Friday, April 30, 1999

Bits & Bytes -and- Shakers & Stirrers 4/30/99

The multimedia agency Pixelpark, plans to enter the stock market in the second half of 1999. In 1996, Bertelsmann had acquired 75% of the company; Neef owns the remaining 25%. Pixelpark plans to list its stocks in Frankfurt and, through its initial public offering (IPO), will solidify its leading position in Germany and Europe. Pixelpark will be the second Bertelsmann affiliate to be introduced on the stock exchange., whose IPO is imminent, will be the first.

CDKnet, a provider of audio, video and Internet convergence technologies, announced that the New York Knicks are using CDKnet's unique multimedia technology, CDK,? to bring the excitement of basketball directly to the fans' desktops. CDKnet has worked with the New York Knicks to create a multimedia companion to their yearbook to be included with each Knicks yearbook purchase.

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William Lansing, president of Fingerhut Companies, a wholly owned subsidiary of Federated Department Stores, Inc., has joined the Board of Directors of BigStar Entertainment, the online filmed entertainment marketing company. The announcement was made by David Friedensohn, chairman and CEO of BigStar Entertainment.

NewsEdge Corporation -- announced it has launched a new Small Business feature area, hosted by Terri Lonier, one of the nation's leading experts on solo entrepreneurs. Ms. Lonier, as founder and president of Working Solo, Inc., advises high-tech and Fortune 500 companies on the booming SOHO (small office/home office) market. An accomplished entrepreneur and 18-year veteran of the personal computer industry, she is also the author of the widely acclaimed Working Solo Series, which provides books, audiotapes, monthly e-mail newsletter, and seminars to thousands of solo entrepreneurs.

Amy Goldberger is now the Terpin Group's new NYC general manager. She most recently was head of PR for Seagram (Universal Studios, Polygram, etc.).

Kevin Chiu has joined R/GA Interactive (New York) as Senior Designer. He was previously at Nicholson NY.

Congratulations to Stephen Petri of CigarLife on his recent marriage!

Rich LeFurgy, one of the early evangelists of the Internet’s advertising and marketing power, has joined The Walden Group, a San Francisco-based venture capital firm, as a consultant to the firm’s Walden Media & Information Technology (WMIT) fund.

The, Inc. announced the appointment of Ron McCoy, 30, to Senior Vice President of Technology and Operations. As Senior Vice President of Technology and Operations, Mr. McCoy will be responsible for scaling up the network and expanding the breadth of development tools for the company.

US Interactive, Inc. announced the appointment of three key members to its senior management team: promotion of Philip Calamia to chief financial officer from vice president of finance and administration; hiring of Benjamin Green as senior vice president and general manager for the company's Philadelphia office; promotion of James Letts, formerly the general manager of US Interactive's Philadelphia office, to chief information officer. US Interactive also announced its strategic alliance with Be Free, Inc. with the intention to generate increased traffic and develop new sales channels for their E-Commerce clients.

Mark Strehlow (Razorfish) and Jim Cooper (Sun Microsystems) had a wild bash for 150 people at their East Village pad on April 16th. There were several DJs pumping music and scratch rapping and drinks a plenty! Just in time for this news:

Razorfish, Inc. announced its Initial Public Offering of 3 million shares of Class A common stock at a price of $16.00 per share. The company has granted the underwriters an option to purchase up to 450,000 additional shares to cover over allotments. The offering is being managed by Credit Suisse First Boston, BancBoston Robertson Stephens, BT Alex. Brown and Lehman Brothers.

Jeff Cannon launched Marcis Interactive with a huge bang in March and ended with an even bigger win in April. He'll start developing one of the first episodic adventure shows on the net targeting the teen audience. It's already being funded by one of the largest toy manufacturers, additionally, he'll be flying to Germany later in May to discuss developing some original content for one of their leading ISPs. Finally, the McGraw Hill book on Internet marketing wraps up next week and goes to press.

Two former NetGrocer Marketing and Business Development team members have formed Ecom Advisors, LLC, a strategic e-commerce marketing advisory firm. The firm works with startups and traditional companies looking to enter into e-commerce or improve upon their current e-commerce efforts. Sandeep Thakrar and Larry Pearl, co-founders of Ecom Advisors, have years of leading-edge, hands-on experience with online customer acquisition and retention with a focus on developing e-commerce strategies and programs from a marketing perspective. Ecom Advisors' core services include: Business Plan Development, Strategic Planning and Implementation, Partnership/Alliance Development and Management, and Customer Acquisition and Loyalty Program Development. Ecom Advisors is positioned to complement the interactive agencies as well
as traditional consulting and systems integration companies.

Manning Rubin, Senior Creative Supervisor at downtown interactive agency K2 Design, has authored "Keep Your Brain Alive" (, a book that gives advice on how not to go 'braindead' by using simple exercises. One of these exercises consists in having an "ongoing chess game" by the water cooler. Employees would study the game, and make a move. This brief gear shifting provides a break from verbal, left-brain activities. What a good way to break the routine! It contains 83 exercises that can be done while commuting, at work, at the market, during mealtimes, or while resting.

Mercer Management Consulting's new book "Profit Patterns" is out and should be of interest to business exec. The new web site is dedicated solely to the book and its main messages.

Marking a major expansion of its technical and consulting services, Blue Barn Interactive named Chris Robison, formerly of iChat and SMART Technologies, as the company's new Vice President of Professional Services, a new position.