Angels watch over the Net

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A startup company called NetAngels is hoping to help consumers personalize their Web surfing experience. The company, founded by entrepreneur Mark Goldstein, former CEO of Reality Online, markets intelligent agent software that delivers a list of sites and links a user might be interested in.

Built on the concept that "everyone needs an angel," NetAngels runs alongside a user's browser and keeps track of sites a user has visited. The software encourages the user to give each site a "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" by clicking the appropriate icon on the NetAngel interface. NetAngels then uses the information to recommend sites to other people. NetAngels also invites users to fill out a short questionnaire every once in a while to add to the information in its database.

The company, which formally launches its product in the fall, has aligned several Web sites to distribute and co-market the product, including, SeniorNet and Travelocity. NetAngels will distribute the software free to users but hopes to make money by offering personalized advertising.

Financial backers of the company include Esther Dyson, president, EDVenture Holdings; Paul Kagan, CEO, Paul Kagan Associates; and Mort Meyerson, CEO of Perot Systems.

Copyright July 1996 Crain Communications Inc.

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