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IQ News: The Mining Co. Opens Stores

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Figuring that human interaction will make a clear difference in the overcrowded e-commerce marketplace, The Mining Co., New York, is expanding its guide concept--in which people give Internet recommendations to Mining Co. visitors--to the selling of goods on the Web.
The concept launches today with the company's first "guide stores" which will offer consumers buying tips on videos from as many as 620 of its Web consultants. The launch of the guide video stores--as they're currently being called --will eventually be expanded to include other product categories such as books, music and computer software. The initiative proves that The Mining Co. is becoming less reliant on ad revenue, as it pursues income from electronic commerce.
The expansion into books, music and software will probably come after Christmas, a company spokesman said. The 70 or so guide video stores are linking to individual guide sites which reside on The Mining Co. site. Videos were the first product category available, primarily because of a deal struck recently between The Mining Co. and Web-based video retailer, BigStar.com.
As to the roles the guide will play, each will offer consumers recommendations on titles that pertain to their area of expertise on topics such as health, computing and travel in exchange for a bounty or flat fee from BigStar.com that will be shared with The Mining Co. Similar deals are being pursued with Web merchants like BarnesandNoble.com and CDnow, a Mining Co. company spokesman said.