Monday, February 28, 2000

Clicks, Chicks & Mortar

"Clicks & Mortar" is a buzz phrase that's getting thrown around a lot "Chicks & Mortar" is an age-old concept that's gaining more momentum, but isn't as widely spoken. When strong, successful women gather to commune professionally and personally, waves of influence wash over everyone who encounters them afterwards. Such was the experience when Adele Morrissette (investment banker, new media investor and president, North Haven Partners) and Elisabeth DeMarse (EVP, content, strategy & acquisitions, invited about 30 women to dinner for their 2nd Annual CyberChicks dinner on February 28th at Gabriel's Restaurant.

During the cocktail reception, glasses of wine were sipped slowly and business cards were exchanged effortlessly. With guests seated at three large round tables, the women went around the room and introduced themselves. We heard from Gail Sonnenschein, president, and Carolyn Everett, COO,; Kate Hartnick, dir. strategic planning group, I-Traffic, and Debbie Newman, marketing consultant. Cella Irvine gleefully told us how she's enjoying her "time off" writing a grant as a Rockefeller fellow, chairing NYNMA and taking three hours of French a day. Allison Anthoine, principal of Quantum Media Association, told us how she's getting involved in every activity of intellectual capital and online mediums,  and Elizabeth Lesley Stevens explained that she's one-month out the gate with her new venture.  She is excited about it and drawing upon her journalistic roots at Brills and Business Week. Just before dinner arrived, we heard from Screaming Media's senior management director Marianne Howatson; Wendy Stahl, VP, Sony Online Ventures and Tina Li, a principal at Foster Management and another Wellseley attendee (of which there were many in the room).

Dinner came and our conversations were redirected to those at our table. While this evening comes but once a year, it was easy to see the uniqueness of it. Without a doubt, this meeting has the potential to become another industry standard event.

The Web is not enough

We've been hearing the predictions that Wireless will soon take over web development, and now the Web truly is not enough for developers. In this vein and in the spirit of the latest Bond film, held a soiree for clients, partners and guests with many "shaken, not stirred" cocktails in a stylish old-NY marble and stainless steel bank lobby on Monday, February 28th. Mark Hanny of IBM was entertaining some attendees with witticisms and Peter Kestembaum of introduced me to Cheryl Martin and Jim Theokas of Sun. Mark Goudie of Oracle came by and I met Larry Osipow and Gene Quaglia of Intel,  who told me some exciting news they're about to release. Bostonites Douglas Wood of BEA Systems and Daniel Kaplan of Akamai were there. Timothy Appnel (dir. of technology, Agency) and told me about IBM's House of the Future in Austin. Just before heading uptown with Alice O'Rourke of NYNMA, Chan Suh and Kyle Shannon came over to catch up quickly. Kyle informed me of his new job -- Chief People Officer -- had great reports thus far. With such a good people person and strong leadership at the helm, probably will be shaking up more than just the web.

Friday, February 25, 2000

Bits & Bytes -and- Shakers & Stirrers 2/25/00

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

Dine Joins Scient Corp.
After 10 months as Creative Director at Xceed, Jeremy Dine is moving to bigger and (we hope!) brighter pastures. He joined Scient Corp's Customer Experience Group in New York. Good luck, Jeremy!

Singleton Joins Centerseat
Centerseat LLC, has named James B. Singleton Senior Vice President of Business Development and General Counsel for the company. Mr. Singleton was Associate General Counsel for Metromedia Company.

Manski Joins Christian & Timbers
Kristen Manskie recently joined Christian & Timbers to support the growth of the New Media and Entertainment Practice. She will be working hand in hand with Paula Seibel, ManagingDirector, New Media and Entertainment. Appoints Brad Wolfer VP of Operations has appointed Brad Wolfer to Vice President of Operations. Wolfer will oversee's merchandising, customer service, editorial and creative departments. He will also direct new product and services initiatives.

Send your news to:
* For the whole story, go to:

Icon Medialab -- One to Watch According to Adweek
Adweek has recognized Icon Medialab as a rising star of the interactive industry. Forrester Research ranked Icon Nicholson among the top 10 providers of eBusiness strategy.

American Express Invests in
American Express will announce a substantial investment and national marketing agreement with, the leading online restaurant reservation network.

Call Goes out for Webby Awards
The SFMOMA Webby Prize for Excellence in Online Art will offer $50,000 annually to an artist or artists for a body of work whose primary focus is to be experienced online and that explores and expands the distinctive capacity of the online medium., Inc. Moves on Up is growing at such a rapid pace that it recently moved to larger quarters in the Graybar Building at 420 Lexington Avenue, 18th Floor. The company's new phone number is (212) 986-6677. Teams with World Online International
Yack.comSM will provide World Online International with the most up-to-the-minute online programming information. The guide will be incorporated into World Online’s sites and translated into local languages of the countries where World Online operates.

Comet and Join Forces
Comet Systems and will offer CometZone's comet Cursors to its 3 million "Homesteaders." This will include characters from Peanuts, Star Trek , Pokemon, and other programs.

Latin Superstars Help Create Latin Entertainment Site
International recording artist Julio Iglesias and Latin American TV star Don Francisco have joined online music pioneer Larry Rosen and Latin music executive Sergio Rozenblat to launch, Inc., a Latin Music and Entertainment Internet Site.

