[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Web Superstars at COMDEX
William R. Eubank


At each computer/Internet conference that I have attended over the last two years there seems to be one presentation (that I attended) that stands out head and shoulders above the others. The reason that statement is qualified is because of the sheer volume of presentations available to attendees. At Comdex this year, Nov. 17-21, Las Vegas, Nevada, there were at least: 4 keynotes, 3 Supersessions, 5 Powerpanels, and 90 thematic sessions that covered such topics as Comdex Infocus, Technology, IT Infrastructure Solutions and Converging Channels. The position and quality of the presenters is exceptional and well worth the price of admission.

Of course, there were also hundreds of worthwhile "floor presentations" by individual exhibitors.

The session that stood out for me this time was "Web Superstars". For this session a super star was defined as an individual representing a company that is "integrating the Web into the everyday life of everyone - not just the computer elite."

The superstars I had the privilege of listening to for two hours were:

Dan Okrent - Time Inc. New Media


Stephen Riggio - Chief Operating Officer, Barnes & Noble, Inc

World's Largest Bookseller Online

Mark Cuban - President and Cofounder, AudioNet

The Broadcast Network on the Internet

Edmund Jensen - President and CEO, Visa International

Visa International

These leaders and their companies will/or have effected you and millions of other web users. Each of these gentlemen, in turn, presented their unique contribution to the world wide web.

Mr. Okrent talked about the web as a distribution channel for information via magazines--zines. This year, Time New Media will launch a new magazine directed at youth through the Internet. The Time New Media site provides a great amount of information (and articles) from its current galaxy of print magazines, as well as articles unique to the online versions. It seems that two goals exist at this site--advertising and sales of subscriptions to existing magazines. There is certainly a great deal of value in the interactive chats, value added articles and daily updates of news.

Stephen Riggio presented the Barnes and Noble concept of thousands of mini specialized bookstores all linked together through an electronic purchasing center supported through their commercial server. Find a book for example about specialized futures options trading on the Consensus, Inc. site here in Kansas City (www.USAStores.com/Consensus/) and purchase it immediately through the Barnes and Noble commerce site. In this way, Barnes & Noble expands its 1,000 physical stores to tens of thousands virtual niche feeder stores available from every computerized home.

Mark Cuban - President and Cofounder of AudioNet views the world wide web as a unique medium for the live broadcast world wide of locally produced radio/TV programs. That is, right now, you may listen in real time to (or view) specialized local sports/political/special interest events that may be broadcast locally throughout a 30 to 60 mile radius via radio/TV waves but can now be picked up any place in the world via the world wide web provided they are being broadcast through his web site. All of a sudden the 500 watt local station can have a national/international audience!!!

Here is a small sample (of over 300) broadcasts available on the site listed on November 25th:

Live Today

Robertson Stephens Fund Manager Corner with Ron Elijah
- learn about the Information Age Fund and the Value + Growth Fund today at 3:30pm CT.
Dr. Tom Nelson's Pet Show - 10am CT
All of your pet questions answered
Jim Hightower - 11am CT
How to make the government and society work better for you
A Conversation with Betsy McCaughey Ross about Health Care and other Issues - 3pm CT
YouthQuake - 7:30pm CT, Thanksgiving celebration from Plymouth, MA
Live Dallas/Fort Worth Air Traffic Control, Brought to you by Simuflite
Policescanner.com, Listen to live cops on the beat
CIA Simulation of the Crash of TWA, Flight 800

Finally, there is the service that might be found on almost any commercial web site in the near future. Mr. Edmund Jensen - President and CEO, Visa International went to a web site and found a book to purchase. He clicked on the order link and was immediately on the Barnes & Noble site ready to make a purchase - offered several options - he chose to pay by "chip card" (Visa Cash).

What is a "chip card"? A chip card is a card that looks like a credit card. Embedded into the card is an integrated circuit chip similar in functionality to computer chips used in personal computers. The chip can contain information about your relationship with the institution issuing the card - including some "stored value" (money). These chip cards will be able to be used in a wide variety of devices as detailed at the Visa web site: "that will include everything from today's point-of-sale terminals, ATMs, the Internet, and touch-tone phones, to the interactive TVs, screenphones, personal digital assistants, and cellular phones of tomorrow."

From his wallet, Mr. Edmund Jensen took a card that looked like a credit card - he then slid it into a special 3.5" disk which went into the "A" drive of his computer. With the click of his mouse, $17.95 in value was taken from his card and transferred as payment for the book to the Barnes and Noble site. When his "chip card" starts to run low on value - he can add new value through a transfer from his bank/checking account or he could purchase a new fixed value ($10, $20, $50, or $100) non-reloadable card (similar to a phone card).

When I got home, I went out online to the Barnes and Nobles site and found that the use of the chip card is not yet listed on its general site. The demonstration given at Web Superstars was a set up - a glimpse at a possible future payment method.

The chip card has been tested in many markets - a new test/demonstration is underway at this time (since early October 1997) in New York City.

Take time to visit these sites - you are certain to find something of interest to you.

World's Largest Bookseller Online
The Broadcast Network on the Internet
Visa International

William R. Eubank (Raytown High Class of 1963): Educational experience includes teaching in Alaska, China, Hong Kong, Texas, Mexico and Argentina as well as service on local and state school boards. At this time he is living at the family home in Raytown, Missouri to assist in elder care with a parent and to further his education with computers. He is a contributor to infoZine Digital Magazine (http://www.infozine.com/), Associate Online Editor for Consensus National Futures And Financial Weekly ( http://www.consensus-inc.com/) - Webmaster for Hy-Vee of Kansas City ( http://www.Hy-Vee-Stores.com/), teacher recruiter for Rotary InterCountry Teacher Exchange ( http://www.RITE-Teacher.com/) and Webmaster for the Santa Fe Railway Historical & Modeling Society ( http://www.ATSFRR.com/). He has developed fifty web sites and posted more than 14,000 pages to the World Wide Web since December 1995.

Coipyright 1997 William R. Eubank

Top of Article

Added to the WWW 12-08-97
Updated 12-08-97

Eubank Family Web

China Pictures | Texas Pictures | Cozumel Pictures | Playa Pictures | Argentina Pictures
Teaching Assignments | E.S.L. Confrence Presentations | TESOL Affiliates | E.S.L. Links
Elder Care Resources | Publications | Web Publications

Crossroads U.S.A. Mall | Consensus Inc. | Hy-Vee Stores | Santa Fe Railway | Investors Co-op

William R. Eubank
1632 Burcham Drive
East Lansing, Michigan 48823
United States of America