Gus Venditto of Internet.com opened up the final panel of the day at Refer-It's Affiliate Solutions '99 seminar on Friday, March 26th at the Harvard Club. Representatives from The Globe, Geocities, Tripod and Our Square spoke on their various affiliate programs and Michael Barrett of Geocities tried to defend his company's new policy of "pay to play" to a crowd of curious homesteaders, businesspeople and media. Earlier in the day Ellen Brezniak of BeFree, Joe Michaels of Nexchange and Heidi Messer of LinkShare discussed issues as solutions providers to affiliate programs. James Marciano, president of Refer-it.com and who spearheaded the organization of this mini-conference rounded out the day with closing remarks, and told me they sold out the conference twice! Over 250 people attended and there are plans to do similar programs around the country. Affiliate relationships and barter exchanges definitely seem to be becoming a trendy solution that many businesses are beginning to utilize.