Friday, November 26, 1999

Time for Holiday shopping -- but compare those prices first at any one of those great price scanning places: Pricescan, DealPilot or any one of the others!

Ark Restaurants launched their site with event planning info, an interactive food fight, views of the restaurants like Bryant Park Grill, a meet the chef and ability to make reservations.

Centerseat LLC (, a broadband entertainment company launching first quarter, announced that it is expanding its U.S. operations by establishing a west coast bureau. Television veteran Larry Struber, whose credits include Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood and Saturday Night Live, will run the office, located in Hollywood. In his position as Vice President of West Coast Operations, Mr. Struber will oversee all Centerseat production work on the west coast.

Thinking Media, Inc., a veteran of Silicon Alley and creator of the Sonata Device Platform, announced $5 million in financing from three leading New York City venture capitalists. The investor group is led by Prospect Street Ventures and includes Flatiron Partners and Travelers/CitiGroup. The investment positions Thinking Media as a primary catalyst for the "pervasive computing" movement.

The deadline of Veon's interactive video design competition has been extended from December 1st to December 15th. Veon is welcoming submissions from advertising and entertainment professionals, as well as news journalists. Entries will be judged on overall creativity and best use of the Veon platform, and the grand prize winner will be awarded a digital camcorder. An entry form and additional details are available at

Mark Hurst (Creative Good) just launched as a web log for all online customer experience news and commentary I come across. There's quite a bit of it on some days!

Patricia McDonough, 28, joined Corporate Social Solutions,, a public affairs and marketing agency that designs public relations, marketing and corporate social responsibility programs particularly for internet start-ups. Previously, Patricia worked on assignments in Ukraine, Uganda, London and Washington D.C. She specializes in marketing, public education, community affairs and high-tech public relations consulting.


* Despite our hectic approaching holiday season, try to remember the reasons for the holidays, take a breath and appreciate the people in your life.

"Cocktails with Courtney" NEXT THURSDAY!!!!

Vantage Technologies, Inc. and iXL request the pleasure of your company for a special holiday "Cocktails with Courtney" to benefit the Fresh Air Fund on Thursday, December 2nd 7:30 PM - 10:30 PM. The Metropolitan Club, 1 East 60th Str. RSVP:

Wednesday, November 24, 1999

The Cyber Scene in LA ~ by Suzanne Hornwood

At the old Victorian manor on Main Street, in the heart of the Digital Coast, the Monthly VIC@Victorian event was much a buzz on November 18th. As I made my way around the crowd, the faces of new members drowned out the old gang. Of course Brad Nye, the man of the house, greeted the arriving guests with usual charm. With NAPTE coming up in New Orleans at the end of January, Nina Steiner spoke with developers and other good fits to take booth space in the new media pavilion on the show floor, the likes of which has quadrupled in space since last year.

Bill Rini, of eToys, held court on the front porch in matching black leather jackets with Mark Jeffrey, who finally got a day of sleep after 5 days awake in pre-launch craziness. His new technology found at sounds just like one of the next success stories to hit the SAR/DCR front

If you comb the social scene like I do, you will be happy to hear there's a new trade group in town. The Zone's Jean Oh passed out the first issue of The Zone News, featuring Dayton and Winebaum on the front cover. Focused toward the VC community, the Zone will also print a directory and hold several events in the coming months.

The award for best greeting of the night goes to Tony Winders (iAgency), who graced the halls toward the end of the evening to hang out on the upstairs balcony with Tino Magnatta from, Lev Chapelsky from, and Catherine Park, currently the most sought after C level brain. Also on the balcony were Dave Kendall and Seth Seaburg from Raygun, David Conlan from CTP, and Jill Holtzman who recently returned from working for the Mayor of Jerusalem to find a post at East West Capital here in LA. Not to be missed was Josh Avedon, long time industry consultant, in a suit and tie, signifying his new post at Arc Interactive, a strategic consulting firm and the new kids on the block at the Water Garden.

AppNet Los Angeles had the highest turnout with division President Chris Paine, a VIC faithful, yours truly, Shona Gupta ("Gupta- it's like Smith in India"), Jill Spelbring, Carl Brinkman, Mark Berger and Les Wong shaking digits with the best of them.

If you haven't heard about iFuse, then you must have missed the Forbes article two weeks ago. The generation Y venture's Benjamin Nemo was on hand in the entry hall hoping to plug into real entrepreneurship in LA. With him was Juan from Goldman Sachs, who must have just unrolled his shirt sleeves from working on the Disney/Infoseek business.

Leslie Berliant, who runs the LA office of eTalent Agency, and her new Account Executive, Josh Weichbrodt, worked the floor in search of talent and their future homes. Leslie and Josh place creative talent in many of the best shops in town and represent hundreds of artists.We've all been focusing on innovative technology, but the most inventive solution for my cold toes due to really sassy sandals worn in the Winter goes to Paul Mauriello from Next Generation Network. His partner at, Scott Pummill, from New Jersey but also fluent in Korean, wowed me with a recitation of poetry at the close of the event. Gees, I wonder if they learn those talents at NGN sales training!

It was another successful event for Darren Eng, of VIC fame, who, at the end of the evening, escorted the conversation-induced stragglers, locked up and turned out the lights. The next events are the VIC Breakfast on 11/30 and the Holiday party on 12/6. Check out their site at , mark your pilots and see you there.