Zagat Survey Invests in and Zagat Survey will bring free, online restaurant reservations to diners across the country. A co-branded website will enable consumers to make free online restaurant reservations. Zagat Survey's will be made available on

ShiftKey Becomes Kinecta Corporation!
ShiftKey has changed its name to Kinecta Corporation to better communicate its focus of connecting businesses through information. Kinecta comes from the words "kinesis" and "connect," symbolizing dynamic connections. (

Centerseat Partners With Martial Arts Industry Leader TC Media
Centerseat LLC has secured exclusive digital rights for TC Media’s entire collection of martial arts instructional video and text. Centerseat will also be able to sell TC Media’s martial arts merchandise on Launches Direct PR Connection
Smartedge has built a sizable database of technology and computing-related PR contacts, and they're sharing them with the journalism community through and IRS Team Up is giving investors a one-stop resource for tax forms and information with an online Tax Guide. Sponsored by the IRS,'s Tax Guide combines tax planning background culled from a range of Bloomberg media. (

eMediatainmentWorld to Launch in June
eMediatainmentWorld, the first-ever conference and marketplace to concentrate on the Internet's number one content categories, media and entertainment ("emediatainment"), is to debut in Los Angeles June 28-30, 2000, at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel. Launches Football Nation
Football Nation offers message boards and a chat forum. offers live match results, news, exclusive stories, opinion and feature coverage. It will feature the world’s largest online store for football merchandise and online memorabilia auctions.


In an attempt to help facilitate better networking for new media professionals and "Scenesters," here are some points that will be added during the weeks. They will be archived at:

*  If you must cut in on a conversation to speak with a person, politely step forward and excuse yourself, then briefly ask the person with whom you wish to speak if you might join the conversation or speak with her later.

Thursday, February 24, 2000

Icon-Nicholson exceeds expectations ~ by Bernardo Joselevich

I had high expectations from the Icon-Nicholson party at the Puck building, but they were surpassed by a wild, opulent party, that took place in two huge floors, including the actual offices of the company (which embody the American dream of a lava lamp in every cubicle).

Icon-Nicholson is the New York office of Icon Medialab, the largest Internet consultancy in Europe (headquartered in Sweden, with 200 offices in 14 countries). Their marketing director, Debra Boulanger, explained to me what it's all about: "2000 is the year of global deployment of the Internet, were it will stop being a mostly America-centered medium. Barriers to entry outside the USA remain low, but the hidden challenges are many and tough". The challenges of her party were also many: How to choose among the Hennessy cocktails on
offer? Dance floor or the schmoozy upstairs spaces? How to greet all the huge representation of Silicon Alley in attendance? Among them: Dara Tyson of InternetWorld/Penton Media, Syl of (whose current
fame makes her first name sufficient, Cher-like), VC Renee Grossman of Counsel Corp., Claire Moynihan of, Zack Bayer of Silicon Alley Reporter, road-show coach Mary Dawne Arden, Amy Ehrenreich and
Edie Meyer of (formerly

I took as a souvenir one of the hundreds of inflatable balls with the map of the world that were all over the place, a reminder of the Internet land grab awaiting out there too.

The "Cocktails with Courtney" Boston debut

Not skipping a beat, I skipped up North and landed in Boston for the debut Boston "Cocktails with Courtney" on February 24th. Overlooking historical landmarks like the Old North Church and The Constitution ship, the party was in the Bay Tower restaurant on the top floor of the Prudential building downtown.

Trademark sparkly confetti and sweet treats adorned the tables and a lavish spread of fruits, cheeses and a Mexican fiesta were laid out for guests. The special sponsors for this landmark day were Continental Resources, Imperial Bank and LavaStorm. With their support we drew a reputable assortment of interested attendees to our cocktail concept.

I got to meet Andrew Hirsch of The Parthenon Group, his guest from Deutsch Bank and Colin Earnst of iXL. Gib Hammond, a partner at Deloitte Touche, spent some quality time talking with Oscar Jazdowski (SVP, East Coast Region), Marion Schouten (Assistant VP), Bill Sweeney (First VP, East Coast Region) and Donna Connolly (Assistant VP, East Coast Region) of sponsor Imperial Bank. This bank, which also has offices in San Francisco, has been making its mark on the scene by focusing on the emerging growth sector in Boston for over three years. Wayne Howe of Boston Internet Group, Gerald Willoughby of The Willoughby Group, Mark Sullivan of Hewlett Packard and Shawn Stovall of Sontra came by and met guests Jill Selvitella and Glenn Kennedy of THINK New Ideas. Frank Mottolo and Bill Floyd of Electrical Publications told me of their plans for their electrical-industry focused vertical portal. John Innamorato of DLC Corp. (a SFX company) told me about all the time he is spending on the website and booking talent for major clubs and venues. Jill Zeikel and Bill Crowley of Open Market came to mingle with folks from TMP Target, Strategic Interactive Group and Gomez Advisors.

