WHERE TO FIND IT: www.spa.org/
CRITIQUE: Learning by doing. It's an interesting idea for the Web. In a time when more and more companies, such as Microsoft Corp., want to make the Web as much like TV as possible, it's refreshing to see a promotion that encourages users to experience the Web as it was meant to be.
Lycos is trying to position itself as the guide to the Web for "new" users. As part of an ongoing branding campaign, it picked up the CyberSurfari promotion this year from its home last year on Yahoo! In its third year, this contest run by Software Publishers Association encourages people to surf the Web (through corporately sponsored mini-sites) and pick up clues in a scavenger hunt.
This year the contest has more than doubled its initial registration to more than 10,000 entrants, with up to 45,000 expected by the end of its monthlong run Nov. 21. At deadline, the two-time defending champion (an MIT student) hadn't pulled off a three-peat, so the $1,000 prize money was still up for grabs. As far as brand awareness goes, Lycos certainly stands more to gain here than SPA. The contest fits in well with Lycos' attempt to position its Lycos Guide as more than just a search engine tool. SPA will see residual benefits of driving traffic to its site, but even if the MIT champ successfully defends his title, Lycos scores the real win by taking this contest over from