Friday, May 26, 2000


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:

* Now that the weekend's away scene is starting off, if you're invited to a house, don't forget to contribute to shopping and the cleaning bill to help your hosts with costs.

The Cyber Scene in Atlanta ~ by Frank Wrenn

There’s nothing like a perfect spring night, a fabulous outdoor party and a full moon to bring out the Atlanta cyber crowd. The “Spring Fling” Happy Hour, held at the Park Tavern on Piedmont Park, got happier and happier as the night progressed. Co-hosted by the Atlanta Interactive Marketing Association ( and the AMA Young Professionals, the event was a networking haven for dot-coms, I-agencies, ad agencies and interactive marketing professionals. Perhaps the perfect weather was due to the presence of folks from who were out in full force.

Making the rounds with Park Tavern’s delicious Amber in hand, I talked with Chris Holland of Prism Communications ( about his company’s rollout into the Atlanta market. Then, I made my way over to Toby Bloomberg of Bloomberg Marketing Services who was chatting with Louis Lewow, New Media Account Executive at radio station 99X ( Victoria Trestrail of Manhattan Associates ( told me about her firm’s e-fulfillment and warehouse/distribution center management. Seeing a familiar face from a few years ago, I walked over to Donovan Panone, a partner with InterAsk ( We caught up on our respective jobs, Donovan talking about InterAsk’s unique approach to Internet Marketing and I telling him about Yankelovich Partners ( and its new marketing ASP, decisionDOMAIN ( Donovan introduced me to his college buddy Scott Luchkowec, technical recruiter for DRAC SSC Information Technology Consulting, and Scott’s fiancée Kristie Kluge of GO Network. Also at their table were Jennifer Nemec of Go Network and Tonya Madden of DRAC SSC.

Some interesting party buzz: folks seem to be very happy with Webvan (, the online grocer that just started serving the Atlanta market.

Other Atlanta News:
Stephen Stratz tells me that Atlanta based Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC) has formed an alliance with The partnership with CLC positions as a major online source of officially licensed collegiate products. Based in Atlanta, CLC serves as the exclusive licensing representative for more than 180 colleges, universities, bowl games, athletic conference, the NCAA, and the Heisman Trophy.

And speaking of licensing, Atlanta’s LicensingZone ( ), a web-based eProcurement site that enables retailers to search for and purchase licensed products directly from manufacturers, has received $2 million in funding from Technest, (owned by Atlanta-based JP Carey and Southridge Capital, Inc.) and Atlas Commerce.

In the just released 1999 Metro Atlanta Market Report, the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce reveals that E*Trade, which moved its operations center to Atlanta in 1998, is now the area’s largest dot-com employer with over 2,000 people. The Chamber’s Hans Gant comments that “Companies such as Exodus, Earthlink, E*Trade, UUNET/MCIWorldCom and Philips Electronics are reaping the first mover advantage of discovering Atlanta’s rich technology talent pool.” The report also points out that in 1999, there were 5,471 startups founded in Atlanta and that the number of technology incubators jumped from 12 to 18.

If you have information on Atlanta news and events, send it to me at

Thursday, May 25, 2000

A night of giving and gondola rides

As dusk was just descending on the pond, the gondolier pushed back and took a couple out for a small ride on the pond. An elegantly attired set of ladies and gentlemen looked on, as they sipped champagne and sampled caviar on chips. The Jerry Kravit band set the tone with old classics, jazz and swing songs to listen and dance to. In fact, one of the liveliest dancers was John Henry, an attorney for the NY Mets who stopped by for a few spins on the dance floor before Rick Reed, Al Leiter and Mike Hampton (pitchers for the Mets) joined him.

I am, of course, describing The "Cocktails with Courtney" Spring Black Tie benefit, held on Thursday, May 25, at Central Park's Boathouse. The night air was perfect. We had no rain, and the guests mingled and mixed. Sponsored by Oracle, eSpeed, IBM and iXL, the event attracted an interesting mix of guests, friends of the sponsors and a core of Silicon Alley supporters of special events and charity works. Sarah Holloway and Andrew Raisej of MOUSE, Catherine Winchester and Mark Lucente of Soliloquy; Alice O'Rourke and Ellen Auwater of NYNMA, and Diana Butler of iXL were among some of my closest friends in attendence. Renee Edelman of PR 21; Seth Price of US and his friend Chris Berger of NY Cares; Edmund Bogen of Bogen PR; and Laura Hamilton, Mark Modzelewski and his wife, Kelly, were some other fabulous friends who showed up. Nathan Tinker and other associates from Niehaus Ryan Wong, and Tom Dolby and Ken Henderson of City Tripping came to enjoy the view of the pond and the lush Central Park greenery. Guests could also view past shows from CyberScene TV, and chat with Laura Wells, who's heading up business development, and Chip Lewis, our show’s producer. My father made a special trip in, which really meant a lot to me.

