Thursday, June 11, 1998

WWWAC meeting and KRON

Standing above the Summer Garden at Rockefeller Center, combating busses, "jubilant" party-ers, and a band that wouldn't quit, I was interviewed by Stan Bunger of KRON-TV. So the Valley folks got a unique cross-section of the New Media event/party scene on Thursday, June 11.  We started off at a WWWAC meeting, which was focused that night on distance learning. The presentations were rich with various companies and schools discussing their distance learning programs and the future of education.  Characteristically, the merry band of wwwacky's had wry comments and sharp wit as they called out news stories from the past week. One gentleman in particular, an advocate of free software distribution, zealously informed us of the day when free software will reign and MS-based products will actually fall by the wayside. Bunger and crew noted afterwards that its refreshing to hear such "anarchy" (my words) as their is hardly anyone left on the West Coast who would dare breathe a word of dissonance against the Gatesian Kingdom and all its fiefdoms.

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

The Advertising New York '98 benefit

We hopped in a cab and went 3 blocks from the Canadian Consulate  (gracious hosts of the WWWAC mtg) to Rockefeller Center. (Well, they *were* carrying lots of heavy equipment.) The Advertising New York '98 benefit event brought together the Ad. Club of NY, the Ad Women of NY, and the American Ad Federation. They were raising money to benefit charitable causes and honoring the winners of the Good Egg award, which is given to a company that makes public service an important part of their business. Price Waterhouse, Young & Rubicam, and Schlolastic Inc. were the winners, and Publicolor received an award for their contribution to education in NYC. 36 companies from these clubs sponsored city eateries and had one of their employees (like Al Roker (NBC), Wenda Harris Millard (Doubleclick), and David Rosengarten (Food Network) "cook" the food. I met "celebrity chefs" John Messina (AOL), and Greg Bauer (Ticketmaster). Robert Ruskstalis (MassiveMedia) wasn't cooking but was enjoying the People magazine properties' yummy hors d'ouevres. I allowed myself to indulge in that which I normally wouldn't and sampled Hearst Magazine's (Alan Waxenberg) lamb burger, The Ad Age Group's  gourmet pig-in-a-blanket, and a corn dog (which actually brought back bad memories of 4th grade lunch)! Frank Cina, with Hearst Magazines, was enjoying the fine samplings, as was Jennifer Sokol of Darwin Digital, and Katie Gallagher and Lydia Snape of Renegade Marketing Group. Renegade was a finalist for the Good Egg award for their work with Per Scholas (, and recently won the Gold Effie for their Panasonic campaign.

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

Wednesday, June 10, 1998

WINM: myths currently governing the online content industry

Earlier that day (June 10), in Bloomberg News's offices, Jim Docherty, (Pres. Hachette Filipacchi New Media) challenged some myths currently governing the online content industry for the Women in New Media. ( He had some interesting points about repurposing conventional media (not always a bad idea), how to succeed in the internet business, and that you don't have to always market your product as if it were produced by a guy with a shaved head. (You don't?!) Not everyone agreed with his views, but no one threw their morning bagels or fresh fruit at him (well, he asked us not to in the beginning of his talk). Afterwards, I had an enlightening conversation with John Motavalli, of Hachette, about the origins of Pathfinder's name. One of America's greatest writers, James Fenimore Cooper, had written a book with the same name. The Hachette representatives would claim the novel is better than the website, and current day Pathfinder only succeeded in diluting their brands. Some may beg to differ, and Karen Epper Hoffman, a new media writer, and Amy Fried and I discussed some of the finer points on our way out. Amy and I discovered we knew some people in common -- Andrew Gelman (currently an attorney with NBC) and Malcolm Maclachlan (who was also at the Burning Man festival last year). Amy just moved back to NY from CA and is busily immersed at Wert & Co.

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

NYNMA Panel: The Internet & Public Policy: Who's in Control?

It was mentioned in @NY last week, and I'm sure people from the dark recesses of the Alley's companies came out for NYNMA's panel on "The Internet & Public Policy: Who's in Control?" on Wednesday, June 10. Sun Microsystems hosted a reception and then Saul Hansell (tech. & e-commerce reporter, The New York Times) moderated a discussion between Esther Dyson, (Edventure Holdings), Lawrence Lessig, (Berkman Professor, Harvard Law School), and Ira Magaziner, (Senior Advisor to the President for Policy Development). There are 13 bills in congress now, designed to lasso the web and there were intelligent and provoking points discussing whether it needs controlling and who is creating and governing public policy.

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

Tuesday, June 09, 1998

Demo or Die

Die! Die! Die! The coliseum of blood hungry barbarians foamed at the mouth, stamping their feet, and belting out this chant as two cubs scampered around, twisting, and jabbing, exclaiming "oh no! our mouse isn't working!" Yes, this scene, while seemingly of Romanesque times, occurred not in Ancient Rome, but just this past Monday, June 8, in a Bell Technology seminar room, at the Puck Building, under the benevolent (?) watchful eye of Michael Pinto. Demo or Die, the modern day feeding of Christians to the lions, is a regularly occurring opportunity for new media companies to show their wares, and face a curious and critical crowd. The two cubs lost their chance to perform at that moment, and Visitor showed their website and tracking capabilities. Independent film-maker Jonathan Sarno (who's seeing his film on Silicon Alley through production), WWWAC "list mom" (and Board Member) Larry Aronson, Jennifer Runne (a wwwacky list-moderator), Steve Introcaso (super Sun Microsystems salesman) and Steve Warren were all on hand to witness this event. It's a great thing in this day and age when we're on the brink of yet another PC Expo and inundated with marketing kits and press releases. Other brave souls that presented were representatives from Electronic Hollywood, showing their new Red Hot Jazz Archive (, Jean Lurie of the American Gateway Project Settlement House, showing the consortium of Settlement House's websites and personal sites of children and elders in the programs, Delta, The Comparison Tool and Firewall Media.

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