By: Staff reports

SpotOn Aims To Improve Browsing

SpotOn, a new way of browsing the Web, is attracting attention from
newspapers, including MediaNews Group Inc., publisher of The Denver
Post and 155 other newspapers, which recently became a partner.
MediaNews President and CEO Peter Bernhard says SpotOn will keep
readers coming back to the company’s Web sites.

SpotOn is designed to enhance navigation of the Web through what the
product’s creators call ‘turbocharged navigation.’ Based in San Bruno,
Calif., the company is signing partnership agreements with media
companies, and is looking for more newspaper partners.

SpotOn provides consumers with a free 600K download (available at; currently only to PC users with Microsoft Internet
Explorer 4 and above) that becomes part of the user’s existing browser.
The SpotOn Web player allows users to select lists of links which are
automatically loaded into ‘tours.’ Web pages are then pre-loaded into
the browser’s cache, allowing users to quickly skip from one site to
another – much like a slide show. And tours are saved on SpotOn’s
servers, allowing users to access their bookmarks from any computer.

The tours may be appealing to publishers, who can create tours of their
own sites or of the entire Web, offering readers a new service. And if
the software really speeds Web navigation, publishers will see more
page impressions generated, says CEO and founder Philip Copeland.

‘You can make annotations to Web pages and significantly simplify
navigation for large groups of people,’ he says. ‘The basic navigation
model hasn’t changed much since the browser was invented. This enhances
the way browsers work.’

SpotOn Chairman David Carlick, founder of online advertising firm
DoubleClick, predicts the service will improve reading news online.

Privately funded, SpotOn plans to derive income from licensing
agreements with corporations, advertising on its browser interface, and
modest subscription fees that will eventually be charged for a premium
version of the free service.

A number of companies are developing browser enhancements and new
browser tools. Many, like SpotOn, include space for advertisers.


Staff reports

(c) Copyright 2000, Editor & Publisher

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