Sixdegrees pushes hot buttons with new syndicated partners

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Content, context and community are three hot Internet buzzwords, and a new syndication plan from community building Web site sixdegrees combines all three.

Sixdegrees this week adds Internet service provider Netcom as well as niche sites Wall Street Links, Surfcaster and Worldwide Jewish Web to its list of syndicated partners, which already includes Job Direct, CollegeBeat, Online Career Center and Kidstown Direct.


In each case, sixdegrees syndicates its personal bulletin board service, building a co-branded area within a partner site on which advertising is sold and revenue is shared from one or both sites. Sixdegrees creates a community by building a network around people instead of more traditional communities based on topics.

For instance, a person signs up at sixdegrees and submits a list of people he or she knows. Those people are invited via e-mail to join. Then those people submit lists of people they know and so on, so the original person has a vastly expanded circle of contacts.

With syndication of content, sixdegrees, for the first time, is adding topic-specific areas on the syndicated sites.

"Right now there is not a lot of context on sixdegrees," said Marc Johnson, analyst, Jupiter Communications. "It's . . . like going into an unmoderated discussion group with no topic."


Mr. Johnson said syndication will benefit sixdegrees and its partners. "It's a good way for sixdegrees to continue to build its database and it's good for the partners because they'll get people staying on the site," he said.

Sixdegrees has plans to syndicate other products in the future, including its recommendations for Web sites, movies, music, books and more.

"The idea now is to build out," said Andrew Weinrich, president-CEO of sixdegrees. "We should be able to populate the database a lot faster. ... A member-based company is not only based on revenue, but the members it has and the rate at which its adding them."


New partner Netcom is moving to become more than just an Internet service provider and sixdegrees is one of its first new content partners. The ISP will relaunch its home page later this summer with content areas including entertainment, arts, finance, women, news and careers. A sixdegrees community will appear inside each of those areas, said Michael Cassara, director-advertising and strategic partnerships.

Copyright June 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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