Marc Brown's Birthday Celebration in Venice, CA 11/19/99
Marc Brown's party invitation has truly demonstrated the rumors I have been hearing. Orange is the new black. And if anyone knows design, it would be Marc Brown, the Creative Director at XCeed, formerly Troon. Though not attended by the usual crowd or even a majority crowd of the tech community,
the gathering was certainly highlighted by people in entertainment like Tony Hoffer who just coproduced the new Beck album, Heather Waterman, Director of Development at Dustin Hoffman's film company, Scott from the CAA engineering department (who argued semantics with me over his very tactile cashmere mock turtleneck), Andrea Rose from Shelter Management and a group from Digital

Digital Coast people included social scene senior, Betsy Rowbottom, VP of Page One, a financial consulting company, Xceed members Darek 'DRock' Senkow, tech lead, and Tara Wildnauer, producer. Also roaming the scene were Boris Shimonofsky, the CTO of XAP Inc., and Natasha Shapiro from Computer Age Dentist. (And yes, Boris and Natasha are together.)

When asked about his business, Boris had a few things to say. You might just relate. He remarked that XAP was experiencing "growth at the speed of light, just like everyone else," and that he's "frustrated on a daily basis but it's still pretty dam cool." Spoken like a true CTO. Perhaps a little yoga meditation class from Goli Gabbay would be just the trick for technology tension...

The DJ was spinning discs all night for people dancing in the living room, or standing around in Marc's roommate's very Japanese style living quarters. Those of us in the backyard enjoyed the fresh air and the fresher beverages. MB30, as it was called, graced by the man of the evening in hyper fashion,
felt like a really good place to be, a swirling lava lamp of technologists and artists. For more pics see the Web site:

Monday, November 22, 1999

The Ankur Report ~ by Ankur Shah

Have you ever dreamed of going one-on-one with Anna Kournikova? Well, I had a chance at the launch party for her new site,, which is hosted by AthleteDirect, on Monday, November 22. Unfortunately, however, I double-faulted by only meeting a round of marketers for the party and the website.

As I got to the party, I was told that she was in the back room, where a makeshift press tent had been created. As I got to the press area, I saw that ABC, NBC, E!, and many other networks were present. I began to think an interview would be very hard to come by. I was right. I did meet Mr. Steve Fedonchik, the Marketing Director for P.O.V. magazine, the sponsor for this party, who promised to get a hold of a representative of AthleteDirect for me to talk to. As I waited around, Anna and her entourage came into the main bar area and took some pictures. I was only about two or three feet from her, but there was a wall of photographers between her and me.

After Anna left the party, I met another marketer--Mr. Igal Litovsky, the Vice President of Marketing for AthleteDirect. I learned that Anna was just one piece of the AthleteDirect puzzle. The company creates and maintains websites for over 225 athletes, including Troy Aikman, Steve Young, Brett Favre, Ken Griffey, Jr., and Kobe Bryant. Basically, AtheleteDirect creates an "online home" for the athlete. At the site, the athlete has his/her own store to sell merchandise. Also AthleteDirect has an exclusive relationship with the athlete and the athlete's agent, so one can find all the official news on their favorite athlete.

A time for thanks

Pick a restaurant. Any restaurant. Most likely you'll have chosen one that is part of's register of dining establishments that accept reservations online and offer all sorts of other services. Paul and Deborah Lightfoot, the dynamic brother-sister duo has an aggressive line up and goal of at least 600 restaurants to be in its database. They're also expanding the cities they're collaborating with too, starting from Boston and with a strategic alliance with Ticketmaster Online--Citysearch, they'll soon be in many cites.

Their party on Monday, November 22nd drew a fun-loving crowd of foodies and techies. Seth Price, the consultant extraordinaire was chatting it up with Nicole Berlyn of SixDegrees president & CEO Andrew Weinreich was also rubbing shoulders with the swingy group including Sean Jacobsohn and David Kanbar and Susan Levovsky who will be launching a competing site in one month. "Right now we're collaborative, not combative," said Susan. Freelance writer Susan Redstone (who was pitching the story to the London Times) was there with Mary McEvoy of TalkCity, who spoke with me for a bit about the celebrity chats they conduct. Gordon Adams, manager of O'Nieal's was one of the first restaurants online with Foodline, and spoke of the ease of Foodline as a great feature. Her first day on the job, Stephanie Margiotta introduced me to some folks from her last job--David La Placa and Michael Clafine at Warburg Dillon Read, one of the early investors in Foodline. Eric Moscow of Cybear was there with them and I also met another early investor, Jonathan Yormak.

The hors d'oeuvres were getting gobbled as they came piping hot from the kitchen, cosmopolitans were overflowing and the large Foodline sign in the back of the restaurant kept all the guests brimming with happiness. They should be, Foodline's gonna make our busy lives easier. And the Foodline people should be brimming with happiness. They're beating competitors to the money, the alliances and to the restaurants. Eat up, dinner is served!

Friday, November 19, 1999

Bits & Bytes -and- Shakers & Stirrers 11/19/99

SHAKERS & STIRRERS____________________________
Send your announcements to:
Check out the site for the latest in who's movin' and who's shakin'!

Patricia McDonough, 28, joined Corporate Social Solutions,, a public affairs and marketing agency that designs public relations, marketing and corporate social responsibility programs particularly for internet start-ups. Previously, Patricia worked on assignments in Ukraine, Uganda, London and Washington D.C. She specializes in marketing, public education, community affairs and high-tech public relations


* In our time of digital correspondence, a short and simple email after a business lunch or meeting is a nice way to Thank the person for their time and interest.