My friend Kim Park displayed 10 of her beautiful paintings, now for sale. The proceeds will go to the charity. And what is the charity, you may be wondering? Our event kicked off a long-term relationship with City Care's Partners in Technology Program and the beginning of the Courtney Pulitzer Digital Divide Fund. This fund will be replenished with partial proceeds from events we hold across the U.S. and in Europe. City Care's has affiliates in cities around the country and Europe, each of which are eligible to apply for monies from the fund for programs focusing on the digital divide. The Partners in Technology Program was done first last year by New York Cares, which was quite successful in completing 414 projects with 48 Project Partners (14 schools and 34 nonprofit organizations), engaging over 1,300 volunteers to provide 3,000 hours of service to disadvantaged children, nonprofit organizations and public schools. Now City Cares is working to replicate this successful model with their other affiliates, which the fund will be supporting. We also held a raffle, with some fabulous gifts donated from 1800bonbons, My Optics, Sans Souci restaurant, Netsetgoods, and The Batchellor Mansion Inn. I have to admit, I was pretty tickled with our gift bags -- Cocktails with Courtney martini glasses (a set!) for everyone! We also had delicious chocolates from eChocolates and special coupons from and

Of course an evening wouldn't be complete without an appearance from Rainbow Heart and his protégé, who painted sparkly designs on adventurous guests’ eyes, chests and cheeks. Fred Varacchi, president of eSpeed, looked especially classy with an "e" from his logo on his cheek, and Laura Wells, who's in charge of business development for CyberScene TV, had a lovely rose that started at her neckline and continued down. I must extend a special thanks and use this opportunity to announce my new business development assistant Joanna Fabozzi. Also essential to the smooth production of the evening were Amy Conover, Myles Iezzi, Christopher Kresge and Chip Lewis.

Tuesday, May 23, 2000

Clickthru ClickVu

What do you do when you see a banner ad you actually are interested in, but don't want to answer it right away? Well, if it's a ClickVu banner you can return and interact with it whenever you want. I learned all this (and more!) at ClickVu's launch party at Lush on Tuesday, May 23. The joint was jumpin' too--a swing band playing tunes, a cigarette girl offering packs of Camels and lighting deepened the mood. The first charmer I met was the strapping Greg Elin, with whom I traveled across the country (he on motorcycle, me in a car) during the Alley to Valley Rally in the Summer of '97. Greg had done some database work for the company and told me he's converting more and more people to the world of motocycling. Mary Wible and Debra Williamsen of Swell Productions brought me in to acclimate me to the principals. On our way through the bar, we passed a counter featuring a row of laptops with the keyboards wrapped in Saran Wrap -- brilliant practicality! Conversation bits overheard on the way back -- "really, really, you have a lot of investors?" – is a hopeful barometer of the times. CNBCers Sean Driscoll and Laine Henderson were chatting with the lovely and striking Uta Knablein, with whom I also traveled across the U.S. Uta told me about her new Ducati 750, and I began getting that itch to be out on a wide stretch of road, just me and a bike (well, maybe riding on the back of one). Back in the restaurant was Justin Greene, co-founder and CTO of ClickVu, chatting with a Junior HS buddy and now venture capitalist, Stephen Cornick of Impact Venture Partners. Justin needed to make his way back to the front, and find his partner and co-founder Michael Cassara. The mix of many young digital workers and friends of the company was livelier than ever, and showed no signs of stopping anytime soon. I, however, made my way for the door and an early night!

Step into the vortex--Venture Vortex

Venture Vortex filled the Flaminco club in the East Village on Tuesday, May 23, with venture seekers, venture capitalists and new dot-coms. A Disco ball and flashing lights amused the eager eyes of guests as they waded through the mass to get a drink or some hors d'oeuvres in the back. Garnet Heraman, managing director, was playing the role of good host for this company's launch party. UPOC's Catrina Gregory and's Bruce Colwin chatted with me for a bit about some of the parties of late, and Cyber Solutions' David De Santo came over to bring me up to date on his latest ventures. Richmond Research's Louis Giacalone was out on the drizzly evening, and I snapped a quick pic of him, Deidra McIntyre of Redlbis and's Leonard Zavala and Alison Dahlman. Matt Toner told me on his way out (to another party, of course) that he's now going to be heading up the Toronto office of Oven Digital. Hurrah! Rob Steir of was working the crowd, and The Humor Network's Eric Targan handed me a flashing pin with their logo. There's some branding! Just before heading out I got a quick tour of the site and learned about their roadmap to help startups get started. The 13 steps outline a phase of development, and the site is organized into two main categories: the Roadmap, which is the community area where you can ask questions and interact with many other companies, and the Builder, which is where you can have a one-on-one relationship with another company. These options make it easy for companies to learn, network and develop as they grow.