After Tony Serino of Serino Associates won a Palm Vx in our raffle, donated by sponsor LavaStorm, and a brief word from the hostess, the party resumed. Rene Martinez told me that his firm has been building hardware and software for major corporations for many years, and been profitable since day one. Elizabeth DeSmet of Highland Capital Partners and Michiel Maaskant of Harpell/Martins & Company stayed for some cocktails and chatted amongst guests. I caught up with Ron Kustal of Virtual Growth's NY office and Kevin Dyer of the Boston office, and Sean Jacobson of eLance flew in for the cocktail party and the heady Cyberposium this weekend.

As things winded down, I chatted with Mousumi Shaw of HireEngine, Steven Glick of Boston Consulting Group, Linda Swain of Fairmarket, and Jill Andrerson and Todd Santiago of HBS's MBA 2000 class. Psychologist Sharon Melnick told me that she helps companies determine how users interact with websites. Representatives from Boston's banks and new media firms also turned out to survey the scene. I expect the momentum to build in Boston. Stay tuned for the next one!

Wednesday, February 23, 2000

Throw Me Some Beads, Mister! ~ by Kim Tsai continued the launch of their campaign at the fabulous midtown "W"  Hotel with a festive carnival party. While entering the party, we were greeted with green, gold, and purple beads--the signature colors of Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Masks with funky feathers were passed around while the Zydeco band was playing in the background. Immediately strolling into the party, I was introduced to Richard Pinto, the CEO of He graciously explained the goals and future plans of his company. In a nutshell, the party was to
gather support for an online congressional petition campaign. The plan is
to persuade Congress to make Mardi Gras a national holiday. The name of
this new rally is called "The Party"--and rightly so.

The party was interrupted by the surprise appearance of Captain Morgan while Alan Bell, the general manager, was giving a brief overview of Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum is another supporter of this petition. So, as you can well imagine, all the drinks were made of rum--Pina Coladas, daiquiris and
hurricanes. Just to give it that extra New Orleans Cajun kick, Nawlin's style food was also served. The party was a complete success as many were interested in declaring Mardi Gras a holiday, not just in New Orleans, but across the world.

Upon leaving the party, Captain Morgan left us with a few words--"I think it's time to put the 'party' back into politics. That's why I'm forming 'The Party.'"

Ohm-age to the NY Cocktail set

After months of cries for more space, "Cocktails with Courtney" finally moved to a proper nightclub to accommodate the eager scene-sters this industry still seems to hatch by the hundreds. The club Ohm offered just the right setting and room for the more than 400 old and new new media types to meet and regreet each other. Thanks to the fantastic sponsorship of consultants Continential Resources, webscape design firm Concrete Media and family portal HEYnetwork, the guests had some fine beverages and hors d'ouevres and had hours upon hours of grand chatting-it-up to unobtrusive techno-new-age music.

As some of the attendees noticed, this was the first party where we implemented our "Gold List, " which is comprised of industry influencers, upper management, media and friends in the industry since its early days. In coming months we will be further implementing a membership structure with various benefits and other new processes for the parties in an effort to facilitate interaction for interested parties and devotees of the newsletter and cocktail parties. We will announce new developments in this here in the coming weeks.

Tuesday, February 22, 2000

Flexing their mussels

The lure of moules frites and a hearty pint-o-Belgian ale drew some women out to Belgo for the Women in New Media Association's get together on Tuesday, February 22nd. Elizabeth Fuss of Scient, Danielle Cyr of Richards & O'Neil and Danielle Jude and I chatted for a while with Heidi Cohen (Doubleday Direct) and Marianne Nebel (Buena Vista Publishing Group). Marion Novak and Jennifer Nash of WIN were there greeting newbies. Jolie Whitmoyer (iXL) and Cynthia Auman (Carbone Smolan Agency) and I chatted about the maturity of the scene in NYC versus the cynical POV of the scene in SF. Caroline Farnsworth (VP, Online business) and Jordana Drell of Children's Television Workshop were enjoying their time and told me how they're working on getting CTW more of a presence in the new media community. Despite the horrendous acoustics in Belgo and the pushy waiters, the WIN women were happy and satiated with their meeting of minds and mussels.

Monday, February 21, 2000

Open for business

Perfectly salmony- pink crawfish (with their heads on) were being served up with a glistening lobster sauce on tiny plates. Right on their heels was a small army of delectable hors d'oeuvres for a mix of Internet-nauts and Foodies at the party on Monday, February 21st at the upscale and posh 11 Madison.

Chuck Templeton (pres and CEO) and Sid Gorham (VP of biz dev) were standing on an upper platform, surveying their party and told me they wanted to have an event to celebrate recent good news and partnerships and announce they have arrived in New York. Based in San Francisco it was only a matter of time before they had to come to one of the greatest cities in the world for dining out.

NY1's petite Liz Gerst was chatting with Joseph Gawronski (pres/COO) and David Kanbar (CEO) of, which also offers an online reservations system for other services. Around a banquette, James Broder of Bear Stearns told me about the unique potato chips and spiced almonds at the bars. Scene-sters Kathy Reilly (Flooz), Seth Price ( and Cindy Cook (Hamptons Country), part of the beautiful posse, enjoyed some of the other yummy treats being passed around. This was also where I met the curly-topped Hunter Watkins in his crested-blazer of and Sal Esposito of Il Cortile.

