxed happy demeanor either. Neither did Nate Elliot at Doubleclick look to badly, for the obvious reasons (if you don't know what happened to Doubleclick, check the @NY archive's). Nate said things are "crazy but great" and that Open-I "is a great shop." Kim Hino of Stanton Crenshew Communications was nearby, as was Bill Tucker, a writer for the New York Press who told me that "California didn't show up for the Alley to Valley Conference" (sponsored by the AlleyCats). Paul Glazrock, who was playing one of the Oscar games nearby, is freelancing as a technical development person at Individual Investor Online. And who were all these people voting for in the Oscar raffle? Matt Damon, Titanic, and 2 undecided, respectively. Jodie Kahn of 24/7 (Titanic) and Jeremy Kagan of Volatile Media (Starship Troopers) debated over their choices. And Miles Rose (WWWAC board member and biz SIG leader), sweetly said he was voting for me! All in all, I'd say everyone benefited from this fine event.

Correction: Tristan Louis is not at but Please excuse my error in reporting.

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

Friday, March 20, 1998

Russian Web Girls' "Dreams of St. Petersburg" party

I left this "speedily" and jaunted over to the Russian Web Girls' "Dreams of St. Petersburg" party. Swathed in black ostrich feather boas, each RWG was once again a lovely hostess. Earlier in the day they painted an evocative mural on the walls downstairs transforming the club "Planet 28" into a mysterious and moody dreamscape. Upstairs slides of past and present St. Petersburg flashed on a glittery white wall. A duo of Japanese ballerinas, led by Ballet Mistress Maki Fujita, swirled, pirouetted, and arabesqued their way into our experience. Beginning with an ethereal classic piece in white the ballerinas dancing around and in white sheeting. The second piece was in all black and the three performers writhed and pointed more erotically. The third, a solo, was a modern day Japanese girl, in a girlie fatigue combo, beating against Russian Big Brother ordering commands mixed with techno. The band Black Mama Dharma, a family led by a Slavic father and Indian mother, was phenomenal. Their 10 year old son (drummer) and 8 year old daughter (bass guitar) were excellent. Tristan Louis (, Anya (Fashion designer) and Vanya ( Eliashevich agreed. The blues band mix with Indian strains got everyone into the groove including Ilya (name), Alona Makeevch, and a club full of Russians, new media and non.

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


Friday March 20 was another big night out. It starts off at a "netparty." The invitation read "A Netparty is a "networking party" -- an opportunity for young professionals to network with each other on a business level (we encourage you to exchange business cards) and to interact with each other on a social level.  A Netparty also provides an opportunity to meet in person those who you might otherwise have only communicated with on "the Net."  Crain's New York Business has called networking parties "a genuinely original idea." Hmm. Sounds like every (Inter)Netparty I've been to! This one was at Speed (a Moroccan Lounge). By the time I got there (9:30ish) Donna Summer's "On the Radio" was ending, Diana Ross' "I'm coming out" was starting, the networking was pretty much over and the dancing was in full swing. Check my Upcoming events section for the next one!

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

Wednesday, March 11, 1998

Avalanche's new office

You could imagine my surprise when I entered Avalanche's office, Wednesday, March 11, expecting to see the same "lofty" environment typical of Soho/Silicon Alley web shops. But this is a kinder, gentler, saavy-er, new Avalanche. And if you noticed, its not Avalanche Systems anymore. No,siree, they offer Solutions now. Of course, I didn't just pop on over to Avalanche to ogle their new space (but you should, and can read more about it in my column section on the website). They were having another opening as part of "On-Screen," a series of exhibitions at their offices, exploring facets of interface.

This show highlighted the work of Yoshio Itagaki ( who juxtiposed his impressions as a child, growing up in the ancient capital of Japan, where he saw "old Buddhist statues and temples everyday...and watched Japanese animation programs" into his vision of future Japanese society.  Upcoming shows include a group of painters whose works have no art signifiers; and a joint Razorfish/Avalanche group show with 4 people from company. Peter described the actual structure of "the Omnicom and Razorfish deal" and seemed quite content about the fact that now he can focus again on what he does best -- design. Meanwhile, he has a top-notch real quality crew lead by Troy Tyler (COO, from Boston Consulting Group). His wife, Christine Muhlke, Managing Editor of Paper Mag stopped in our Machine briefly and said "Hello." Shortly after Lori Schwab (VP Biz Dev, United Digital Artists) and I went out into the rare cold night for a warm delicious dinner.

Peter Seidler, founder of Avalanche in 1994 greeted me at the door and took me on an exclusive tour of the new office space. Just one flight up from Avalanche Systems' old offices, Avalanche Solutions' space feels like a great big efficient, friendly hug. Nathan Elbogen, the architect who has taken Avalanche from its space below, to this new loftiness, told Peter he pays attention to the 40 million cubic inches in the space. And it shows. The glass offices for all directors lined one side of an interior wall. This Arm laid next to the expansive Back for all creative and technical people to cohabitate in. Their desks, the Ribs, snaked horizonatally up the floor where they terminated at the Brain, where the mainfram-ish networks hummed. Right down the Back, suspended from the ceiling was the Backbone, literally and figuratively, of the company -- the wires and cables that connected everyone's work stations. There is a pod-like, brain-storming room just to the right of the ComputerBrain room. Its oval shape in which Peter visualizes silver bean bag chairs and soft neon-like lighting, will be conducive to chillin' out or connecting with other brilliantly mellow workers.  The other side of the interior wall was lined with Meeting Machines: small 3 - 5 person meeting rooms. There was a speckled thick rubber covering on the floors in these rooms with one networked computer, deep cheery wood tables, burlap and white frosted walls, newspaper cardboard ceilings, with fabulous steel Restaurant-style Kitchen doors with the oval window encased in thick rubber. The overall sense was of high-tech rustic coziness.

