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New and improved

New and improved

It’s been another busy month for the Nashville Internet scene. Here are a few items to get you up to date on what’s been happening out there on the ’Net.

♦ Angling to be the best local news source on the Internet is proving to be a popular pastime for at least two Nashville-based media outlets. One of those outlets is CitySearch, a Web-based city guide that has been widely praised for its ease of use and its depth. CitySearch has sites set up in other cities, but its launch here is still a few months away—which means that WSMV-TV’s fledgling Web site is currently getting all the attention.

Over the past few months, Channel 4 has been rethinking its presence on the Internet, revamping everything from the graphics to the general operation of the site itself. With the advent of NBC’s cable news outfit, MSNBC, the local affiliate has linked up with the national network to provide an amazingly complete news resource for Nashville residents.

The Web site, based at http://www. wsmv. com/ , offers slightly longer versions of all the stories appearing on television broadcasts during the day. Video clips and stills also supplement most of the stories, as do links to other Web sites. According to station managers, WSMV added a few staff members to oversee the site itself, and the extra hands appear to have made a difference. Each online story is crisp and very easy to follow—the result, no doubt, of some very hard work behind the scenes.

I have one small annoyance with the site, however: It uses the same graphics and format as the master MSNBC site (http://www. msnbc.com/). Although the overall look is impressive, the load time required for the graphics makes simple navigation from story to story a bit more cumbersome than on other, similar sites. Even so, the impressive array of information available on WSMV’s site makes it well worth the wait.

♦ The newly revamped WKDF site is also begging for a second look from the Web-going public. A product of local Web production house EdgeNet Media, the radio station’s site now boasts enough multimedia madness to turn a simple 10-minute peek into a four-hour stopover.

Hoping to attract savvier listeners, the station now takes requests via the Web. This new feature is already proving to be popular: One deejay told the Scene that he receives hundreds of e-mailed requests each day. In addition, the station hosts a live “chat” area, where people can interact with each other and with the on-air personalities. A monitor above the audio board at the WKDF studios allows disc jockeys to monitor the conversation continually. Receiving visits from Internet users at all hours of the evening, this feature has also proven to be wildly popular. Check out WKDF’s site at http://cutting.edge.net/.

♦ If you purchased an ISDN line so that you could surf the Internet with just a little more speed, you might be interested in a few recent developments. Until recently, the top speed most Internet providers offered to regular dial-up customers here was 64 kilobaud, which operates about three times faster than a 28.8 modem. Now, however, demand for bigger and faster connections has convinced several local outfits to consider offering Multilink PPP to their ISDN customers.

A normal ISDN line actually consists of three “channels.” One channel, called the “D” channel, is a low-speed connection that simply transmits information between your equipment and the phone company. The other two channels, called “B” channels, are the actual workhorses of the ISDN line. They’re able to carry 64 kilobaud of information apiece. Normally, these “B” channels are used as two separate lines. With Multilink PPP, however, these lines are connected together to function as one line—thus giving the user a connection that’s twice as fast.

Telalink has already begun offering the service, and EdgeNet and BellSouth.net are following suit. To find out more about each company’s 128K ISDN service, check their Web sites: http://www.telalink.net/ , http://www. edge.net/ , and http://www.bellsouth.net/ .

♦ A new book by two local authors about marketing a business on the Internet has hit the shelves. The Lawyer’s Guide to Marketing on the Internet is the product of a year’s worth of writing by Nashville lawyer Greg Suskind and Telalink partner Timothy Moses. It’s a comprehensive look at the business of Web-site building.

As a lawyer specializing in immigration law, Suskind has built a substantial business from his Web pages; the internationally recognized site is used as a resource by people seeking to immigrate to the United States. Moses, too, has had his own successes with Web-site building; in just two years, the Telalink Corporation has grown from a provider with a few people on staff to a full-fledged Web-design studio and access provider.

You can find information on the book, which retails for around $70, at http://www.telalink.net/~law/ .

Joel Moses can be reached via e-mail at joel@moses.com.

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