Ziff-Davis' PC Computing and Excite will test BIZ/Excite, a co-branded print publication and Web site (www.biz.excite.com) that provides technology information for small and medium-size businesses. The print version is to be a section within the August PC Computing issue and a separate title polybagged with November and December issues. The Web site starts operation in August as well. It has not been determined if BIZ/Excite will roll out permanently.
The relationship seems odd considering that Ziff-Davis' majority owner, Softbank Corp., is the largest shareholder in Excite rival Yahoo!, and Ziff-Davis publishes Yahoo! Internet Life.
Internet dance club
Macromedia today opens a virtual dance club on its ShockRave entertainment site (www.
shockrave.com), where visitors can control animated dancers to the beat of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, the neo-swing Big Band. The section launches without ad sponsors, but VP-General Manager Steve King deadpans, "Everything is an advertising opportunity. We have no editorial integrity."
WhoWhere? rolls simplified home pages
WhoWhere?, which offers free e-mail, home page and directory services, today introduces WhoWhere Pages, a simplified publishing tool, which allows users to create a personal home page in 15 minutes. It also comes with an advanced editor tool to handle HTML files.
vacation shopping tool
Yahoo! Travel (travel.yahoo.com) today introduces a shopping agent that allows users to compare vacation and cruise packages from its more than 4,000 listings. The tool lets users search by category or lifestyle. Travel package partners include AdventureQuest and Travel Navigator.
In other travel news, Preview Travel (www.previewtravel.com) partnered with American Airlines Vacations and Royal Caribbean International to offer real-time booking of vacation packages.
`N.Y. Times' OKs
free int'l Web access
The New York Times is scrapping the $35 a month it charged foreign visitors to access the newspaper's Web site (www.
nytimes.com). Like U.S. users, foreign visitors will receive free access. The site still requires users to register and charges nominal fees for access to certain sections.
In other news
Los Angeles-based interactive agency iXL today announces plans to acquire CommerceWave, a Carlsbad, Calif., provider of e-commerce solutions. iXL plans to use the technology to implement more e-commerce solutions for its clients. . . . Health site OnHealth. com relaunches today. Features include OnHealth Personal Health Tracker and City Health Guides. . . . Agency.com, New York, named Aaron Sugarman to the new post of president, from VP-creative director. . . . Wired Digital, San Francisco, named Mary Murphy VP-marketing, from senior VP-strategic business director, Ketchum Advertising, San Francisco. Ms. Murphy succeeds Hunter Madsen who left for a consulting career.