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Internet agency US Interactive and Web developer Digital Evolution today formally announce plans to merge, resulting in a combined company with more than 200 employees called US Interactive. It will be based in Los Angeles with offices in New York, Washington, Philadelphia and Seattle.

Eric Pulier, founder of Digital Evolution, will become executive chairman and remain in Los Angeles. Larry Smith, based in New York, will continue as CEO. Rich Masterson, co-founder of US Interactive and based in New York, will become president-chief operating officer.

CASIE updates measurement guidelines

The Coalition for Advertising Supported Information and Entertainment (www.casie.org) last week released the third edition of its Guiding Principles of Interactive Media Measurement. The guidelines endorse measuring ads at the ad display level and not at the page request level, and measuring cached ads.

LinkExchange launches site analysis tool Free banner-exchange network LinkExchange today introduces SiteInspector (www.siteinspector.com), a free service that, in less than a minute, rates a site in seven evaluation areas and suggests improvements. LinkExchange plans to license the tool to Web-hosting companies and content sites.

Curtain goes up on Talk City redesign

Chat network Talk City (www.talkcity.com) today opens its redesigned site, which organizes home pages, live events and discussion boards around nine major communities. Talk City VP-Marketing Christopher Escher said members asked for a simplified, community-based site; it previously had 16 channels and 20 communities. Talk City also is formally introducing Master Tools, multimedia Web site-building software. Since its home page service started in March, more than 300,000 sites have gone up. Kemper Funds, Procter & Gamble Co. and 3Com Corp. are among advertisers on the new site.

In other news

Hearst HomeArts is expected to announce this week a content deal with America Online. HomeArts, which already provides content for Excite, will provide AOL content for its Home & Garden and Food channels.

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