Never Say Die

Bytes and Pieces Live on in AfterLife

Unlike Tripod and theglobe.com, AOL charges members for pages; the company recently introduced Hometown AOL, a new environment for viewing pages, with over 300 community-level interest areas. Just another project intent on cashing in on the phenomenon of mainstreaming Internet users in that AOL now allows nonmembers to take advantage of its tools. It's part of the industry's campaign to make even the most rabid technophobe a Web site guru.

These companies knew from the get-go that the real business was hooking the newbies to whom home page–building was intriguing but daunting. To that end, Tripod just upped the ante with Homepage Studio, a one-stop do-it-yourself online kit that helps old and new builders enhance their sites, also appealing to the rising wave of entrepreneurs tagging associate programs onto their pages.

With the ease of personal publishing, maybe people will be able to extend their 15 minutes ad infinitum.

Blatner is hopeful. "We're in the middle of two revolutions. One is that almost anyone who has access to the Internet can publish. Secondly, for the first time in history you can actually hold on to information without any degradation." There's no page like home.


Signal and Noise

  

Samizdat.com: Every December 1, New York arts group Creative Time stages a "Web action" for the Day Without Art, in observance of World AIDS Day; this year, they've tapped the Net's design gurus to create site banners for the general public to download. If Web designers aren't known for their politics, this is stark (and welcome) evidence to the contrary. Lance Arthur (glassdog.com) created his for his friend Brian who is HIV+; Derek Powazek (fray.com, kvetch.com) made his because "the politicians who refuse to fund [needle exchange] programs are killers." Leslie Harpold (smug.com), Alison Cornyn and Sue Johnson (www.picture-projects.com), and others have cooked up their own, but the standout is word.com's Yoshi Sodeoka's over-the-top animation: a female samurai, with sword unsheathed, who holds up a condom and winks. To browse the selection or join, check www.creativetime.org/dwa/98/ banners1pre.html...

Junkemail: Just when you thought davidbowie.com was headed for extinction, now—for those fans who can't stand to go unbranded—you can get free e-mail accounts at depechemodemail.com and garbagemail.com, courtesy of Electric Artists. At the bands' sites, "users can view, reply to, forward, move, delete, and create new e-mail messages," says the EA press release. Unfortunately, the software can't get them a life. —Austin Bunn
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