TCS Intro: 11/19/99

Courtney Pulitzer's Cyber Scene (tm) ~ November 19, 1999


This week:

It all starts at a HomePage

Nerds, nerds, everywhere!

Pressing the Flesh at "Cocktails"

Shalom! A day for honor

A Personal Tribute
The "Ankur Man's" Orbital Report

"From the heart of Texas to the core of the Big Apple"

Much ado about nothing

The Token Woman ~ by Aliza Sherman

Regular Features: (full write-ups on the site)
Cyber Scene Social Notes
Shakers and Stirrers
Bits and Bytes


* Once again I'll be filling the Digital Clubhouse's space at 55 Broad Street to teach my Learning Annex course, "How to spot Trends in Silicon Alley…" The class is Tuesday, November 23rd from 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM. There is still time to sign up:

* "Cocktails with Courtney"
Vantage Technologies, Inc. and iXL request the pleasure of your company for a special holiday "Cocktails with Courtney" to benefit the Fresh Air Fund on Thursday, December 2nd  7:30 PM - 10:30 PM. The Metropolitan Club, 1 East 60th Str. RSVP:

* Don't forget! If you'd still like to get the Cyber Scene in HTML, please let me know, and I'll switch you to that list. Please send me this in HTML

* Pictures in the Cyber Scene. Some of you may have noticed that I'm now out reporting with my digital camera! Check the website for the pictures!

The Cyberscene in Austin ~ by Will Kreth

 Statuesque and Happy

Icarus was seen falling to Earth, and Eve seemed to have lost or not discovered her fig leaf yet – unclothed in the fading twilight. Around them, the other statues (a sundry blend of mythological and Biblical characters - as well as their friends from the millennium we're just leaving) were rather "hush hush" about the whole thing. The only thing breaking the silence was the sound of over 400 partying Austinites and live music at the Umlauf Sculpture Garden.  And although I toyed with the similarity of the name to the Germanic language-specific diacritical mark that tells you to pronounce certain vowels in a "long" manner [umlaut] -  the Umlauf was an excellent setting for the monthly High Tech Happy Hour on November 16th.
(you can learn more about it at: )

Sponsored this month by the new Austin office of TFA/Leo Burnett, the HTHH has been going on since July, '98 – when founder and current impresario Harry Pape decided to get a few people together for a drink. "The joke was that we could fit all the attendees on the sofa at the b-Side lounge," says Pape. Used to the kinetic networking atmosphere of his former scene in San Francisco, Pape decided last year to e-mail every Austinite in his Outlook contact database, thinking that he'd either get flamed, or people would show up. Lucky for him, they showed up. Currently, his mailing list has over 700 people on it, and the "unsubscribe" messages have been few.

Making the Scene and Herd

"I guess the main focus of the event was initially was to get the Austin high-tech community together," says Pape. "Things like the 360Summit work on issues at a higher level, but [HTHH] works at a more informal, but still very important social level. If you and I work for complementary software companies, you might ask me what PR and marketing firms I use, or if I know of a good PowerPoint person. Even before I started HTHH, I used to get asked that all the time. Another thing that is coming out of this is that there are a lot of people that are new to Austin, from California – from the East Coast, and it's a way to get them more involved in the Austin community, hence – we try to have them at different venues. Umlauf is a great place. In fact, a lot of people who've lived in Austin for a long time have never been here. We're looking future events at places like the Elizabeth Ney museum and Laguna Gloria (the original site of the Austin Museum of Art). The problem is that when you top 400 people, like we did tonight, it gets tougher to find places to have the event."

This month's HTHH marked the first time that Pape decided to charge a cover for the event. While only a modest $5, Pape thought that it might curtail the number of attendees. Far from it – the actually turnout was the highest to date - the proceeds of which went to benefit the Umlauf itself (all future events will be benefits, as well). Sponsorship hasn't been a problem either, as recruiting-hungry start-ups and attrition-buffeted software and hardware behemoths scramble to get more warm bodies into their HR departments for resume screenings and interviews. "I've got sponsors for the event booked out all the way until August 2000," says Pape. Besides paying for one free drink for each attendee, the sponsors now help cover the rental cost of the facility and musicians to serenade the techies who show up. Another first for this month's HTHH was an "unplugged" set by local funk/blues mavens Malford Milligan and Funky London with Martha Merriell.

The Network Effect – in Full Effect

As Martha and Malford keep the crowd warm with songs like the incriminating Bill Withers groove "Who is He, and What is He to You?" - I asked Pape what he thought of the human "network effect" that Austin is going through. "I think our timing this year has been great, all the way around. Historically, Austin is a hardware/semiconductor kind of town – and that's an industry that doesn't mingle much. With the influx of software start-ups, the culture is changing – and I think for the better. One of the reasons I like the event is the fact that it's not tied to any one organization, such as the Austin Software Council, other user groups or business affiliation groups – there's no pure agenda tied to it. What it does have is a sense of being high-tech, and the words "Happy Hour" connote drinking, socialness, and a relaxed atmosphere.