Erika Jakubassa and Michael Abramson of Flatiron Magazine and I sat down for some melt-in-your-mouth Hazelnut Parfait with a chocolate swirl and talked about the design of Open Table's logo and website (a bit retro). Their upcoming issue will kick off a new technology section, with contributions from Yours Truly, and some fantastic profiles of notable Flatiron-Silicon-Alley-ers. Pamela Parker of came over to say hello and as I headed upstairs for a demo of the service I chatted with Bill Gurley (Benchmark Capital), Adam Dell and Rene Benedetto of Impact Venture Partners.

Amy Hamilton, operations manager for NY gave me a tour of the website for customers and the interface for restaurants. Before leaving I asked executive chef Kerry Heffernan about his experience with the Open Table system, which is in their restaurant. He raved the software is great and was excited about the mix of Internet and restaurant professionals who came this February night.

Friday, February 18, 2000

Some notes from the "2000 Organization of the Future Conference" ~ by Mary Dawne Arden

Road-show coach and multitalented Mary Dawne Arden attendeed the "2000 Organization of the Future Conference" held February 17 & 18th at the Waldorf=Astoria Hotel. Organized by  The Conference Board and the Peter Drucker Foundation for Non-profit Management and sponsored by McKinsey and Company, there was some solid information discovered. Below, a sampling of the highlights:

* McKinsey has done a comprehensive study on THE WAR FOR TALENT
*Company value is dependent on the overall level of talent.
* The supply of future executives is about to decline!
* The supply/demand gap for technical talent is huge!
* There will be a 2 million-worker shortage by the year 2003

Here is the breakdown of the shortage today and the projected shortage by the year 2003:
* The shortage today of Computer engineers, programmers, analysts, database administrators, and all the other computer scientists is 234,000. By 2003, there is a projected shortage of 440,000.
* IT sales personnel managers and marketing personnel shortage today is 375,000. By 2003, there is a projected shortage of 1,740,000.
* Customer support representative’s facilities analysts, telecommunications specialists, project consultants, quality assurance personnel, graphic artists, and others: Shortage today is 640,000 by 2003 it will be 1,960,000

* Guess what? The small young companies are grabbing the greater share of talent.
* So top Management has to get involved in the recruiting process -- they can not leave it to HR. Management needs to mentor and coach as well as recruit. Companies must insist high performing line managers lead the process.
* And of course, it is essential that appreciation grow for talent gems in the organization. If not they will leave…pronto.
* We could've guessed but of the employees polled: 67% said they were looking for new opportunities and 80% said they could leave their current job easily and immediately find a new one!

The Cyber Scene in Paris ~ by Victor Le Broussois

The Cyber Scene in Paris ~ by Victor Le Broussois (Managing Director,

All last week long, the world has been partying. It was the occasion to
create new contacts, meet new people and StockOnWeb's team was there.
-The Vivendi Party gathered together people like JoÎl Palix from,
Xavier Herrmann (who left La FinanciËre de Brienne for KPMG), David Elliot
from Directhit (which has just been sent for $600 million!) and Jacques Le
Marois from MandrakeSoft. We met up with them at L'alcazar.

- FirstTuesday Paris was the occasion to see Juan Rognetta of @jour, High
Tech Finance, who publishes each week the NÄTDEX and VÈronique Torner from, the french software website Quelm.

- FirstTuesday London: the organization of this event is far from being
cottage industry (that is not the case of Paris one). But this party is not
so user-friendly as it should be: it is really business for business and
nothing more... We can only note the presentation of by Ernst
Malmsten (CEO) and Kajsa Leander (Marketing Manager).

- Microsoft Network Party: This party gathered together about 500 persons
in an exotic ambience, with a lot of animation and everything orchestrated
by an excellent music group composed of a double bass, a sax, a DJ House
and a singer. There were TVs everywhere showing the MSN team, demonstration
of the importance of the Corporate Identity inside the group. Were present
the International Business Development Director of Voil‡, Mr Jean-Pierre
GuÈnin; Axel Dreyfus from Web City (don't mix up with Alexandre); Jean
Pierre Levieux from MSN and Michel Juvillier, Advertisement Director and
the multimedia director of Expansion group (Valeurs Actuelles) who seemed
very interested by the NÄTDEX; among others. Paul Charoy, from e-Ketchum,
organized party--his first and quite a successful one at that.

Bits & Bytes -and- Shakers & Stirrers 2/18/00

Send your announcements to:
Check out the site for the latest in who's movin' and who's shakin'!
* For the whole scoop, go to:

Respond2, Inc. (R2), a direct Internet and television marketing company has hired David Landis as their vice president of interactive services.

Patricia Clark is now the Regional VP of Sales at Talk City.

Igor Shoifot is moving on from Octet Media to start a new venture and lecture at a college.

Send your news to:

* For the whole story, go to:


In an attempt to help facilitate better networking and a douse of old-fashioned manners for new media professionals and "Scene-sters," here is a point of etiquette. All social notes are archived at:

* Don't take professional networking receptions as an opportunity to load up on free wine and cheese. Remember you're there to meet other professionals, not scarf down appetizers.