What a Drag

"Excuse me, honey, I'm trying to sing here." The sequence-dressed tall blond pushed me aside. Horrified, I mumbled "well, some of us are trying to network here." Bill Knab of Microcast might have been trying to show off his site to Amy Brownstein, independent publicist, but there would be none of that if the drag queens at Lucky Cheng's on Tuesday, May 23, had their way. These sort of restaurants might be fun for group dinners, but networking parties present a conflict of interest. And despite the Clio Awards’ well-run and reputed conference and award show, this cocktail reception struggled against the drag queens who seemed intent on being be the center of attention. Most people at the party, like Mark Hallinan of and Clio executive director Andrew Jaffe seemed to take it all in good stride, though. Some were slightly amused. Others sat lining the restaurant, enjoying the buffet and watching with wonder. Carolyn Dizon of Clio Awards and Alexandra Nevins of BlackBook (owned by, a co-host for the evening) were enjoying themselves amidst the wackiness.

Friday, May 19, 2000

TCS Ads 5/19/00

MONDAY, JUNE 5th, 2000 (Rain date: Wednesday, June 7th)
6:30pm-9:30pm Lincoln Center Bandshell (enter at 62nd St. between Columbus and
Amsterdam) MOUSE (Making Opportunities for Upgrading Schools & Education - will host its 2nd Annual Volunteer Appreciation
Party at the Bandshell at Lincoln Center.  The event will be attended by
1,200 Silicon Alley movers & shakers.  Admission is free thanks to
sponsors Context Integration ( and
(  Please RSVP:

New York New Media Association (NYNMA) presents “Entertainment Online: Are
We Having Fun Yet?” Tuesday, June 6, The Great Hall at Cooper Union, 7 E.
7th St. @ 3rd Ave. Registration: 5:30 PM, Panel 6:30 PM, Reception: 8 PM.
Panelists include Josh Harris, Pseudo; Jason Calacanis, SAR; Hugh Panero, XM
Satellite Radio. Since the start of the Internet media revolution, entrepreneurs have been
agog with the entertainment possibilities of the medium.  But, six years later, online entertainment remains a stepchild to e-commerce, business-to business auctions, and database marketing online. Pre-registration at reduced rates ($15 members, $20 non-members) ends June 1.  See or call 212-785-7898.

ExcitePR--Public Relations & Strategic Brand Consulting for Internet & Technology Ventures….Representing a new breed of Internet public relations and strategic brand consulting firms—cutting edge, dynamic, effective and innovative, we identify key drivers of public opinion within focused segments of the market and precisely target them to influence consumer and investor action on behalf of our clients. For more information, please contact Miranda Tan at


You've heard about it. Now experience it first-hand. Web Attack!
is headed for BROADWAY. Learn what makes e-marketing tick in
Plus a live musical spectacular you won't want to miss!
Sign up now at: =>

Nano, a silicon-alley based technology company launched their first consumer
product on Monday, May 15th. The launch kicked off with a week of promotions
in New York City, featuring a 25-foot inflatable “n,” which mimics the
download button on the Website at The inflatable, which is
accompanied by a fleet of cleverly costumed actors handing out CD-ROMs, will
spend the next week in San Francisco. The promotion accompanies a
consumer-targeted advertising campaign featuring print, online, wrapped cars
in San Francisco and New York, postcards in bars and restaurants, buses and
bus shelters. nano is a downloadable software product, free to consumers,
that organizes information, products and services around a user’s immediate
needs. For more information about nano, contact Nancy Olds at revolutionizes the home furnishings shopping experience with
its unique direct-to-consumer model focusing on luxury bed, bath and home
products at prices that everyone can afford. With an international network
of premium manufacturers, brings quality, value and savings
directly to your home. [TOP]

ExcitePR--Public Relations & Strategic Brand Consulting for Internet & Technology Ventures….Representing a new breed of Internet public relations and strategic brand consulting firms—cutting edge, dynamic, effective and innovative, we identify key drivers of public opinion within focused segments of the market and precisely target them to influence consumer and investor action on behalf of our clients. For more information, please contact Miranda Tan at

Bits & Bytes -and- Shakers & Stirrers 5/19/00

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:

DeMarse Lands President, CEO Spot at ILife Names Jeffrey Edwards CEO

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

Miltos Manetas Presents a New Word for the Arts
Mirsky is Back
btldesign to redesign the Amerex Group website
Kidkey Gives Parents Control
Predict It, Inc. Becomes a Reporting Company
Viazcom Forms Vizy INteractive
Centerseat and Skytron to Deliver Mall Programming
Goal Media Group Partners with Turkport


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:

* When you're going out to a party, check your backpack or briefcase and put your valuables in either a pocket or smaller bag. This way you won't be knocking into someone's back or over a drink when navigating the room.