"When I ask people what they think about the event, I get two responses. One is that people who are new to town absolutely love it, because they get indoctrinated immediately into the Austin tech scene, and they like that. These people are not shy, and they're ready to meet people.  The other one is the people who've been here for six to eight years, and they tell me that they've never been to an event like this before. They're amazed at the kind of people that come to these events – I'm amazed by who comes to these events. I get CEO's , CFO's  COO's and receptionists. I get all kinds of people. Venture capital deals are made here, or at least started here. People were hungry for something like this.  I did it myself, because I was hungry for something like this. I see people having meetings as they leave the event. And each month, I come with a list of people I personally want to meet. Sometimes it's fun just to watch the social dynamics.  I see the mood change after the first couple of hours – people get more relaxed and the conversation turns away from business. Let's face it - we have a lot of single people in this town who spend all their time at work, and they need some place to go and meet people."

Matchmaker, Matchmaker….

An independent marketing and communications consultant himself, Pape finds that his job dovetails nicely with the HTHH dynamic, as he works to help out start-ups: "You know, two things happen with start-ups. One is that they are started by technologists, so they're not really comfortable with the marketing activities. They know what they need to do, but they're not sure how to get there. The other is that they area started by marketing people, but they don't really know the technology.  So, I help them figure it out, both tactically and strategically, because I help them find people. But I'm not a headhunter – just a networker."

Like Cybersuds in NYC and like the events that have spun-out of Craig's List in San Francisco, the High Tech Happy Hour has answered a need in Austin -- a city that is rapidly losing the vestigial tail that tagged it as a haven fit only for "hardware guys" with no lives. Software and the Web are all about language and conversations, and the HTHH is a platform to stretch-out on both accounts.

And that's all this week from Austin, where both the weather and the people are always warm, sometimes hot, but never cold!

Thursday, November 18, 1999

The Token Woman ~ by Aliza Sherman

I was recently invited to participate in the iBreakfast Angels Advisory
Board, and the incentive given to potential advisors was a photo and bio in
the event's materials. I was honored to be asked and felt that the last 5
years of running my own Internet company and observing the explosive growth
of this industry from the early days gave me relevant experience to rate
and review pitches for new business concepts.

Although given only a few days to review over 35 pitches, I dashed off a
detailed email moments before leaving for a business trip in Buenos Aires,
proud of myself for getting the assignment in on time. Upon my return, I
attended the event with great anticipation, interested in seeing the 7 top
pitches made in front of a panel of venture experts and hear their feedback.

First, I was struck by how there was only one woman on the panel of venture
experts, and while I was thinking that I was the only one who noticed, when
she was introduced, the first thing she said was "I'm the only woman."
Maybe only women notice these things.

Next, the organizer of the event announced all of the advisors who
participated and as he read down the list, I noticed a complete absence of
female names. Wait a minute. I was an advisor, and last time I checked, I
was also female. Hmmm...he didn't mention me or any other woman as having
participated in the preliminary rating and reviewing process. (I also
happened to notice there were no photos or bios of the advisors in the
print materials, but hey, these things happen).

Then, I realized that all 7 pitches of the day were companies fronted by
and pitches given by men. Now granted, there were only 7 or 8 pitches
submitted by women via email in the original batch of 35+, but 1 of them
was extremely compelling - a travel site geared toward people in their 20s
- and another was the only female-oriented one - a multimedia site
featuring female recording artists (a project that I noted in my review I'd
love to help out). But if I was the only female on the iBreakfast Angel
advisory board, I have a strong suspicion that I was the only advisor who
picked several women-fronted pitches, picking them, of course, on their
merits, but picking them nonetheless.

Now, you may be saying "Oh, that Aliza Sherman is too sensitive about the
woman-thing," but I must add that there were several ethnic-oriented
pitches in the original bunch, including two incredibly strong ones (one
about African American athletes and one about reaching the U.S. Hispanic
market in an interesting way). But alas, just a bunch of white guys got to
pitch (from what I saw). Needless to say, the venture panel was also quite

In an email to the iBreakfast event organizer, I included the following
statement: "As you know, my entire work is about empowering women to use
technology and to prosper from it. It is frustrating - even in my position
- to constantly only see men positioned as the experts, as the advisors, as
the ones holding the purse strings, as the ones with the 'good ideas.'"

To prove that I'm not just a whiner, I am offering my time to anyone -
media, event planner, venture capitalist - who would like to find more
women entrepreneurs and women investors. I have a rolodex full of them. I
meet them all the time, all around the world. I'm happy to put you in
touch. Email me at

What are your thoughts on this? Participate in our discussion online at:

Much ado about nothing

With great fanfare and splash had a great big launch party about nothing on Thursday, November 18th. Their site might be up, but you can't do anything except subscribe to be notified of when they launch and "share" you opinion about why you'd buy beauty products online. There were more anorexic women and drag queens that you could shake a stick at and a handful of very large breasted creatures that I honestly couldn't tell if they were a man or woman! Throw in a few new media types -- like Howard Koval of, who told me his company that offers a personalized travel planning service for world class cities just got his first round of funding. I walked around the clean-feeling bar with white panels over fluorescent under-lighting and juices in the spacious loft. I observed the drag queens mimicking beauty routines in little performed vignettes.

And then the whole night just got 100%+ better. Who should I see next buy my fabulous cousin, Alexa Pulitzer, up from New Orleans! With a fabulous rich paisley-pattered scarf around her shoulders she told me how things are going in textile design at Wemco (the world's largest tie manufacturer) and her printing business. We caught up a bit and then I left her to her friend and I met up with Richard Laermer of RLM PR. He whispered he's got a scoop for me and Joseph DeCola of NBC News (Today-Weekend Edition) handed me a beautiful peach- pink rose to take home, which was infinitely better than's "take-home"--a sheet of plexi-glass holding a plastic coupon for $100 in products from the site that isn't yet.