Thursday, February 17, 2000

Power to the women

In a city of Queens, Princesses and Duchesses, the new media industry in the UK has a few notable noble Ladies of its own. Thursday evening, February 17, two American women co-hosted a cocktail reception for one of London's newest imports from Silicon Alley. Susan Boster of News Network and Katie Walker of eVentures welcomed Hillary Graves to the London cyber scene with a cocktail reception in Katie's Architectural Digest-ready flat. Hillary has come to London as president of iVillage International and the evening was filled with bubbly conversation as Madame Veuve Cliquot (another great Lady) was poured in our champagne flutes. I also had the opportunity to meet Anne Farlow, director of Electra Partners Europe and Sonia Lo, CEO of, whose first Internet venture is going public shortly and whose second is in its second round of funding. Julie Meyer, of FirstTuesday's fame stopped by between flights in and out of town. I got to meet an analyst from Morgan Stanley, an organizer of events and networking meetings for women and a former Disney Marketeer-turned future new media digerati. The handful of women gathered in the elegant flat in the posh neighborhood were all dynamic and driven in their own ways. Conversations ranged from talk of the industry to strengths of women in the workplace. There are plans for more of these special soirees, and as I headed out into the drizzly London night, the street lamps lit the way as I reflected on the special unity that neither country borders nor oceans could divide from simple female shared experiences.

Tuesday, February 15, 2000

Cocktails with Courtney -- the London debut

 I've been hearing more and more that the London cyber scene has been taking off. And my interest in coming to the UK was also increasing. When Susan Boster, a colleague from early Silicon Alley days and now at News Network approached me about doing a "Cocktails with Courtney" in London, I jumped at the opportunity. When we landed on a date to launch my soirees for the digitally inclined in the UK, their obvious choice for where to host it was in one of the trendiest clubs in London. Not yet open to the public, this $1+ million renovated club hosted a party each night this past week, which was also Fashion Week. My event was on Tuesday, February 15 and was followed by a Models 1 party. The next night Kate Moss and other fashion and music celebs took over the elegant 150-year old listed Georgian building. It began its life as a pump-house--pumping water out of the adjacent Embankment Tube Station and then served time as a prison during World War Two. 

Owners Piers Adam, Ben Elliot and Giles Baker took the fantastically situated building (right on the River Thames across from the famous London Eye) and styled it as a retro 60s Studio 54/James Bond bachelor pad. Large video monitors displayed images of seas, fires, forests and deserts. The "sound-activated" waterfall changed color according to music being played.

This night, we attracted some of London's new media community's hottest executives for the fine affair, which included oodles of inspired conversations and equal doses of champagne. Simon Jones and Andrew Wayland of Harvard PR made sure all the right people met each other and I chatted for a while with Keith Mitchell, executive chairman of the London Internet Exchange and Evan Rudowski, VP & MD of Excite@Home Europe. Robert Buchanan-Black and Guy Redwood, two fun loving guys, of flg21 (Fun Loving Guys 21) came down from their home base just a bit North in Leeds. Jeffrey Rubins, chairman of Netcall plc, told me how their technology is enabling people to call each other (in office or cell phones) via a link on a webpage. This was just one of the many interesting companies utilizing wireless application protocol (WAP) technology in Europe. Matt Key of MyWapWorld was another WAP-er present. Mike Bloxham of Netpoll told me about his company's online polling capabilities. Maggie Rosen, a writer and consultant, introduced me to Julian Ha, executive VP of Dawnay Day Lander, a brand new VC company looking for hot properties and Craig Peel of Real Design, a cutting-edge web design shop. Maya Hart and a colleague from Zinc, another hot web shop, came to check out the new networking event.

From the News Network offices I had the chance to meet Chris Lloyd, COO; Andy Coulson, chief content officer; Richard Reeves, advertising director and Stephan van Rooyen, business development director. Susan Boster, the chief marketing and commerce director, arrived fashionably late with her hair in a lovely upswept do' and clingy silk black cocktail dress. Katie Walker, chief marketing officer of eVentures Ltd. and Toni Spinazzola of Cunningham Communication Inc. were visiting from Cambridge, Massachusetts and as I was talking with them, who should I see come in the doorway but another Alley-elite, Clay Shirky. In town for a few days consulting with clients, it was perfect timing for him to pop by a "Cocktails with Courtney!"

Later in the evening we moved downstairs to get prime seats for when the models showed up. Before then, I interviewed Alasdair MacLeod and Tony Hall, News Network's managing director and marketing director, respectively. Alasdair told me of their recent growth and newest venture, their auction site Tony educated me on the mission of their initiatives. Simon Murdoch of Episode 1 Partners, Kim Bull, founder of, Beate Vogt and Siwan Jonas came from Magna Consulting and Jeremy Lee, director of Art & Industry filled me in on some of the range of his ventures.

As we continued to sip our champagne, the stickly-sparkly models and the mass of ooglers arrived. Some of us stayed a bit longer, but the special closeness from the intimate event earlier lost its quality when the cameras began flashing and the music turned up. As the guests departed, there was interest in more like this, and based on the rate of growth in the industry, and to quote Arnold Schwarzzenager, "I'll be back!"

