ProLaunch Seeks to Fill Large Void by Matching Users with Web Pages

By Szadkowski, Joseph | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), November 23, 1998 | Go to article overview

ProLaunch Seeks to Fill Large Void by Matching Users with Web Pages


Szadkowski, Joseph, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


A frequent frustration for Internet users is not being able to find new or interesting World Wide Web pages. In turn, for businesses with pages on the Web, the frustration lies with not being found.

Atlanta's JuxtaNet Corp. has developed a simple way to see a different Web site every time surfers open their browser. ProLaunch (www.prolaunch.com) matches registered users' likes, interests and informational needs to their ever-growing database of Web sites and tries to deliver a varied and perfect fit.

"Our staff is constantly surfing the Web looking for sites that match our criteria in that they are interesting, easy to open, updated and non-offensive," said JuxtaNet President Roger Barnette.

"We have one individual full time who reviews in excess of 200 sites per day, as well as everyone else in the company who keeps track of sites they see that might be good for the ProLaunch database."

Using ProLaunch provides surfers with an endless parade of Web sites. As an added bonus, they can earn gift-redeeming LaunchPoints for not only signing up, but also for viewing new Web sites that appear when they log on line.

However, LaunchPoints are slow to accumulate. Signing up places 300 points into an account, and users can earn up to 40 additional points every day for viewing two sites a day. But to receive a mere $10 gift certificate from J. Crew, users will need to amass 5,000 points.

The entire service is free to the user, but for a business to become part of the ProLaunch family, things get more complicated. Just hoping that ProLaunch will not only see, but decide to approve, a company's page is pretty unrealistic.

Businesses that want their site registered with ProLaunch can send them an e-mail, asking that their site be reviewed and added - although that will still not guarantee the site will be reviewed, or that it will be ever pushed to registered users.

For that service, businesses need to enter into a fee agreement that will guarantee their site is delivered to a set number of ProLaunch users who meet that client's demographic criteria. The cost of the service to businesses that want their page pushed to the 70,000 registered users varies greatly, said Mr. Barnette, who would not provide specific cost information. It depends on the number of guaranteed impressions the company wishes to buy and the demographics of the consumer it wants to reach.

The only conclusion the browser can reach based on the information provided is that while ProLaunch is great for the surfer, interested Web businesses may need to have deep pockets.

BOOKMARKED

David Siegel's book, "Secrets of a Successful Web Site" (Hayden Books, $49.99), provides clients and Web developers a behind-the-scenes look at the process of creating a Web site from concept to completion.

The book contains 15 case studies of companies and their efforts to become cyber-active. And each and every one of the studies provides a fascinating look at some major and minor corporate players, including Land Rover, Lucent Technologies and Seattle's Pyramid Breweries Inc. …

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