TCS Intro ~ 5/19/00

Cocktails With Courtney
Hey You! Yes, that's right -- You. Sitting there in front of the computer. It's gorgeous out, isn't it? Now … wouldn't it be nice to be outside in that glorious weather? Imagine. You. The trees. The sun beaming through the trees. The soft Spring breeze caressing your face, glad to feel something other than commercial air pumped through air ducts. And your fingers and toes! They're so happy to be curling around a champagne glass and wriggling in your shiny spats. Ah yes, Springtime in New York. The most spectacular and refreshing time in the Big Apple. And just before the first long weekend of the Summertime is our Spring Black Tie benefit.

What a better way to kick-off your Memorial Weekend festivities? Start them right by celebrating with your new media friends in a setting fit for Queens and Kings of the digital realm, as we raise money for future Princesses and Princes with our Digital Divide fund through the City Cares organization. Get all dressed up before you undress for the rest of the weekend: go from a tux to a Speedo in a matter of days! How fun is that?

We've hired a smashingly good six-piece jazz band to further entice you to kick up your heels. We’ve also landed some tempting raffle prizes to pamper you after the event, and organized a supercalifragilisticexpealidoscious gift bag for you. You'll be able to start your own martini set after this one!

So, don't pack up your bags for the Hamptons before you enjoy a night in the garden under the stars at our Spring Black Tie benefit in Central Park's Boathouse.

Sponsored by Oracle, eSpeed, IBM and iXL. Tickets: Single/$150, Couple/$275, Corporate table for 5/$1000. Rsvp/pay at:

Thursday, May 18, 2000

A Soliloquy of the sweetest kind

While it was raining buckets outside, buckets of champagne were being poured inside at the Soliloquy launch party on Thursday, May 18, at the rich Bloom Ballroom. Right at the door, as I was packing up my umbrella, I was greeted by Catherine Winchester's mother. She was acting as a gracious hostess, directing people to check in. After promptly receiving my champagne, I chatted with Diana Butler of iXL, Alfred Leach of iframe and Ed Guy of Venture Resources. After sampling some dumplings and sushi, I meandered towards the back, amidst deep, red velvet curtains, and chatted with Daniel Zen of Zen Digital and Amy Brownstein, who’s taking her publicist career in new directions. She was wearing a fabulous brocade suit.

And now the moment we'd all been waiting for. The lights dimmed and the microphone was turned on. Co-founder,  CEO and CTO, our gracious and elegant hostess Catherine Winchester, walked onto the stage in a gorgeous maroon gown. She was joined by the dashing Mark Lucente in classic tux. Together they began taking us through a demo of the site. Currently working on Acer, with plans to work on on C|net, users can have "conversations" with an intelligent agent online. You can ask it various questions, in normal human language, and the agent will prompt you for more questions to narrow your search. You can ask for things like a "fast laptop" and it will know you mean a Pentium III with 600 megahertz. Or maybe it will ask if you want a Celeron chip. The agent will create tables of the results that you can view and compare them. After Mark's demo, Catherine announced the launch of their new logo. Yes, sadly the little portly man has gone the way of discarded logos. He has been replaced by an equally elegant Shakespearean theme with the purple curtains. If you look closely, the "S" resembles a dollar sign. Those Soliloquists are so clever! Before the networking resumed, Mark revealed some of their future plans: scaling the software to include other languages, speech and pictures -- so you can really hear and see the agent.

After this impressive display I was introduced to the charming Mark’s fiancee, Cathleen, and his parents, Edward and Helaine, in from Mobile, Alabama, and on their way to Italy for their anniversary. On the other side of the room, I met Gabrielle Kelly, VP of The Health Accord, fresh in from Australia. She was chatting with Alein Stein, director of international licensing for Scholastic. Stephen King of Virtual Growth made a rare appearance with his brother Neil, who works at King-O'Rourke car dealership, the family business. Christina Dolan of told me she is definitely coming to the Black tie next week, and John McGann of JMD Interactive told me about his new office/retail space. Sounds neat! Just before dashing back out into the torrential downpour, I met Richard Cullingford, the natural language engineer who comes from a seasoned and several times tenured career at the U of Connecticut and Georgia Tech. His wife, Sylvia, does programming for business applications for direct marketing. I also had a lovely chat with Anna Wheatley of AlleyCatNews, who looked like her business's success is treating her well. And as the 80s music got louder and the heady cocktail chatter turned into sexy dancing, I bid adieu and went my way.

