Bits & Bytes
GETTING HITCHED? JUST CLICK ON `WEDDING'
IT WAS BOUND TO HAPPEN IN the age of digital networking. If men and women can meet and become romantically involved via the Internet, why not give them a place where they can plan that happy wedding day?
The Wedding Channel (www.weddingchannel.com) will offer couples a place where they can get information and tips as well as do their shopping for the big event. Engaged couples will be able to get advice from Beverly Clark, a wedding consultant and author of A Wedding to Remember, and chat with other couples about wedding-day jitters or the hassles of selecting caterers and wedding music. Through a partnership with CitySearch, the site also helps brides and grooms locate local merchants--caterers, reception halls, jewelry stores, and bridal shops. The couples can even plan for their honeymoon, booking travel arrangements through a link with World View, an online travel agency.
The site, expected to go live on July 16, was developed by Tim Gray, who knows firsthand the difficulty in planning for a wedding: He got married last year. Gray plans to keep the site free to marriage-minded Web surfers by relying on ads and sponsors.EDITED BY PAUL M. ENGReturn to top
NET TETE-A-TETES WILL GET A BIT EASIER
INTERNET BUFFS HAVE long used a Unix program called "Talk" to conduct one-on-one typed Net conversations--much like the popular "instant messages" on America Online. But to use Talk you need the exact address of the cybernaut you want to converse with. Now, a startup called PeopleLink Inc. is giving all Net users the same AOL-like easy messaging feature.
The free, advertiser-supported service requires only that users register with PeopleLink's server (www.peoplelink.com) and establish a list of fellow subscribers. The server keeps track of your exact address and those on your list. When the PeopleLink software is launched, the people in your group who are online and surfing the Net at that moment appear in a window. You just click on a name to initiate a conversation, and PeopleLink's server finds the person's address from its database and routes the messages straightaway.
PeopleLink won't have the business all to itself, however. America Online is in the process of extending its instant messaging service to the Internet, and search-engine builder Excite plans a similar product soon.EDITED BY PAUL M. ENG Stephen H. WildstromReturn to top
PRETTY PAYCHECKS FOR CORPORATE WEB PIONEERS
FOR THE PAST TWO YEARS, companies have been scrambling to establish a presence in the vast realm of cyberspace. And while only a select few are seeing profits, "Corporate America's love affair with the Internet has created one of the hottest job markets of the decade," says Paul Gavejian, a principal of Buck Consultants Inc., a human-resources consulting firm in New York. In a recent survey of 104 corporations that operate a Web site, Buck found some lucrative positions in this new market.
Of the dozen new jobs created for Net ventures, the highest position is "vice-president, online," earning an average of $109,900 annually. Rounding out the top five: licensing manager ($99,200), director of sales and marketing ($94,700), director of business development ($93,900), and Web general manager/administrator ($72,600). Those are pretty hefty salaries, considering that only 14% of those polled say that their Web sites are used primarily to generate revenue.EDITED BY PAUL M. ENGReturn to top