Wednesday, November 17, 1999

"From the heart of Texas to the core of the Big Apple"

This is part of what William Cargill, the VP Marketing of Hoover's Online, would've said if he made a speech at the opening of their NY office. However the evening was nice and mellow and with martini's floating around in the fingers of friends and executives, he opted for just relaxing too. It wasn't hard to enjoy this party, set in a new-classic office and the best view of the Pulitzer Fountain (in front of the Plaza Hotel). Catering by Daniel Boulud added to the refinery and each room had a whimsical and artful hand-drawn illustration by the famed artist Ivan Jensen. Patrick Spain, Chairman, President, & CEO of Hoover's, was enjoying conversations and Elisabeth Demarse, EVP content, strategy & acquisitions, who was in the most beautiful suit I've seen in a long time, introduced me to Philip Ellenberg (managing director, corp. dev.), Jani Farlwo Spede (VP, advert. & e-com) and Steven Goldstein (CEO, Data Downlink). I also ran into the witty writer Steven Gelsi of CBS Marketwatch, who in turn introduced me to fellow reporter, Jon Friedman and Thom Calandra (VP, news & Editor-in-Chief), who appears on Sunday mornings on CBS. The witty repartee was well underway and showed no signs of stopping as I gathered my goodie bag and coat and headed on.


The "Ankur Man's" Orbital Report

            As I gazed into my crystal Orb, I decided the hot spot for the night would be at the aptly named Orb party.  There were a good number of people there and I quickly began to meet them.  The first person that I had the pleasure of speaking with was the Co-Founder of Orb, Ms. Laura Berland.  A very nice woman, she explained to me a bit of what Orb is about.  Orb has been around for about 4 years and it mainly helps companies that are interested in driving transactions.  Specifically, they help marketers gain extreme real-time optimization in what they are trying to do.  Just the wordings impressed me! Orb has many well-known clients, such as CitiGroup,, and CotyShop.  Ms. Berland, as I learned, was also a very popular person, as she was asked to be in pictures constantly.  With the camera flash going off around her at all times, I literally was seeing stars by the end of the night.

            I guess for this night, one could refer to me as the Cheese Whiz or the Big Cheese.  Since the temptation of some wonderful hors d’oeuvres was too great for me, I headed for the food and actually ended up having a couple of meetings right at the cheese plate.  My first meeting was with Mr. Miles Rose who works with Y2G and also is the owner of is an online subsidiary of FUBU.  Mr. Rose works in Business Development and cuts many a strategic and e-commerce deal. 

            Mr. Rose was also helpful for one other thing.  He introduced me to the beautiful Ms. Samantha Daude, who is an Account Manager at Orb.  Her main focus is with the company CotyShop, who is the leader in mass marketing of cosmetics and fragrances. 

            I was really enjoying the fact that I did not have to move from the food table to meet people when, voila, I met Ms. Claudia King.  Ms. King is the marketing assistant for Voila, which is a small company that is just starting to move into North America.  Voila runs a network of Internet portals.  They have 9 portals, 8 in Europe and 1 here in North America.  Voila North America just launched in April and Voila U.K. just launched in September.  Each portal uses the local language of the country that it is based in.  70% of the users are from Europe, so most of the North American content is geared towards their European users.  On these sites, one can get information on the news, weather, do searches, etc.  The main feature is that the sites have thematic search engines.  When someone uses one of these engines, the search is done with automatic built-in filters that allow for only the information that you are looking for to be found.  Also,  let’s say you want to visit one of the European sites but are the stereotypical ugly American tourist and don’t know the local language.  No problem.  What you type in will be translated into the local language so that you can still surf a different country. 

            Well, I finally left the food table and headed into another room for my next venture.  Lo and behold, there in the other room was another food table and the drinks were right next to it.  So I took up a strategic position that happened to be right between the two of them and it wasn’t long before my patience was rewarded.

            Having trouble figuring out where you can get the best deal on Pokemon memorabilia so that you can face the kids on Christmas?  Well, here is your solution.  Go to  I met Mr. Duke McKenzie and Mr. Scott Ressler from the company.  Dealtime specializes on comparison shopping service.  You may have seen their commercials.  If not, you will during the upcoming holiday season.  Happy Holiday shopping.

            I finally pulled myself away from the food.  As my final hurrah for the evening I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Matthew Greene, the Vice President of Digital Business Builder.  At the party, his role was of schmoozer, or so his nametag said.  He explained that he “borrowed” the nametag from WebAttack.  But he is giving something in return as he is helping with the marketing of the WebAttack conference that will occur next year.  Before that though, he says that there are many exciting happenings at Orb.  Not wanting to say much, he did inform me that there will be upcoming announcements concerning growth and client acquisition.  In answer to my question of what he feels is the important thing that Orb offers their customer, he said that Orb “can fix what ails ya.”  Who could ask for more than that? 

            With a final adieu, I left Orb and went out into the cold New York air.  It had been a fun night.  Who knows where my crystal Orb will lead me next week?