Friday, February 11, 2000

Bits & Bytes -and- Shakers & Stirrers 2/11/00

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

* For the whole scoop, go to:

Girl Games, Inc., Names Editor-in-Chief of Names Yale Weinman VP, General Counsel
Student Advantage Adds Depth
StarCite Names Ray Dorman Vice President of Business Development
R/GA Names Jonathan Polay as Manager, Business Development


Send your news to:

* For the whole story, go to:

Click2Asia and Centerseat Partner to Create The A-V Channel
Phase2Media Named Exclusive Ad Sales Rep for Gist Communications
Goalnetwork Signs Deal with Fox SportsWorld & Fox Sports World Espanol
Computer Technology Associates Acquires Touchscreen Media Group
Centerseat and DSLnetworks Partner to Provide Broadband Access to Say "I Love You" in Valentine's Day Web Launch
Razorfish Announces Partnership with Derby Cycle Corporation and Launches
e-Commerce Web Site for Bicycles
Edgar Expands


In an attempt to help facilitate better networking for new media professionals and "Scenesters," here are some points that will be added during the weeks. They will be archived at:

*  Don't forget when visitors come to your home or office, offer to take their coat and get them a beverage.

The Cyber Scene in Paris ~ by Victor Le Broussois (Managing Director, StockOnWeb)

All last week long, the world has been partying. It was the occasion to create new contacts, meet new people and StockOnWeb's team was there. 

-The Vivendi Party gathered together people like Joël Palix from, Xavier Herrmann (who left La Financière de Brienne for KPMG), David Elliot from Directhit (which has just been sent for $600 million!) and Jacques Le Marois from MandrakeSoft. We met up with them at L'alcazar.

- FirstTuesday Paris was the occasion to see Juan Rognetta of @jour, High Tech Finance, who publishes each week the N€TDEX and Véronique Torner from, the french software website Quelm.

- FirstTuesday London: the organization of this event is far from being cottage industry (that is not the case of Paris one). But this party is not so user-friendly as it should be: it is really business for business and nothing more... We can only note the presentation of by Ernst Malmsten (CEO) and Kajsa Leander (Marketing Manager).

- Microsoft Network Party: This party gathered together about 500 persons in an exotic ambience, with a lot of animation and everything orchestrated by an excellent music group composed of a double bass, a sax, a DJ House and a singer. There were TVs everywhere showing the MSN team, demonstration of the importance of the Corporate Identity inside the group. Were present the International Business Development Director of Voilà, Mr Jean-Pierre Guénin; Axel Dreyfus from Web City (don't mix up with Alexandre); Jean Pierre Levieux from MSN and Michel Juvillier, Advertisement Director and the multimedia director of Expansion group (Valeurs Actuelles) who seemed very interested by the N€TDEX; among others. Paul Charoy, from e-Ketchum, organized party--his first and quite a successful one at that.

The Cyber Scene in Seattle ~ by Larry Sivitz

Seattle Ready to Ban Trained Circus Animals, Microsoft Temps Must Jump Through Hoops
While the Seattle City Council was debating whether to ban Ringling Brother's Pondering Pachyderms and other commercially-employed circus animals from working city venues, a packed hearing under the capitol dome tent in Olympia showed the snarling teeth of high-tech workers vs. whip-cracking personnel staffing ringmasters. At issue was how disclosure of employment agency bill rates (the amount an agency charges a client company, NOT what the employee gets paid), would affect workers and employers. Staffing companies compared billing information to a "trade secret" claiming that disclosure would undermine competition in the marketplace. Workers disagreed. "The trade secret argument makes it sound like we are dealing with the formula to Coke," said WashTech co-founder Marcus Courtney to the House committee. "But the billing rate is neither the formula to Coke, nor a trade secret since the client company knows and the agency knows -- it is time that high-tech workers know what is being charged for their labor." Senate Bill 6165, which would restore the right to overtime pay for hourly high-tech workers, is currently stalled in the state Senate. Meanwhile, the circus animals will continue working for peanuts. Please don't feed the Webmasters. "Someone told me it's all happening at the zoo." The Seattle Online Network's monthly gathering at the watering hole will be held next week at Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo. Feeding time for Seattle's creatures of the Net will feature the fresh marketing morsels of John Durham, VP of Sales for Winstar Interactive, Raynu Sood navigator of DoubleClick's Seattle outpost, Maggie Boyer, Director of Media for Avenue A, (and formerly iballs), and Nicole Hammes Cole & Weber's Media Planning Supervisor, who has been paper training the PETSmart account. Pardon me, are those baboons over there or your coders?
You GO URL, the Internet business of The Walt Disney Co. that oversees some of the Web's strongest brands, has moved 250 employees from the east-of-the-lake offices in Bellevue to the historic Smith Tower in Seattle's Pioneer Square.'s Seattle-based cadre represents a variety of properties, including the editorial and engineering teams for, (and that site's successful fantasy game development team); production for, and all editorial, production and tech teams for entertainment sites Mr. Showbiz and Wall of Sound. Fifty additional employees will remain in the Westin Building in downtown Seattle overseeing the Web Operations Center that houses a total of 493 servers, including 96 database servers that support 1,206 databases. Smith Tower, an engineering marvel when it was built in 1914, was the tallest building west of the Mississippi until the latter half of the century. Today, after undergoing extensive upgrades, the Smith Tower has become home to many of the region's most promising technology companies. Artsy-Smartsy If it's the first Thursday of the month, it's the traditional Art Walk in Pioneer Square when the galleries stay open late to host the peripatetic art scenesters. The Seattle arts community has taken center stage recently, first in Thomas Orton's debut novel, The Lost Glass Plates of Wilfred Eng, which is being laudably compared to John Fowles's The French Lieutenant's Woman or Henry James's The Aspern Papers. Recent media-centricity has also thrown the spotlight on the cinematic debut of Snow Falling On Cedars, the acclaimed best-seller written by local resident (and neighbor) David Guterson. If you've got a hankerin' for fresh popcorn and jaw-dropping digital sound, visit Paul Allen's lavishly refurbished Cinerama theater. Tell 'em Bill sent ya'. DVDay Trippers The date February 2 has long been associated with such historic debuts as baseball's National League (1876), basketball's ABA (1967) and in the world of entertainment technology, the first 45-RPM vinyl record (1949). It is also on this date that Seattle's M-2K was somewhat anti-climactically born. Yet, the DVD development firm has triumphantly outlasted the 20th century with its Bubblegum Crisis DVD series of hot-selling anime titles and the F/A-18E Super Hornet Attack, the first flight simulation on DVD-ROM. Coming attractions? The company intends to promote the Websites and covering the the best of DVD sites on the web, with discussion boards, movie and hardware reviews and more.
Here's an unabashed plug for THIS WEEK'S BEST IN-SITES, a witty Web wrap-up of the week's single best sites in Advertising, Marketing, Media, E-Com, E-Mail, Better Ideas, Power Tools and more. Edited by leading Seattlelite Larry Sivitz. It's FREE just for sending the word "subscribe" to