Wednesday, May 17, 2000

UPOCkets of FUN

As the new media networking reaches new heights of trendiness, launch parties are getting more exclusive and set in more unique settings. Take UPOCs launch party, for instance. It was at a FUN place, in a former garage, that has a blue awning with white letters. Other than knowing its physical address, it's pretty challenging to find. But never fear! We've been there a few times now, so I have it on our route. While UPOC is a stand-alone name (similar to eBay and Amazon), the name was derived from a burst of inspiration Gordon got while standing in front of a 1,000-year old Buddist temple while trekking through Nepal on his honeymoon with wife, Kira.

Among the guests that kicked off the VIP soiree were Donna Campbell of Eriksson, Stan Schuman, managing director and Toby Koppell of Allen & Company; Ariane de Bonvisin of Time Warner's venture fund; and David Eun of London Arts Alliance, (a big VC firm that invested in and Also there early, enjoying some sushi, were Peter Kelner of Global Bridge Ventures; Mark Caron, who co-founded Omnipoint and now is onto Mobile Spring, a wireless incubator; and Fred & Joanne Wilson of Flatiron Partners and MOUSE, respectively. Larry Lux, Troy Tyler of Smart Ray, Cherry Arnold of LC39, and noted screenwriter and editor for Michael Creighton, Michael Bakes, all came to congratulate the UPOC team and sip champagne.

Before the night ended, Melissa Ceria of Harper's Bazaar made a buzz with her photog as Paul Kim and Alison Poor played DJs. Other content and VC types mingled amidst the video displays on the walls, and felt cool for being in a place where Fiona Apple and Eminen have partied in the past.

Scheming Media schemes and dreams

At least three trays of chicken fingers and two plates of duck pizza  went past me. All around the room were platters of celery and carrot sticks. And as I chatted with Darryl La Rue and David McKie of about the LA scene, which is where they’re from, we saw more plates of food coming out. The packed Scheming Media party at Velvet Lounge on Mulberry Street on Wednesday, May 17, drew content and media folks from all around. Simon Feldman of Content Arts and Gregg Weiss were going over some VR work on his laptop and standing not far off were Esther Goette ( strategist), Claudia Nitz (Bauer Publishing) and Isabel Kirsch of Heading upstairs, I saw Justin Zimmerman of the City of Yokohoma and Mark Baer of NYSE. After the perilous climb in the darkened stairway, I met up with attorney Havona Madama, who forewarned me of the perils we women have with multiple parties on our dance card. A few weeks ago, as she attempted to hit a few events in one night, a heel broke from her shoe. What to do? Thank heavens there’s an Old Navy on almost every corner! Jan Bergthun of told me of her firm’s deals on toner, and before heading back down from the smoking lounge I chatted with three cool, collected women—Michele Drohan, COO of, Megan Foley of Hellmuth, Obata, and Kassabaum. The night was young, but I knew Thursday would be a busy one, so I retired early.

Media Life magazine

If you're involved in media buying for the web, and who isn't on some level, then you should check out the newest mag to come onto the scene! Media Life magazine is getting started by the dynamic and effervescent founding editor-in-chief Gene Ely and witty and with-it senior editor Jeremy Slossberg. I'll be contributing too -- writing about advertising on the web and you can sign up for your free subscription at This new web site will be aimed at media directors, media planners, and media buyers and is scheduled to be online as of May 17th. Free for registered subscribers, this mag will cover the entire media industry, with sections on new media, TV, cable, magazines, and newspapers. The emphasis will be on the Web as an advertising medium and their goals are two-fold: first, to inform people who specialize in new media about the latest developments in the marketplace; and second, to relate major trends in new media to the overall media marketplace--a valuable but often missing perspective on the hype-addled Internet scene. Just two of the things that set Media Life apart from other publications is that they do not believe that new media stories are only about finance, nor do they believe that being the first to announce someone else's announcement is equivalent to being a good reporter. Gene also launched the award-winning print magazine "Inside Media" and is applying his industry know-how and journalistic talents to bring a new level of value to the concept of "trade publication." So anyone who is a media decision-maker is entitled to a free subscription, and may enroll at Send me your tips and good things to write about!

Tuesday, May 16, 2000

Hillcrest High takes the Prize

For the second year in a row, MOUSE conducted their Online School Newspaper contest for area high schools. Done in part with iXL, students from 17 schools could take various Photoshop and HTML workshops from iXL-ers Elizabeth Seifert, Ben Soper and Maureen Zeccola. Among the schools participating were the School of Performing Arts and the Center for Career Education, which is a school for homeless children. There were three winning schools, but the experience is what really counted. Third place and Palm Pilots, went to the Lower East Side Preparatory school, whose site had clean navigation, expandability and great content. Second place, more Palm Pilots and leather cases went to the Staten Island Tech School, whose site had amazing DHTML pages and java rollovers. First place and Toshiba laptops for each student went to Hillcrest High. Their newsletter features elegant rollovers and navigation, and the articles were among the most well-written pieces of online journalism I’ve seen! There was much festivity and excitement among the students, the teacher-advisors and the organizations involved. Afterwards I got to chat with Hope Harley of Bell Atlantic, who donated space for the ceremony.