A Personal Tribute ~ Happy Birthday Dad

Although there were many top-notch Silicon Alley makers and shakers at the UJA event, there was really was only one man there who was in mind meant to be honored on Wednesday, November 17th. My father. The UJA ended up choosing my father's birthday as the day for their event, and being on the committee, I was obligated to attend. The people behind the Entertainment, Media and Communication Division have great influence on New York new media, but the person who's had more influence and involvement in the shaping of my life, my personality and my paths (other than my mother) is my father.

Dear Ol' Dad. My father is a wonderfully warm caring mysterious man whose big heart has lead him down many paths in commerce and culture. He'll help out the lowest sort you think you might find and give him a start. He'll lend you anything you ask for and give it eagerly. He'll teach you anything you want to learn, and spend more time than necessary to make sure you understand a math equation, a tax form, how to solder, tile a floor, tend a garden. He's a man who will surprise you with a call and tell you he's in Memphis, TN on a road trip. He's a man who'll teach you how to make the best grits, Jambalaya and barbecue (even in January). He's quick to praise and slow to criticize, and if he does, it's constructive -- very.

I grew up with many good things in my life, and led a privileged life on many accounts. My father has an interest in that's what's different, and through his interactions, I was afforded the opportunity to view, visit and interact with people from all levels of our society--from rich to poor, from smart and savvy to dumb and dull-witted. This exposure taught me to find at least one redeeming trait in people and that there is goodness in the unexpected places. I also learned that sometimes there's badness staring you straight in the face. And sometimes you don't know it until your nose is bleeding.

Through living with my father I learned to always get up and keep going. Indirectly, I developed one of the missions that drives me day-to-day. Life is too short. It flies by at a cruel and quickening pace. We must enjoy it, in its frenzy and flurry. We must enjoy and relish our relationships. People, not technology, are what are driving this industry. From creative types making homepages (see story #1) to Nerds helping make developments in schools, software, policies and companies (see story #2) to our parents, who's involvement (or lack thereof sometimes) drive us to create a more useable web, people are what make the web, and the world, go 'round.

Some regular readers may occasionally notice a bit longer version than others and sometimes a personality profile. This newsletter will be becoming shorter and more focused in the coming months, but allow me, if you will, this tribute to my father on his birthday. We're nearing the end of the year, nay--the end of a century--a millennium. These times instill a sense of specialness and wonder at life, a time to remember how special our family is. Time is fleeting fleeting fleeting by, and it is even more vital to honor and respect those who have helped us, influenced us and loved us.

Happy Birthday Dad!!! Many more well wishes to you!!!

Shalom! A day for honor

Mike Levy, founder, president and CEO of Sportsline USA, Inc., and Candice

Carpenter, co-chairperson and CEO of iVillage, Inc. were the esteemed
honorees at the UJA-Federation of NY's Annual Acehivement in Technology and
New Media. And the reputable Joe Namath and Barry Diller were the noted
award presenters. The major media event took place in that popular Puck
building on Wednesday, November 17th. I had a chance to meet Joe, Barry, Mike and Candice before the ceremony, and all were pleasant and pleased by the event and the evening.

The men were sharply dressed and the women were bejeweled. I also had a chance to chat with Scott Kurnit ( and Andrew Raisej (DCN and MOUSE). Gordon Gould, Kevin O'Connor (DoubleClick) and Deborah
Newman, along with tres beaucoup slick Silicon Alleyers, were enjoying
samplings from one of the various buffet tables. David J. Leffler was
chatting with Carla Gochman Devillers of Crevauz Capital near the sushi
table. Michael Staisil of Position Partners was introduced to me near the
Italian table. After speaking for a bit with Burt Alimansky (Alimansky
Capital Group) and Bruce Strylczck (Richard A. Eisnor), I met James
Abernathy of Abernathy MacGregor Frank (near the Roast Beef).

After a well-rounded cocktail hour we were encouraged not-so-subtly to
enter the dining room. After welcome speeches and a prayer, dinner was
served and a band played soft neo-jazz as cocktail-party chatter
turned into dinner conversation.

What an honor to meet such illustrative people and have an opportunity to
be a part of a respected organization's effort at honoring them.

Tuesday, November 16, 1999

Pressing the Flesh at "Cocktails"

Sponsored by and

Downstairs a round table of about eight tall willowy blond models sat for dinner, while upstairs, at a nightclub in Soho, Veruka, the November "Cocktails with Courtney" was well underway and with many new faces. Seth Braunstein et al, Michele Bentivegna, Jill Young and friends from Tech Expo International, Seth Walk from Entrypoint and Michael Winston of SixDegrees all came to view UniversityVentures' new website and hope for a chance to win RealMedia's raffle of a Rio player. From the tres artistique set were artist Alyona Makeeva (, photographer Fred George ( and Anna Eliashevich, who will be making my dress for the Black Tie benefit!

Monday, November 15, 1999

Nerds, nerds, everywhere!

Sporting his first rented tux and brand new running shoes, Bruce Bernstein, president of the New York Software Industry Association, was a befitting example for Nerds Night Out. There were plenty of nerds out too, which was an odd contrast to the evening's entertainment. Hsaioping Jao organized a line up that included jazz and blues by Master Flat, a traditional Chinese celebration Lion Dance, an excruciatingly piercing string instrument performance, more Chinese Opera dancing and break dancing! Between these acts of glory there were acts of glorification and honor for six reputed men who really made an impact for Nerds everywhere.