TCS Intro: 2/11/00


* CyberSceneTV
Our first show is live and you can see it at:
It covers the history of the Silicon Alley Cyber Scene, an interview with Flooz co-founder Robert Levitan and a look at that week's parties.

The next show will be about the London Cyber Scene.

* Press/Appearances/Classes
The Independent, "Cocktails in Cyberspace - RSVP," January 24, 2000.

* Cocktails with Courtney --
February 15 -- London. Yes, we're finally crossing the Atlantic and having our inaugural cocktail party in the town of Big Ben, Queen Elizabeth, Bobbies and Harrods.
February 23 -- NYC
February 24 -- Boston

Happy Birthday Mom

Some of you may remember one of my early designs of my website. There was a picture of my eyes peeking out from under a lilac-adorned wide-brimmed straw hat. Underneath it was an excerpt from "Invitation," a poem by Shel Silverstein, one of the world's most creative poets who's delighted audiences of children and adults alike. The excerpt was:

            "If you are a dreamer, come in,
            If you are a dreamer,
            A wisher, a liar,
            A hope-er, a pray-er,
            A magic bean buyer…
            …Come in!
            Come in!"

This poem still epitomizes my thoughts on the people I know and meet in the Internet industry. We are all dreamers, hope-ers and wishers and the nature of the 'Net is to welcome new ones (newbies) in.

The first person who taught me this magical poem was my mother who gave me Silverstein's book "Where the Sidewalk Ends" for my birthday many years ago. Today, February 11th, is my mother's birthday.

She, the original magic bean buyer, taught me that "art mistakes are surprise beginnings" and the lesson that "if you give someone a fish, they can eat for a day, but if you teach a person to fish, they can eat for a lifetime." (I don't think there's a VC out there who wouldn't admit that failed start-ups lead to new ventures.) It's amazing how life's lessons learned in those early years play out for us similarly years and years later.

My mother is an elementary school art teacher and every day she instills in children a sense of wonder for color, shapes, textures, art history and the confidence to create. We are lucky to be in an industry that also encourages such freedom, creativity and magic. I am lucky to have a mother who, like all the Hallmark cards describe, encourages my efforts, celebrates my victories, listens and consoles when I'm down and is proud of my achievements whatever I do -- however big or small they might be -- she's just proud that I'm her daughter.

We don't often say it until the May holiday that Hallmark capitalizes on--Mother's Day--but Moms are our nurturing, fighting, soothing, warrior, comforting and knowing leaders in so many of our lives. I'm proud that she's my mother. I watched a woman, described by her colleagues as a "fashion plate," work in her art room. I saw her spend hours organizing art exhibits in local libraries for children and their families to experience a sense of achievement and success in a subject many feel inadequate in. I watched her coordinate art exchanges with elementary schools around the world so students could learn about other children, cultures and share artwork. I learned about little touches making the difference at parties. I learned about how to try and be a good person and to try and treat everyone equally and fairly. I learned many, many things, and I have many, many more to learn still.

Thank you Mom. Happy Birthday!

Thursday, February 10, 2000

Another Birthday

Too busy to fly into town for the party due to a heavy schedule of filming commercials, Whoopi Goldberg couldn't come to's 1-year birthday party. She did however say a few peppy words to jazz up the guests and how great she thinks Flooz is during a short new-recap of all the holiday stories clip. The several hundred or so guests who sashayed their way around the Ace Gallery, between dancing accordion-like displays of Issay Miayke fashions. Tall orange-colored fruity-flavored Flooz Punch drinks floated around in the toned hands of furious typers by day and frenzied shakers by night.

