Magazine article Information Today

Fall Internet World '99 Conference

Magazine article Information Today

Fall Internet World '99 Conference

Article excerpt

Products at the show were exciting and revealed several new trends

Another exciting walk on the wild side: That's definitely what it was like in October as exhibitors were setting up at New York's Jacob Javits Center for the Fall Internet World '99 conference, the world's largest Internet show. Dodging forklifts and skirting huge wooden boxes, my associates Pete Stair, president of Mycroft Information, and Stephen Abram, vice president of IHS Micromedia, Ltd., and I scouted the acres of exhibit floor space and talked to hundreds of exhibitors as we prepared for our talk, "What's Hot at the Show."

Since we have covered the Internet World shows from the early days in Boston and San Jose, California, we quickly developed an overall impression. This year we found the products--centered around several themes--to be more exciting and interesting than at the last few shows. The following are our impressions. We make no claims that the products and services selected are the best of their type, but rather they are a representative sample of current important trends in the world of the Internet.

New Neighborhoods

New communities and ways of exchanging communications and goods are popping up at an unbelievable rate. Just as post-World War II housing developments fueled the U.S. economy in the 1950s, new online communities are now powering the Internet economy. Sharing and exchanging are at the core of these developments.

BusinessBots, Inc. ( is a business-to-business (also known as B2B or BXB) marketplace. With its Java Agent-enabled Marketplace (JAM), BusinessBots enables continuous double-sided trading over the Internet, providing a different user experience as compared to auctions. According to the company, the Internet is rapidly evolving from isolated content into content linked to transactions, and is forming a remarkable network of dynamic and liquid electronic marketplaces. This mirrors the historic evolutionary pattern of the financial markets: moving from classifieds to auction houses to real-time trading through exchanges--the "continuous double-sided exchange." BusinessBots is currently developing targeted solutions for a number of industries: financial services, chemicals, health care, high tech, telecommunications, small business, transportation, utilities, and architecture., Inc. (, formerly, has created a different type of community based on experts' experience. The site is for advisors as well as those seeking advice. It provides an expert database that lists experts/advisors by category along with their experience and their customer ratings. The site is new, but listings are growing by leaps and bounds as people share knowledge and try to locate the expertise they need.

Need to build a global project team or working group for joint development? Check out Webex ( It enables sharing and community building by providing real-time collaboration through an ActiveX 500-K plug-in--not server-based software. Webex allows users to share documents, browsers, presentations, and applications free of charge. Web-based teleconferencing is available through Webex at a lower cost than that of the traditional carriers. Webex also has a high-end WebEx Meeting Center, a multimedia Web-based meeting service for business that is available on a subscription basis. This allows companies to meeting-enable their Web sites by delivering live data collaboration, audio and video conferencing, and full application and desktop remote control through a standard browser.

eCircles, Inc. ( has a goal to revolutionize the way people keep in touch. Its Web site says: "It's for families. It's for friends. It's for teams. It's for clubs. Heck, it's for any group looking for a place to share, plan, and indulge in each other's company. It's your own personal space for getting together and keeping in touch whether you're all in the same time zone or not. …

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