The Internet goes to Broadway

Just when you thought you’d seen it all, and you couldn’t bear to attend one more panel of men angling to get their agenda out or standing amongst the idle chatter of a cocktail party with tasteless food, here comes Iconocast’s “Web Attack.” Styled as a Broadway musical, the show will be, well, like a show! And in theater tradition, Iconocast held a “Backers Audition” for the show’s investors…er, attendees at Metronome on Tuesday, May 16. Amidst set designs, I chatted with Susie Silverman, worldwide event coordinator for 24/7 Media, and Katie Scheding, senior director strategic partnerships for Juno. Stuart Gibbel (VP, marketing, Cyber Dialogue) and I caught up after not seeing each other for about five years, and Ken Magill of iMarketing News and I chatted about the positive and negative aspects of NYC and Buffalo. Mid-way through the evening, we were entertained with a song from the conference/show by an actual Broadway star! Wow –just hearing her sing about big signature files in high C sent chills up my spine! Just before leaving, I said a quick “hello” to Peter Adams of Primary Knowledge and bid Michael Tchong a fond farewell.

Digital Hollywood in Silicon Alley

What happens when you put five successful women at a table, led by another successful woman, and a meaty topic? Rich conversation and informative dialogue, that’s what. I was lucky to be included in a panel at Digital Hollywood with Oxygen Media editor-in-chief Sarah Bartlett, Strategic Marketing VP Lisa Kraynak, Loretta Staples of Scient and Columbia Tristar Interactive’s (Sony) Lynda Keeler on Tuesday, May 16. The sharp-witted Alice O’Rourke of NYNMA led our discussion, and comments from the audience reflected the conversational aspect of our panel. Since our topic was “Internet Media & Women = E-Content + E-commerce,” our discussion focused on the role women play in the internet landscape and workforce. Sarah and Loretta brought up some statistics from the recent Pew Study on gender and purchasing. The study showed that 10% of adult American women went online for the first time within the past six months, and that while women have arrived online, they’re still not dominant. Their shopping behavior still typifies the stereotypes that exist.

Stereotypes do exist for a certain reason, and despite our mothers burning bras and telling us we can “do it all,” -- be Superwomen in the ‘80s and have a full career and family life -- that reality just isn’t here yet. And despite the Internet being heralded as the great leveler, the traditional stereotypes have simply transitioned online as well. For instance, several recent studies have shown that lists of CEOs include a handful are women. Now companies like iVillage, Oxygen and even Sony’s interactive division, of which Lynda is running, have large percentages of women in top management positions. Women are still running strong in areas they’ve always been strong in: communication, creative, women-centered, family and entertainment based organizations. But men are still running the game in many of the traditionally male-centered industries: finance, business-to-business and government.

When I’m out each night at various new media events, it’s distressing to see how the men outnumber the women. And the women I do meet are not the CEOs, CFOs or COOs. Many are in the traditional fields – marketing, account executives and creative areas. This is good; don’t get me wrong. We’re seeing more women in roles that allow them to shape our public perception of products and services – that’s a powerful situation. But frankly, I want to see more women running more of the show!

Lisa commented that the Internet is creating a level playing field for women to learn about finances, and that online games and social activism are areas in which they will also enjoy utilizing the Internet and exerting power in the world. The Internet is still one of the greatest opportunities for women, men, children and the disenfranchised to become empowered, gain a voice and exert influence in our world. It’s a mixture of idealism and activism, but with the groundwork laid down for us and the tools at our fingertips, let’s continue utilizing them and strengthening our influence. A poignant close to the panel was a comment from Hillary Rettig, editor of Technocopia, who was in audience. She wanted us to remember and note that there is a large number of women out there who are very techno-savvy. And they’re not afraid of technology or the Internet. She also mentioned that many of the e-entrepreneurs and women CEOs aren’t necessarily out at the industry events because, like their male counterparts, they’re in the office running their businesses! C’est vrai.

