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By JULES ALLEN
© St. Petersburg Times, published May 3, 1999
A few months ago, mentioning "portal" in conjunction with your Web site would have squadrons of vultures, sorry, venture capitalists, parachuting from the sky. Checkbooks in hand, they would throw money at you for a tiny slice of the potential wealth that Ferret Watcher's Monthly could bring you and, most important, them. Just as the Web site banner advertising business was turned on its head by the free services, the little guy's portal opportunity could go the same way with services such as those from iSyndicate. Web site traffic? It's the content, stupid!
www.hipmama.com/Being a Hip Mama, I suppose. I was turned on to this one by a Tech Times reader who mentioned that mothers like me(!) would get a charge from it. Expecting a barrage of nasties, I double-checked the firewall and fired up Netscape for a peek. Surprise, surprise. It is a nicely done, fledgling site with a lot of potential.
www.laffnow.com/humor/answerm.htmThe very term answering machine seems so archaic in today's world of v-mail, e-mail, v-e-mail and other-mail that has yet to get funding. Cleaner than the Jerky Boys, this site brought a crinkle or two to my mouth with the cheeky things that people record in lieu of a sensible answering machine message. A much better site would have been actual recordings of these messages. But who am I to complain?
www.InconstantMoon.com/It is claimed that the moon's gravitational pull affects our mood almost as much as it affects the tide. Humans are largely water-based, and our feelings wax and wane in gyration with the large cheese object in the sky, or so some say. This site is a treat for those interested in celestial bodies of the extraterrestrial kind and has more moon info than should rightfully belong in one place. Personally, I find my moods pushed and pulled by how much RAM I've got and how fresh the coffee is. Kind of makes me want to pack up and move to Mars. Got any boxes?
www.last-men.com/There are two types of adults: those who still secretly enjoy the odd peek at a comic book and those who are in total denial. Whoops! I slipped into my alter ego, Sweeping Generalization Man, who is ready to slice the world into no more than three groups at the most. I'll find myself standing in an airport concession stand, flipping pages and musing that today's comics are an interesting bunch with the obvious departure of clear right versus wrong. They're still good for kids but, like Bugs Bunny and chums, there is subtle humor and entertainment for adults alike. Maybe the world is divided into those who have grown up and those that refuse to do so? Tough to tell.
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