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You could say Tom Beeby and Lino Ribolla feed off each other. Their desks face one another in an office of Modem Media, an interactive agency based in Westport, Conn. (http://www.

While one is a copywriter and the other a computer graphics guru, the two have put their heads together to create for AT&T Corp. one of the most encompassing online presences of any marketer on the Web.

"I love the challenge of convincing people to spend a considerable amount of time around a brand," said Mr. Beeby. "I call it infotainment, and I'm intrigued by the technology behind it."

The partners helped develop the "intermercial," a Java applet that allows users to experience a piece of a Web site being promoted by a banner ad. For AT&T, Modem Media created a "roadblock" of intermercials on the Web to draw users to its Olympic site (

The pair's primary focus has been AT&T's college market. A student art gallery, an e-mail reminder service and an interactive soap opera called "Love Matters" are just a few of the applications they've created for AT&T.

"I love interactive media because it's a place where things come together-immediacy of news, computer graphics, consumer interaction and marketing," said Mr. Ribolla.

Betcha didn't know: Mr. Beeby is known as Beeby to most people, especially when he's doing stand-up comedy in New York City. And Mr. Ribolla won an art contest in Sao Paolo in 1985 and was awarded the honor of decorating a mile-long avenue during the city's raucous annual Carnival. Traditional masks generated from computer designs were key to the decor.

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