Thursday, October 05, 2000

The Cyber Scene in Atlanta ~ by Frank Wrenn


Hundreds of Atlanta's digital elite showed up to the NETCENTRIC
Super Party on Thursday, October 5. I had been eagerly awaiting the
event for a couple of months, and it did not disappoint.

Sponsored by companies calling themselves "Atlanta's HighTech
SuperFriends," the party featured beer by Guinness, food by Eatzi's,
and everyone's favorite (at least in Japan): KARAOKE! The "High Tech
SuperFriends" included Nexchange, Interland, 24/7 Media, eCompany
Now, Greenmachine,, Air2Web, Ant Farm Interactive,
SocketPR, Perform-IT, Akamai, Newton Park, and Pivotry.

My colleague Wendy Wilenzick, project manager for Yankelovich
MONITOR's eTrends, and I arrived at the Super Party's trendy
location, The Crescent Room, shortly after 7:00 PM.

The Crescent Room is hip, and the telling sign is that the name
of the club is nowhere to be found; only a crescent moon above the
doorway indicated that we were at the right place.

Heading straight for the food line, I ran into a familiar face,'s Lauren Benner. After a quick chicken salad wrap and
some delicious fresh mozzarella, I talked to Planet Jam's Mike
Becker (EVP-Business Development).

After some prodding of the crowd from the karaoke dude, Justin
Dunne, a free lance copywriter finally broke the ice with a rousing,
animated rendition of "All My Loving." He was followed by
Nexchange's Amanda Wolfe, whose full, passionate voice wooed the
crowd. While I was worried that no one would want to perform after
these two energetic entertainers, my fears were unfounded: Jay
Sanders and Ayana McReynolds of Newton Park sang "What's Love
Got to Do With It."

Later, while I was waiting on my Guinness, Wendy Wilenzick struck
up a conversation with Michael Szomjassy (Principal, EMCO Executive
Management Services), Shawn Rastogi (Software Engineer, Mediaocean)
and James Duncan (Financial Consultant, Merrill Lynch). We talked
for a while, and then I noticed perhaps the most electrifying
karaoke performance of the night. Nexchange co-founder Joe Michaels
was performing a stirring rendition of the Bee Gee's classic,
Night Fever, complete with dance moves. Overheard: "Oh my God!
He KNOWS every word!"

eTour readies for the Holidays, appoints new CFO

Getting set for the Holiday Season, eTour has launched "eTour
Shopping." The new feature will allow eTour's 3.9 million
registered members to tour editor selected Web sites in 90 different
shopping categories.

In other eTour news, eTour has appointed John P. FitzGerald as
Chief Financial Officer. He joins eTour from CheckFree Corporation,
where he was Vice-President of Finance. According to eTour CEO Roger
Barnette, "John was the ideal choice.... He has a unique blend of
expertise in small business growth and development, experience in
dealing with external constituencies including the Wall Street
analyst community, and a diverse background in operational finance
for new economy companies."

WebMD CEO, Board Member step down

WebMD Corporation announced last week that Jeff Arnold has resigned
from his position as Co-Chief Executive Officer. No reason was given
for his departure. Martin J. Wygod has assumed the position of sole
CEO. In the same press release, WebMD also announced the resignation
of Jim Clark from its Board of Directors. Pavan Nigam resigned as
Chief Technology Officer on October 4.

According to Arnold, "In the last two years, we have put
together the assets required for WebMD to take a leading role in
the evolution of healthcare. Now the focus is on streamlining the
organization and delivering maximum value to shareholders. I am
confident that the team in place can successfully lead this effort."

Upon announcement of Jeff Arnold's departure, WebMD stock prices
were at an all-time low. While stock prices have begun to rise
slightly, Jeff Arnold's fortunes have not. Arnold's 12,000 square-
foot Buckhead mansion which he was renovating caught fire on
October 17. While there was extensive damage, Arnold says he wants
to rebuild.

And while Arnold may rebuild his Atlanta home, WebMD will not
rebuild itself in Atlanta. With Jeff Arnold out of the picture,
the company plans to move to New York.

Margaritaville, anyone?

Atlanta's Incanta, Inc, a provider of broadband content
applications and services, has announced that Jimmy Buffett will
join its board of advisors. Maybe he could sing a few songs at a
future Cocktails with Courtney? makes my life easier

After buying a high-rise condo downtown, I'm ready to make the
move from my Buckhead abode. But I have a busy professional life
in addition to buzzing about Atlanta's cyber scene. Luckily, coming
to my rescue was In a few moments, my address
was officially changed with the Post Office, my alma maters, as
well as a slew of magazines, credit cards, banks, and insurance
companies-all for one low fee. CFO Elizabeth
Cross encouraged me to use their services when we had lunch several
weeks ago-and am I glad she did!

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