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Wired Digital today will announce it is partnering with three Internet service providers -- Earthlink, MindSpring and Ameritech -- to license Wired's HotBot search engine, Wired News and Webmonkey content. The HotBot button will be displayed on each ISP's home page, reaching about 1 million subscribers of the three companies combined.

AOL Rewards to cover long distance

Digital Marketing Services, the independent marketing and research arm joint venture of America Online, has signed a multimillion-dollar agreement with telecommunications provider Tel-Save. The deal, which expands the AOL Rewards program run by DMS, allows members to use reward points to buy long-distance service from Tel-Save.

Think New Ideas, Tripod launch baseball site

Think New Ideas, New York, online community Tripod and the Major League Baseball Players Association today will announce the association's Bigleaguers.com official site will become part of Tripod's Sports Zone community. The site (www.bigleaguers.com), which Think New Ideas designed, allows fans to interact with professional athletes through e-mail and chat and be able to read players' online journals. Tripod will help build baseball communities around the site.

Digital Impact rolls out promotion e-mails

Start-up company Digital Impact (www.digital-impact.com) today introduces Merchant Mail Network, an e-mail marketing system that lets merchants send customized offers and promotions through e-mail. Charter retailers include Gap Inc., Sharper Image, Tower Records, World-Res and 1-800 Batteries. Clients pay between 5 cents and 15 cents for each e-mail sent, with an initial setup fee of about $10,000.

In2 wins business from Columbia House

Interactive ad agency In2 (www.in2.com) has been named interactive agency of record for Columbia House Records and its TotalE Web site (www.totale.com). It's also signed R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co.'s HouseNet.com for online marketing.

Disney unveils directory and search engine

Disney Online launched Disney Internet Guide (www.dig.com), a Web search and directory service targeting children and families. The guide can be accessed at its own URL, through the disney.com page or on Infoseek, where it will serve as the children's directory.

DIG, as Disney is calling the new guide, will feature eight categories. They are: Animals & the outdoors, stories & comics, learning & life, games & toys, sports & recreation, news & the world, arts & entertainment and computing & the Internet. Each of the sites listed within the categories will be hand-picked by DIG staffers.

PointCast pulls plug on Asian version

Internet push media company PointCast announced last week it would discontinue the Asian Edition of the PointCast Network on July 1. PointCast kicked off the Asian Edition of the PointCast Network in February 1997 as a joint venture with China Internet Corp. This will not affect PointCast's U.S. version.

In other news

Ziff-Davis' ZDNet, San Francisco (www.zdnet.com), in July will redesign the tech-news portal site using a search-engine motif, code-named Quickstart, offering a streamlined approach to search the company's Web content. The move mirrors a redesign unveiled in June by rival CMP Media (www.cmpnet.com). . . . According to a study released last week by the Association of National Advertisers, nearly half (47%) of respondents said they are currently selling some products or services from their Web sites, up 26% from last year. The findings were based on responses from 124 ANA member companies. In other findings, average annual advertising expenditures rose from $250,000 to $714,000, although online advertising spending still represents only a fraction of total advertising expenditures, the ANA found.

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