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

Monday, March 09, 1998

Sarno/Green @ Nells & Canapple

Monday Monday! So good to me! You know that great song by the Mama's and the Papa's? Well, guess its good for good ol' Jon Sarno and Stewart Green. They had another packed night at Nells nightclub to celebrate their new IP services. Free champagne (for an about hour) and the same DJ made for yet another boogie night in New York. The parties just never end!

Meanwhile, uptown at the Canapple headquarters...

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

Saturday, March 07, 1998

Jaime Levy's party

The invitation read, "to enjoy, to prolong, to bring together, over and over again..." and if anyone can enjoy, prolong, and bring together, it's Jaime Levy. Despite the recent news of one of her original creations, WORD, a Silicon Alley content cornerstone, being shut-down, she and Lisa Cavender's joint birthday bash on Saturday, March 7th brought out some of Silicon Alley's finest. Jordan Serlin (Co-Founder, Director of Marketing, Electronic Hollywood -- Jamie's newest hot co.) and I dished and dug up dirt on well-wouldn't-you-like-to-know! Omar Wasow (NYOnline) was there with friends. Nerve Mag's editors, Rufus Griscom and Genevieve Fields were enjoying the fine night. This was, of course, before Rufus was quoted about politics and alley-antics in Crains this week, which also spurred debate on the wwwac list. Amanda Griscom (Rufus' sister) was there and looking severely hip. John, who works at Gateway, and Richard Tyson and I had a great time mingling with the guests.  Steven Warren was his usual mellow soul, as were Sarah, Morgan and someone named Dr. Vas Deferens. I swear I would've remembered their names, but Fred Meyer, of yet another recently closed classic Silicon Alley content house TotalNY, distracted me with the big bagel he was munching on as he arrived.

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

Thursday, March 05, 1998

MOVERS AND SHAKERS - published 3/5/98

The Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and Take Back NY's ParoleWatch had a big 30th birthday for NIGER INNIS, CORE Activist & MSNBC Commentator on Thursday, March 5th, 1998 at Le Bar Bat.

Daniel Resnick, CTO of hot shop Darwin Digital, made the C|Net news on Monday, March 9th. Promising real-time banners, he staked some desired territory out in cyberspace. (,4,19843,00.htm)

Stir Co-Founder and long-time Silicon Alley artist, creative director, Tery Spataro was featured in NetGuide's Women's section by Lisa Gill, editor of Cybergrrl Webstation.

Jim Orsi ( recently left his job as a Producer at CKS New York (formerly SiteSpecific) to become the Manager of Advertising Technology for StarMedia Network, the #1 online destination for Latin America ( My responsibilities will include setting up and maintaining all of Starmedia's adservers and developing new advertising and inventory management systems. Some travel to South America may be in the works as well.

This week Stir Associates  launched a  redesign for Olympus America (   What's so exceptional about this news, when it seems every company relauches a site, is that Olympus,  for more than 3 years, has worked with Alec Pollak & Tery Spataro, the principals of Stir.  Olympus has seen the value of a long-term relationship as its web presence has become a more sophisticated and integral part of its marketing mix.

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

Closing ada'web // Animator's Ball

It was quite the curious coincidence seeing Fred and his TotalNY co-horts at Jamie's party, considering I just saw them all on Thursday night, March 5, at the "Let's raise a toast to a fine job done but we're closing" party at the Screening Room after John Borthwick killed Total NY, ada'web and The Spanker. Despite this shocking news, most people seemed politely at peace with life's lot they were just dealt. (At least to me they were polite). They should be very proud of all the fine work they all produced and it is sad to see such a mainstay and cornerstone of Silicon Alley go the way of the cobweb.

Some people say its just the cost of doing business, some say its the way things go, but I say its a shame when big gorrillas like AOL and ICON can't find a way to keep valuable interesting content alive on the web.

And yet, in the face of all this, Clay Shirky produced a fabulous new initiative to gather and foster Animators in new media. The Animators Ball, on Thursday March 5th in the Digital Sandbox at 55 Broad Street was a smashing success by almost all accounts. Many excited people showed up and enjoyed themselves thanks to a handful of generous sponsors including InterActivity Magazine. Microwaves were set up for cooking sausages, popcorn, Mexican burritos, good cheap bar, and tables everywhere covered in paper and marked up with artists' creations. Computers and monitors displayed some animators works including Brad Paley with his (in)famous Monkey (as also seen in Wired). Clay said that he wants to build on the momentum of the Ball, and has have three projects going forward. Keep posted at my Upcoming Events section and on the Animators Ball website of future goings-on.

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

Wednesday, March 04, 1998

Cybergrrl's New Book & Jupiter's Digital Delirium

While Cybergrrl was signing her new book "Cybergrrl: A Woman's Guide to the World Wide Web" at Barnes & Noble on Wednesday, March 4th. After a trip around the country, she hosted the evening's discussion on women and the internet and exuded infectious exuberance. Meanwhile, at the other end of town, and the other end of the spectrum, Jupiter Communications was hosting Digital Delirium, at The Supper Club. The event provided  the opportunity for seasoned new media executives, for whom Aliza's book would be elementary, to hobnob.

Both ends of the spectrum are important, the growth and interest in the internet is obvious as we have (and will have) both these types of events simultaneously occurring more and more around the country and world (wide web).

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

Tuesday, March 03, 1998

Doubleclick's party at IMAX

In the "sheer entertainment" department was Doubleclick's party at IMAX for "Everest" on Tuesday, March 3rd. "Thrilling," "Exhilarating," "Packed with drama!" are only a few of the words that were dropped in description of this event, which drew new media advertisers, developers, and hangers-on (for dear life!)

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