Monday, May 15, 2000

Bright lights, big books

Black, silver and peach balloons covered the ceiling and tickled our heads as the ribbons dangled below. The jazz quartet played tunes to tap your toes to, and as I looked out the 23rd floor window of the Rhiga Royal hotel to Times Square, I had a bird’s-eye view of the new FT building. Formerly the ITT building, the FT building was unveiled in a ceremony with Dan Ackroyd, the spokesperson, on Monday, May 15th—Financial Times Day, as was announced by Mayor Guiliani. It also was a celebration of the marriage between and Prentice Hall, so we’ll be seeing a bevy of books coming from these titles too. One book, “Funky Business,” was being promoted at this soiree. It was written by Dr. Kjell Nordstrom and Jonas Ridderstrale. Kjell teaches at the Stockholm School of Economics and is on the board of directors of and Jonas, also a teacher at the Stockholm School of Economics, backs one of Sweden’s funkiest galleries. I also chatted with Jeffrey Pepper, VP/Publisher of Prentice Hall PTR, Bill Webber, executive editor of Introductory Psychology Humanities and Social Sciences, and Mark Dalton, president of Pearson Technology Group. Jan Lapidoth of Bookhouse Publishing and Britt-Marie Hesselback of SpeakersNet were two other fine folks that I got to chat with before we stood for some pictures, stared at the pretty FT sign and went our separate ways way home.

Friday, May 12, 2000

Bits & Bytes -and- Shakers & Stirrers 5/12/00

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 Announces New Hires
Agresta Joins ThinAirApps
Millard Leaves Prudential Amidst Acquisition
Everett Named CEO at Rainbow-Primedia
Kiernan Lands VP and GM Job at Wisdom

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

Grand Central Partners With Healthcare Companies
MOUSE's Announces Annual Volunteer Appreciation Party
Startup Launches Service for Facilities Managers Launches Ad Campaign and to Develop Restaurant Review and Reservation Site Closes Financing Round
VintageGreetings Teams Up With I-Drive

The Cyber Scene in Atlanta ~ by Frank Wrenn

More news from Atlanta’s hot cyber scene. Know of Atlanta events or news? Write me at

Smashing Launch

Atlanta’s Rock Bottom Brewery was the home of a rocking launch party for on May 4. With over 350 people attending, CEO Bryan Wempen tells me it was “a smashing success.” After closing several deals at the event, he’d love to launch once a week! After the official unveiling of the site,, the crowd enjoyed an evening of food, Rock Bottom’s own beer (which I highly recommend) and over 40 prizes, including a Mitsuba computer and $50,000 in job postings. The event was co-sponsored by and was held in conjunction with its national staffing conference.  Just incorporated in April, specializes in Online Recruiting. It’s currently negotiating with two Angel funds, seeking $500,000 in the Angel Round.

Other Atlanta News

Entertainment Weekly named Atlanta’s the  “most addictive website of 1999.” MediaMetrix ranked it the #1 site on the Internet in usage days per visitor in 1999. Now, eTour is expanding its “personal tour of the web” to Microsoft’s WebTV and its one million subscribers. As part of a new agreement, eTour will be fully integrated throughout WebTV’s Internet service. Integration is planned for launch during the second half of 2000. eTour CEO Roger Barnette called WebTV and eTour “a perfect match.”  In other eTour news, on  May 15, eTour announced a strategic partnership with eMachines, the third largest vendor of desktop PCs sold through U.S. retailers. Under terms of the agreement, eMachines will feature eTour as the exclusive tenant on the “Surf” key located on the eMachine’s Internet enhanced keyboards.

Another high tech firm is coming to Atlanta. OpenAvenue Inc. ( announced on May 3 the opening of its new Atlanta headquarters. OpenAvenue is a privately owned, Web-based B2B company specializing in hosting, management, and distribution for worldwide collaborative software development projects. According to CEO Paul Hessinger, “Atlanta is centrally located and provides a dynamic market built upon a rapidly growing high technology sector…. We look forward to becoming a key contributor to its success.” 

Atlanta’s NetVendor Inc. ( announced May 8 that it has secured $52 million in its third round of private funding. The transaction was led by Internet Capital Group, Inc, and followed by investors Wheatley Partners, RRE Ventures, CSFB Private Equity and Bluevector LLC. NetVendor provides B2B solutions, enabling suppliers to establish Internet sales channels and integrate into multiple e-marketplaces.

And speaking of funding, according to the National Venture Capital Association ( and Venture Economics (, Georgia companies had the second highest percentage growth in venture capital investments during the first quarter of 2000. Quarter 1 VC investments totaled $700 million, up from $122 million for the first quarter of 1999, a growth of 472%. Illinois claimed the number one spot with a percentage growth of 850%. Georgia ranked #5 in total amount invested in the first quarter trailing only California, Massachusetts, New York and Texas.

