IQ Interactive Special Report – Bullet Points: shots from around the web

DO YOU MOO-HOO?
Moo-ve over Bessie–there’s a new cow in town! As a part of Cow Parade New York 2000, nearly 500 life-size, fiberglass cows have invaded the city, grazing streets, sidewalks, parks and piers. Among the bovine bunch, two “udderly” unique animals–ready and wired for the dot-com revolution–stand out from the rest of the herd. The bright purple duo, created by Santa Clara, Calif.-based Yahoo!, represent the first-ever Internet-connected cows.
Visitors to Manhattan’s South Street Seaport Pier 17 can surf the Net and check and send e-mail from the cows’ Web kiosks. With trendy shops and restaurants, the lower Manhattan pier presents the perfect pasture for the purple pair, says Cindy Bishop, senior brand manager for Yahoo! The guerrilla marketing effort by Yahoo! hopes to capitalize on the traffic generated by the tourist trap. “The destination appeals to people from New York, as well as tourists,” she says. “When people travel, they really need to access their e-mail and the Internet.” Cupertino, Calif.-based Telocity, a provider of integrated broadband services to the residential market, is providing the “electronic milk” for the kiosks that will be powered by digital subscriber line technology (DSL).
Yahoo! always looks for unexpected marketing opportunities, such as the connected cows, to build its brand, says Bishop. “Yahoo! is known to be fun loving and carefree,” she explains. “We go out of our way to get into people’s lives in a tangible way outside the virtual world.”
Right now, Cow Parade, which runs through Labor Day, is the talk of the five boroughs of “Moo York City.” Decorated by an eclectic group ranging from world-renowned artists to school children, the 500-cow showcase is expected to be seen by more than 25 million people. After the exhibit’s 10-week run, the cows will be put up for auction with proceeds benefiting New York charities.
–Ann M. Mack
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RIFFAGE.COM ON!
If you’re having trouble shaking your booty in cyberspace or just find it lonely, take heart. Riffage.com, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based music site, has purchased the legendary (at least in San Francisco) Great American Music Hall. The 5,000-square-foot music and comedy venue, which has hosted performances by The Grateful Dead, Duke Ellington and Johnny Cash, is said to be profitable and has plenty of room for concert goers, be they Netheads or metal-heads.–Janis Mara
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VIRTUAL WORKOUT
Start fat, get thin. Eat 100 eclairs for breakfast and run 100 miles on a treadmill before lunch without having a coronary.
Then participate in up to five Olympic-class events this summer without breaking a sweat.
London-based Bits Studios’ Virtual Athlete (VA) program lets average Joes compete in Virtual Games. The first starts Sept. 15 and features 40 different collectible jocks
a la Pokƒmon and training/ feeding games, all downloadable free from www.vathlete.com.
Feed them, train them, overfeed and overtrain them and, like those Tamogotchi pets, they’ll let you know when they’ve had too little or too much, um, attention. And since, in VA time, a day equals a week, if they aren’t working out they get corpulent quick.
Bits Studios director of marketing Al Rothman says the company will monetize the product with sponsored athletes (with branded tanktops and clothing), games and banner ads.
–Karl Greenberg
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TOO FAST
Just what the volatile dot-com world needed–a new Web site that has turned tracking the deaths of such former VC-favorites as Boo.com and Digital Entertainment Network into a game, similar to a celebrity dead pool. Called FuckedCompany.com, the site’s name and logo spoof that of Fast Company, which bills itself as a magazine of the “new economy.” It just seemed natural, somehow, to compare the two.–Jennifer Owens
FuckedCompany
-Revels in bad news and bad puns, as in BBQ.com was “fried to a crisp.”
-Ample use of the word fuck in all its many forms.
-Features Top 100 list of players who have collected the most fuck points.
-Those who sign on can play for money or stock from fucked companies.
Fast Company
-Revels in career help and weekly themes, such as Leadership, Social Justice and Learning.
-Ample use of archived material.
-Features list of “Staff Favorite” sites, including two on digital storytelling (dStory.com and storycenter.org).
-Those who sign on can join “Company of Friends,” a 25,000-member readers’ network.
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ONLINE MUSIC, OFFLINE
Roll out the red carpet and dial up the modem as the 3rd Annual Yahoo! Internet Life Online Music Awards returns to Studio 54 in New York on July 24 to honor those who might be giants online. Hosted this year by actor and comedian John Leguizamo, the awards feature 11 categories, including best overall music site, best new site and best label site. Netizens choose the nominees, while a 43-member “academy,” consisting of such industry heavyweights as Recording Industry Association of America head Hilary Rosen, VH1 president John Sykes and soul singer Isaac Hayes, chooses the winners. The event itself will be Webcast, natch, beginning at 8 p.m.
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CAN YOU DIG IT?
Andrew Kramer, Yahoo! Internet Life publisher and the award show’s executive producer, spoke with IQ about this year’s event.–JO
IQ: How is this year’s event different than the previous ones?
Andrew Kramer: Last year, the transformation was that technology was sort of center stage and it came around to be focused on the artist and what they’re doing. Now this year, it’s that the climate continues to heat up in the online music space with both parties trying to represent themselves as best as they can.
What is the academy looking for in a music site?
We look at it from the perspective of the consumer, and it’s a matter of what is available, how easy it is to get at what you want. When it comes to best Internet-only album or single, it’s the best album or single that was released online first. It’s just artists that see where the future is going and understand it.
Have you talked to Isaac Hayes about his votes?
Suffice it to say, we’re very excited about our involvement with Isaac, which began last year. With Shaft and everything that’s going on, I think people will be pleasantly surprised when they dial into the Webcast or attend the event, for those who are lucky enough to be invited to see what Isaac (who will be performing) will be doing.
Do you have a favorite music site?
(Laughs) I have to remain agnostic. As publisher and executive producer, I have to say I like all of the nominees, and I like all of our sponsors.