Omar Wasow, executive director of and correspondent on MSNBC, and I were the Emcees for the night. We had the opportunity to introduce some noted fellows, who then introduced the honorees. There was sage Tom Watson (@NY) who introduced enterprising Bill Rudin (Rudin Management), seasoned Bob Fish (PriceWaterhouseCoopers) who introduced industrious Murray Alter (PriceWaterhouseCoopers), sharp Charles Millard (Prudential Securities) who introduced savvy Jerry Colonna (Flatiron Partners), lead-Nerd Bruce Bernstein (NYSIA) who introduced legendary Irving Wladawsky-Berger (IBM) and vivacious Hsiaoping Jao (Mnet) who introduced the essence of Nerdom, Jay Sulzberger (LXNY). Oscar Schacter (attorney-at-law) made some special remarks on the Guest of Honor, Rudy Crew (NYC Schools Chancellor) as this guest was detained on a runway in Atlanta, GA.

The fundraiser for the Thomas Edison HS's robotics team to go to a national competition brought out other top nerds in this town like Larry Aronson, who's done more for the development of WWWAC and HTMLers everywhere, in addition to many other noted accomplishments ( and Jen Runne, a renegade WWWAC-list admin. Ben Segal of ITAC was looking sharp and snappy this night and JP Frenza (IBM) was reveling in the good will his company is enjoying with all its decades of developments.

James Hedges of PWC and I chatted for a bit and I met Oscar Teunissen of PWC near "da bar." Wendy Dubit and Leslie Chow of HEAVEN were milling about and Jeffrey Weingart of Brown Raysman Millstein Felder & Steiner introduced himself to me. After all the awards had been handed out, I met Nigel Wright of Shift magazine, which just one the gold Invision99 awards for best online magazine. Next to him was Bob Felsenthal of Crains and we all chatted for a bit till the break dancing began. After a head spin or two, this Nerdette gathered her things and headed home after a heady night.

Nerds Night Out

NYSIA has assembled an unusual lineup of talent for its Nerds Nite Out '99 (NNO99) entertainment lineup from diverse cultures within New York City. NNO99 will feature a performance by the Li Xiao Dan Chinese Opera Company of the White Snake Opera, an ancient entertainment form that was a favorite of the Chinese imperials. The heroin is a beautiful Goddess who can the shape of a snake at will. She has incredible fighting skills, which are demonstrated in three weapons sequences. The most dangerous and unusual of these is spear kicking, where spears thrown at the Opera star are kicked away in mid-air. NYSIA is proud to introduce Ms. Li Xiao Dan, a top star in Beijing now residing in NY who is an expert in these and other Beijing Opera traditions. 

NNO99 will also feature the Lion Dance, the Ribbon Dance, and a demonstration by competitive break dancers. DJ Walden Han will provide music including techno/house, r&b/disco/funk, and latin/salsa/merengue. 

Nerds Nite Out '99 will be held from 6:30 PM to 10:30 PM on Monday, November 15th, at Bridgewaters Museum Club, 11 Fulton Street overlooking the South Street Seaport. 

The Guest of Honor is NYC Schools Chancellor Dr. Rudy Crew. Industry Honorees include Murray Alter, PricewaterhouseCoopers; Jerry Colonna, Flatiron Partners; Bill Rudin, Rudin Management; Jay Sulzberger, LXNY: New York's Free Software Organization; and Irving Wladawsky-Berger, IBM. There will be a full menu and an open bar. Tickets are $175 and are purchased at the NYSIA Web site, , or by calling NYSIA at (212) 475-4503.

Friday, November 12, 1999

Bits & Bytes -and- Shakers & Stirrers 11/12/99

SHAKERS & STIRRERS____________________________
Send your announcements to: ( has blossomed as the Internet's
premiere site for fresh Florida Indian River gift fruit, offering the
eCommerce marketplace a sweet and secure new place to shop online for
healthy gifts--both personal and corporate. Creative entrepreneurs Piper
Quinn and Andrew Gold are having a blast splashing Florida citrus on the
Internet. Fresh squeezed OJ can be Shaken and Stirred!

Daniel Drennan has been promoted to the post of creative director for Gist TV Listings, the Internet's leading independent producer of TV listing guides and editorial content. In addition to managing art direction for the company's flagship web site,, Mr. Drennan will also manage and execute the design of Gist's new print product, The Daily Gist, in conjunction with Hewlett-Packard's Instant Delivery service.

R/GA Interactive has named Rei Inamoto as senior designer, and Kip Voytek as interaction designer. Inamoto joins R/GA from Blue Marble, where he was a senior designer, working with clients including Cadillac, General Motors and Proctor and Gamble. His two-year tenure also saw him work extensively on new business strategies. Prior to Blue Marble, Inamoto worked as a designer at the Michigan Jobs Commission Project, and before that was at Noriyuki Tanaka Activities, Tokyo., the Internet's leading arts guide and ticketing service, announced that longtime arts executive Stewart J. Warkow has agreed to help establish's new Arts Industry Advisory Board - in a consulting relationship which will help steer the company's marketing efforts in the arts community.

BITS & BYTES ________________________

Send your announcements to:

Full info on the site -- please go to:

Cone Inc. Expands
Cone Inc., a strategic marketing communications firm dedicated to the new
and innovative, is quickly expanding with three new accounts. and Student Advantage will be handled out of Cone's
Interactive practice in New York City and Shine! will be managed out of
Cone's Cause Branding Group in the firm's Boston headquarters. Billings
for these three accounts will total $1.7 million.