Spencer Waxman and Robert Levitan, co-founders, said a few words about the excitement of the occasion, cut the triple-tiered orange colored cake and re-introduced their orange workman-suited caped Great Gift Hero. I chatted for a while with Mark Baer of the NYSE, which boasts AOL/Time Warner, and ZDNet as some of its listings. Adam Cooper of Medsite and Lucinda Bhavsar of UUMA and a few other ex-and current iVillagers were there to share in the happy night. Janine Perri, Kathy Reilly, Dermot McCormack and the other Floozers were all decked out in lacey tops, leather skirts and suits (I'll let you figure out who was in what!). Kevin Werbach of EDventure was there with his wife, Joanne, who works at Flooz and Renee Edelman and I chatted about the parties earlier in the evening. Before leaving I chatted with Laura Kaiser, the executive editor of and Owen Davis of The Thinking Media.

Ben Austin and Luke Haseloff of Comet Systems and I picked up our orange colored gift bag of goodies and headed out into the spring-like night. Before we went our separate ways, they showed me their new space, which is the entire former El Diario building. I got an insider tour of the temporary workspaces downstairs, the not yet completed upstairs, the bulletproof windows and the famous Comet Download Counter. Increasing in significant jumps, the counter tallies every comet download. After they hit the 10,000,000 mark, the celebratory parties dwindled, but the numbers kept increasing. Today the numbers were over 25,000,000. Oh those magic bean counters!

The Season

Palm Beach has its Season for parties, but Silicon Alley's Season is year-round. And parties were in full swing on Thursday night, February 10th, with a total of eight parties this night. For instance, had their bash at Float, at Cocacabana and the Village Voice's little soiree at Les Deux Lapins.

The enticed seasoned party-ers with a pre-Valentine's party featuring lust, passion and pleasure on the most appropriate holiday for them. Oh my! Sweetly sticky aphrodisiacs and love advice were poured out to lovelorn, lost and looking. Oh how Ohm, the club, oozed the potential for sex with portions of oysters being passed and massages and reflexology to ease any remaining tensions… Some guests, from companies like Oxygen, Women's Wear Daily, iVillage, AOL and came to stop by the Love Fortune or tarot card reading stations.

Wedding gown designers including Susan Lazar and celebrity wedding planners like The Advisory Board member Preston Bailey and Marcy Blum, who also helped plan this party and wrote "Weddings for Dummies" checked out the millions of dollars worth of birthstones brought in from to ooolge and learn of their meaning. But the "big news" was that they are launching a new wedding gown magazine on Sadie Hawkins Day (February 29th). This newsstand issue will not be supported by advertising, however, and after taking a look at some market research, The Knot realized that women would buy these magazines for the pictures of the wedding dresses but not know any other information about it. With over 100 designers showing their dresses, women will now be able to see a wide variety of dresses and know the price before going into the store. This catalog-like magazine will be published annually and distributed in stores where dresses are featured.

…And what about Just a week short of the Chinese New Year (02/05/00) and a month after the Julian Calendar New Year (01/01/00), threw a big party to celebrate their New Year (02/10/00). While the line outside was long, and they were employing a strict guest list at the door, it was not crowded inside. VP of Biz Dev? Creative Director? CEO of a startup? Sorry. This party was just for Ad Sales. And About was so strict with this, not even their own seasoned Biz Dev-ers could gain entrance.

Hmmm. Whereas last week the West 18th popular loft space was in black for the Draper Fisher Jurvetson party, this night it was decorated in red, which might be for the embarrassed faces some feel for denying access to many supporters, or maybe it's for the festive Chinese New Year…

Wednesday, February 09, 2000

Did someone say Gossip Column?

Well, anyone who doubted the success of a newsletter being all fluff and no news must admit a change in the winds when the little ol' Page Six column leapt from the Post to be its own website, officially launched February 9. Certainly my "Cyber Scene" readers know the value of good writing in an engaging style, and Page Six is now out there too, trying to keep the Post readers (and more) interested and happy. Their launch party at Gustafino's drew some heavy hitters ranging from the ever-tasteful Howard Stern to the model Heidi Klum to Billy Zane and Carolina Herrara.

Tuesday, February 08, 2000

A barrel full of kosher web-monkeys

When RedFilter, Insound and MP3Lit decided to have a party on February 8th to launch their sites and partnership, they made a point of contacting the people they wanted there and they made sure they knew what a special night it would be. Well, when you entice netnauts with the idea of sitting in original wooden wine casks left behind when a former kosher winery closed, you'll get some attention. Set in the SubTonic lounge, about 125 or so guests including Rufus Griscom from Nerve, DJ Spooky, Bob Troia from OliveMedia, Glenn Johnson, associate publisher of "Shout," Jess Zaino producer of the StarFreaky show and Omar Divina, VP bizdev at's Matt Heindl and eCoasters Jeff Zurofsky were hobnobbing with Arul Sundaram, Natalie Kogan of Cyber Settle and Omar Wasow, executive director of was telling a few of us how his site's reached 70 million page views in 5 short months. I spoke with Gary Hustwit, CEO, of and Steve Weiss, EVP, and William O'Shea, CEO of RedFilter who filled me in on the method behind their madness for the party. Steve said the party was a success due to Insound's music, MP3Lit's "Get Lit" lighters and RedFilter's exuberant socializing.