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INTERACTIVE;BULLETING BOARD;POPPE TYSON READIES ONLINE COMMERCIAL TOOL;MECKLERMEDIA, ZIFF TAP BPA FOR AUDIT WORK; TRAVELOCITY NARROWS SEARCH TO FIVE AGENCIES;'SLATE' PUBLISHER QUITS AFTER JUST 2 MONTHS;MEDIA COMPANIES JOIN AT HOME'S CABLE TRIAL

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For agencies looking beyond run-of-the-mill Web site construction work, the next big skill set could be online shopping tools. Poppe Tyson, New York, and its DBM Group subsidiary, Palo Alto, Calif., are marketing a soup-to-nuts tra nsaction processing service for marketers on the Web. First client to use the tool: Valvoline Co., which opened an online store (http://www.valvoline.com) offering racing-themed merchandise. Said Poppe Chairman-CEO Fergus O'Daly: ` `We see the next wave [of Web work] coming through as transactional, and we want to be prepared for it. Said Poppe Chairman-CEO Fergus O'Daly: "We see the next wave [of Web work] as transactional, and we want to be prepared." Modem Media, Westport, Conn., is also readying a shopping tool (AA, Aug. 19).

BPA International's Web auditing practice is picking up steam. The company will audit Mecklermedia Corp.'s iWorld site (http://www.iworld.com) and is conducting a test audit for Ziff-Davis Publishing Co.'s ZD Net (http://www.zdnet.com). The latter scenario is worth watching; Ziff has a long-term contract with Internet Profiles Corp. Ziff says the B PA test, involving June site traffic data, doesn't conflict with its I/Pro contract, but Alan Phillips, Ziff director of Internet operations, said the company is seeking a "fresh look" at its data.

Online travel information provider Travelocity (http://www.travelocity.com) has chosen five finalists for its $5 million to $7 million print and online ad review. They include: SiteSpecific, New York; incumbent Meyer & Johnson and DDB Interactive, both Dallas; and Foote, Cone & Belding Technology Group and Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising, both San Francisco. A decision is expected in early September.

John Williams has resigned as publisher of Slate less than two months after Microsoft Corp. launched the online magazine (http://www.slate.com). Mr. Williams was named brand development director at Starbucks Coffee Co. where he made contacts when negotiating a distribution deal for Slate's print edition. Rogers Weed, a Microsoft group product manager who retired after last year's Windows 95 launch, will return as Slate's new publisher Sept. 3.

A slew of major Web media companies, ranging from The Wall Street Journal to Discovery Channel to Ziff-Davis' ZD Net, have agreed to participate in a cable Internet service from At Home Corp. The agreements with the 60-plus companies represent a major endorsement of @Home, whose backers include T ele-Communications Inc., Comcast Corp., Cox Communications and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. @Home, currently testing in Sunnyvale, Calif., will expand to at least three additional markets later this year.

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