Sixdegrees Chooses Dynamic Logic for Research Partner
Nick Nyhan, President of Dynamic Logic, announced that his company has been chosen as the research partner for, the premier personal online community with more than 2.8 million subscribers. Dynamic Logic will provide strategic research services to help sixdegrees extend its customer base and product offerings. Salutes Veterans
Highlighting an extraordinary collection of letters from American war veterans -- including one written on Hitler's stationery -- is commemorating Veterans Day with a moving
exhibit that captures the horror of World War II in the soldiers' own words. Ranked in Hot 100 Most Popular Kids' Sites ( the premier free
Internet destination for the entire family was ranked as one of the top 100
most popular kid's internet sites by also was
reviewed by and received four stars. created the first safe and private on-line closed community where parents, children, relatives, and friends can communicate, explore, learn, be entertained and purchase goods and services on-line.

TMCS to Offer Online Restaurant Reservations on Local Portals
Ticketmaster Online - CitySearch, Inc. TMCS and, Inc. ( today announced that TMCS has made a $5 million investment in the real-time online restaurant reservations company and have entered into a multi-year Distribution Agreement for TMCS to distribute's restaurant reservations service on its CitySearch ( city guide sites.

The Independent Schools Multi-Media Center has changed its name to iMedia Source. Dianne Baasch (212) 348-5690 launched the Rhizome ArtBase, the first online preservation archive of Internet art, at <>. Internet art is the most significant new art medium since video, but it also the most vulnerable of art media; a systems administrator can delete art history with the click of a mouse. Already many early works of Internet art have disappeared. The Rhizome ArtBase addresses this urgent problem by preserving copies of Internet artworks in an online database.


Apparently our very own Cybergrrl Aliza Sherman has flown the coop from her first startup, Cybergrrl Interactive Media to pursue other opportunities. She's excited about working on her second book and other new directions. I'm sure with the style and the savyiness she's garnered over the years as building up one of the world's greatest networking venues for women and website instruction and design, she'll go far with great things. She's already even got a national column with Entrepreneur's Business Startups magazine.


* In a rush? Use your cell phone to call and notify your party of your estimated arrival time.

The Horse Scene from Austin, by Anne Ellsworth

The WITI (Women in Technology International) summit will take place in Austin
March 2nd & 3rd, 2000. This I learned from the attractive T-shirt in my favor bag from the "Women of the Century" luncheon at the Austin Country Club November 5th. The Women's Chamber or Commerce Texas honored my childhood horsemanship instructor, Connie Reeves.

Now age 98, Connie is still going strong, riding up to 6 hours a day. She still teaches girls to ride at Camp Waldemar in Hunt Texas (, where I spend four glorious summers. She was one of the fine women of my youth who inspired me to live a long, good life. Her sayings apply far beyond the ring and trails of the hill country. Connie's words echo in my mind even today as far as I have traveled in navy pumps from ropers and wellies.

Today, she said, "I'm not here because of what I did, but because of what my friends think I did." Friends are the most important thing in her life. An only child, Connie's mother was thrilled to have a girl. Her father, a lawyer, wanted her to be a boy. In college, she majored in speech because her mother wanted her to be a big social lady or a movie star. After that, she thought she had better do something for Dad, so she went to the University of Texas School of Law, the second woman to graduate.

She has been inducted to the Cowgirl Hall of Fame, the Cowboy Hall of Fame (in my native Oklahoma City). It was there that she said "let the east have their computer wizards, their skyscrapers, their capitalist, their stockmarket, their pollution, but leave the wide open spaces and free fresh air to the west where one can take an early morning gallop across dew drenched fields, lie down to sleep beneath the star twinkling sky, only to be awakened by the crowing of a lone rooster in the far distance, or rosy caress from that fiery ball as it climbs out of the valley. Then stand watching the skillet where the bacon sizzles, listen to the gurgling of the coffee boiling in the old black pot, sniff the fragrance of cedar
scented smoke as it spirals slowly to heaven. Then you'll know that it's--Cowboy, time to saddle your own hoss for thar's work to be done out thar if you are going to help..." From the first horseless carriage, women's right to vote, through this century of scientific and economic achievements, Connie has seen that nothing compares to "the glow of the setting sun tinting the distant hills; the star speckled skies reflected in the water beneath; the comforting warmth of a friendly hand;
the ecstasy of the eyes of a small child when put on the back of a horse."

I am one of over 20,000 lucky young ladies who got to spend summer days with this amazing woman, who to this day is active. Even at age 93, she recovered from a broken wrist, five broken ribs and a punctured lung -- and was riding again within 2 months. This trip and the activity in Austin, whether it's horsing around or cyberspacing around, reminds me of the quote, and flies in the face of the words "East is east and west is west and never the twain shall meet..."

The Cyber Scene In Portland ~ By Mike Kingsella

Here's a quick update from the Portland interactive community! Cashes In
Kim Kalapus from Eyescream Interactive has just informed me that their client,
Portland based, one of the most visited Macintosh sites in the world, has just closed one million dollars in financing.

Pint Millenium Bash Approaches
The last Pint of Portland of the millennium is quickly approaching, be sure to
mark your social calendar! The party will take place on December 9th, at Bar 71
on the corner of Second and Ash.

That's it for this week! Tune in next week to find out more about the Portland
Cyber Scene.