Thursday, May 11, 2000

The 4th Annual Webby Awards

"Let me tell you a great story about Tiffany. When she was six I threw a rolling surprise birthday party for her mother. We started in one place, would take a cable car and go to another. When 11:00 PM rolled around, we hired a babysitter to come and take her home. Well, Tiffany flat out refused. She asked why she had to go and when heard the explanation, said I'm stayin' till the end of the party! She knows how to party and loves to throw parties." Dr. Leonard Schlain, noted writer and doctor, beamed with pride as he spoke enthusiastically about his daughter, Tiffany, president and founder of The Webby Awards, and her staying power with parties.

I spoke with Dr. Schlain in one corner of the VIP pre-party for the 4th Annual Webby Awards. This was the biggest extravaganza yet in the Webby’s history and in an unprecedented move they took over three sacred sites, all next to each other, atop the hill. The austere and serene Episcopalian Grace Church, built in 1898, was the setting for the VIP party. As guests arrived in limos and walked up the red carpeted steps, 1940s-style paparazzi screamed, flashed cameras and took furious notes. Once inside the church accappella songs from the SoVoSo (SOul to the VOice to the SOng) singers filled the interior, dressed as angels, and suspended from risers in the church. Provacateurs in outlandishly outrageous hats and gloriously stylish dresses and tuxedos greeted and walked you into the courtyard for the VIP reception.

As the champagne poured, I interviewed a glittery line of digerati, who were also judges for various categories like Tina Brown of Talk Media (Print and Zines); Howard Rheingold of Rheingold Associates (Community); Charles Altschul of Cooper Union (Education); Jeff and Kim of Chic Simple (Living--which was the category I nominated in); Dr. Dean Edell, medical broadcaster (Radio); Justin Segal, co-founder of (Services) and Rosalind Hein, International Psychic (Weird). I also got to meet with VIPs invited for the evening like Henri Poole of Vivid Studios and Jordan Schlain (Tiff's brother); nominees like John Halcyon Styn of Cocky, the Monterey Bay Acquarium, the team from and Atom

At one point, A petite older woman with a classic knit gold-toned dress inquired, “Can I say something?” “Of course I responded.” “Well, I’m Bela Farrow, past president, and first female president of the Nob Hill Association. I want to say I am so pleased and very supportive of all you people. I supported you all the way and think it’s great what you’ve done.” Her comment rang deeply because there was controversy with this new media takeover of this historic and exclusive part of town.

It was partially controversial because never before had an event taken over the austere Grace Church, the Masonic Auditorium across California Street and the historic Huntington Park across Taylor Street, which was entirely covered in tents and closed to traffic. Street lampposts within a 10-block radius had banners heralding the Webby's. Outside the Masonic Auditorium a group of dancers and riggers called Project Bandaloop scaled and bounced off the smooth marble pillars, wowing guests as they arrived. Inside the auditorium lobby, the Vainglorious booth was set up. With mirrors and Hollywood-style lights surrounding the booth, people were encouraged to place their hands on the designated mats and stick their face through a cutout in the center. Participants were encouraged to mug for a camera, only to realize to their shock and amusement that their faces were being projected onto the 30-foot high screen in the main auditorium! Another main attraction was the nominee alter where nominees for Webby's could toss pennies into a pond with the Webby Award, take a Webby wooden nickel or brightly-colored rabbits foot keychain. There were candles, mission-style gods to pray to, garlic and other good-luck talismans surrounding the altar for praying and luck purposes.

Once the show got started Tony Award-winning actor Alan Cumming emceed the show with aplomb and celebrity guests like John Perry Barlow, Sandra Bernhard and Tina Brown handed out awards with decorum. There was even a surprise visit by new Internet phenomenon Mahir Cagri -- the Turkish stud! Stemming from Schlain's film background the award previews were beautifully choreographed visuals, the most humorous being the lead-in to the Politics & Law category with a parody of the dumb-guy Budweiser commercial starring Bill Gates, George Bush and Janet Reno.

After the ceremony, complete with a marching band intermission, guests filed out of the auditorium and across the street to the Huntington Park after party. Lucky winners went to the Press circle and People's Voice winners (chosen on the web) came to me for a quick interview with moi for the Web cast. Across the street DJ Spooky and Scanner mixed sounds with blasthaus/b.o.l.t's visuals. DJ Claire, essence and The Hot Club of San Francisco also played to the crowds slurping up ice cream sandwiches, sipping beers and sampling choice hors d'oeuvres from local restaurants around town. The Fluff O'Matic machine -- a car wash for people with hot pink feather boas to "fluff" oneself -- entertained some, while others just stood by and watching, laughing.

The party was going in full swing till 2:30 AM and with all the after parties lined up, too, there was no end to this night. Alas -- a 7:00 AM flight forced me to retire "early" and like the homing pigeon, return home. Getting to experience the Webby's in person was a wonderful experience. And it's a credit to the entire staff of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences and the Webby Awards that deserve major applause for putting together a phenomenal show.