Infoseek unveils redesign with channels and chat

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Today Infoseek Corp. rolls out its redesign, a project code named "Raptor," after "the tiny dinosaur that can take down everything bigger than it," said Beth Haggerty, VP-worldwide advertising sales.

"Our code name says everything about our strategy. It's no secret that Infoseek has been very quiet. We're about to move in big ways on the product side and marketing side."

CLOSE TO 60 CONTENT PARTNERS

The new site features 15 channels, ranging from news and personal finance to travel and real estate; close to 60 content partners; a Talk City chat component; and various transaction services in areas such as books, music, travel and flowers. Infoseek is also developing a free e-mail service.

The new service is meant to be streamlined and organized so that users can find things quickly. For example, Ms. Haggerty said, queries on a specific topic will show up within the relevant channel with information, rather than on an isolated results page.

Search engines have "become the free online service networks," she said."I think you'll increasingly see a paradigm that looks like the TV networks."

But Infoseek is still playing catch-up. In the last few months, rivals Yahoo!, Excite and Lycos have all added community-building and e-commerce features.

Copyright October 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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