Wednesday, September 22, 1999

The Rich Media Sig 5-Minute Ranter

After a rich and meaty discussion and show-and-tell from Veon and Gotham Interactive, Bill McCloskey, chairman of Comet Systems and the sig, stepped into the open conference room space in Intellispace's offices on Wednesday Setember 22, with a bottle of red wine, an offer to pass it around--but watch out for the carpeting--and an introduction of the Rich Media Sig Ranter. For Five minutes an unshaven mini John Belushi stood in front of the gathered group in a baseball cap, worn leather jacket, encouraged the guests to go create challenging video art and to "encapsulate the audience more." Who is this guy?! Well, he's been in the industry for a long time (10 years with the same email account and no spam!), works at a big agency, but is anonymous save his role with the Sig. The audience was mostly advertisers, buyers and developers. I spied Marjorie Stave of the VRML sig talking afterwards with writer and sig events coordinator Mary Jo Fahey. John Bader, VP of Intellispace and Lauren Giglio and I talked about the Intellispace space. It was designed by Carl Lalomia, president and CEO, who also worked as a restauranteur and designed public spaces. The earth-toned, natural wood open space felt inviting, and the Intelliblue light on the ceiling created a slick café feel.

James gave me the full tour and I got to see the Internet Petting Zoo, where all the servers, routers, switches and other good infrastructure equipment is located. They have 100 megabit cables, thousands of T1s and a OC48mux. And when you step back outside, in the calm-cool offices, with the Intelliwave white wavy grate along a corridor celing, you feel warm and fuzzy again. Off to the left is the "room of darkness" where Eugene, the 22-year old Rothman-smoking Russian works in total darkness, save the light of his monitor. Aside from this room, the rest of the space is pretty open and engaging--the bar (yes, a true bar with a foot rail and everything) becomes an informal meeting place. A coke dispenser, coffee machine, sink and microwave complete the centrally located convergence place.