Next50.com

Hotclubs.com

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Prepared for August 16, 2000 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All

rights reserved.

Life in the Fast Lane: Web Companies

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Next50.com

Darryl Copeland, former CEO of a senior housing

community,

is developing a website called Next50.com, an Internet service

provider,

portal, and community for those aged 50 and above. "Our targeted

sweet spot is ages 55 to 75, and the vast majority of that population

is still not even online," says Copeland. "We are trying to

create a resource and service provider that the customers will enjoy

and find easy to use."

A biomedical engineer at Duke, Class of ’81, Copeland grew up in

Cherry

Hill and is the son of an engineer. He has a master’s in computer

science from New Jersey Institute of Technology, and an MBA from

Wharton.

He worked at RCA in Moorestown and on Wall Street for eight years

before taking a job as CFO of one of his clients, Brookdale Living

Communities, a publicly traded senior housing company. He just moved

from Chicago to Cranbury, where he and his wife, Karen, have two

school-aged

children.

The seed money for this five-person firm was raised through high net

worth individuals. "When I was at Brookdale I saw how computers

were becoming a big activity in the senior communities. But the major

portals were designed, developed, and geared to a much younger

crowd."

His web portal will be easy to navigate, have big print, and will

have "things that you can see are easy to click on." Links

all over the site provide suggestions for features and resources.

His portal offers two plans, $17.95 for unlimited access, and $6.95

for six hours plus an hourly charge, automatically deductible

from a credit card. He has incentives, such as a free month, for

anyone

who recruits a member. The formal launch is imminent and will involve

both an online and offline marketing campaign. Copeland has bought

a two-thirds page advertisement, with picture and text, in the

November

issue of Modern Maturity but can do no marketing on that magazine’s

website because of its nonprofit status.

He has negotiated a co-branded partnership with MyPoints.com, a

marketing

company that uses E-mail campaigns for people online. Called

"opt-in

E-mail" it exchanges reward points for shopping and for actions

within the E-mail site. "E-mail is the top activity that seniors

use online sites for," he says, "and we expect to have a lot

of seniors E-mail each other about our site.

To align his website with senior housing communities, assisted living

firms, and retirement communities, he will donate Internet-enabled

brand-name computers with at least 667 megahertz and large 21-inch

monitors. He will install them in activity centers with his home page

as the start page and pay for the Internet service, from

California-based

Covad Integrated Services. Some of the communities want to install

video cameras for face-to-face phone conversations, but as Copeland

points out, "you need someone with software on the other end."

The facilities’ activities directors will train the residents on how

to use the computer, but he will offer a 24 x 7 customer support

center

that can answer questions on connectivity and how to configure E-mail.

His tagline slogan: "next50.com — resource for your best

years."

DWC Web Corp., 51 Everett Drive, Building A, Suite

70, West Windsor 08550. Darryl Copeland, CEO. 609-275-6150; fax,

Home

page: www.next50.com.

Top Of Page
Hotclubs.com

At the other end of the age spectrum, a 29-year-old

firefighter from Trenton and a 34-year-old policeman from Hamilton

have pooled their savings

— $12,000 at last count — to create a website for Generation

X-ers that is intended to be the Rough Guide to clubs in the country:

Hotclubs.com. The site was launched on February 1 and it has a handful

of advertisers, including Netacer.com, several restaurants, a tanning

salon, and a body-piercing shop.

"I took a pension loan out, and we have put $11,000 or $12,000

into it already, but our hits are going up every week," says Brian

Butler, co-founder. Describing himself as "the young single guy

who has been partying all my life," Butler picks the spots and

Dan Contento, the webmaster, programs them onto the site. Also on

the selection board are a lawyer, an accountant, and some medical

students, all with different tastes. "If they all agree on it,

it sounds good to us," says Contento.

Other sources for picking the bars are some of Butler’s friends, such

as semi-pro hockey players in Charlotte. "We have the best Irish

pubs in Boston and Baltimore," says Butler. "We link to the

website, and if they don’t have a website we will build them a page.

We give directions door to door, the age group, and what kind of music

they play."

Check out Princeton’s listings and you’ll find quite a few

restaurants,

five bars, but no, zero, nightclubs. "None worth going to,

proclaims

Hotclubs.net. "Try Trenton or Central Jersey."

Noting that each listing contains a bare minimum of information —

name, address, phone, and type of cuisine, Contento says that younger

people aren’t interested in reading a lot. "The other websites

considered our competition are listing everything, and we didn’t find

them very useful," says Contento. "They just want to know

a good place to go out. We don’t list any place that several people

haven’t highly recommended and that Brian hasn’t personally checked

out himself. We will either take it off, if we get negative feedback,

or we will put up a warning."

Words are few, but pictures you will find aplenty. Evidently somebody

went to spring break in Florida because a series of bikini-clad girls

is posted on the site. That’s not all Hotclubs does for promotions,

however. Butler also distributes caps plus tee-shirts and halter tops

— quality $12 ones with "www.hotclubs.net" across the

chest — at some of the hotter venues, places like Trenton’s

Katmandu.

Contento went to Notre Dame and majored in psychology at Mercer County

College. He is married, and his full-time job is as a police officer;

he does the web work in his free time. "I bought my first

computer

in 1996 and got bored with games," he says, "so I taught

myself

programming. The site was Brian’s idea, but he needed my technical

skills to make it happen."

Hotclubs.com is hosted in Minneapolis on a server run by the Acme

Information Company and runs on T-1 and T-3 connections. "We are

expanding it almost daily," says Contento, who has had to revamp

the overloaded message board and add security features, such as a

registration requirement. The message board is now hooked up with

LiveUniverse.com, which also includes a lottery system.

"We went to all the bad places so you don’t have to," is the

site’s tag line. The question is — do you trust these guys to

know a good place when they see it?

— Barbara Fox

HotClubs Network Inc., Netacer Corporation, 25

Route 31 South Suite C, PMB 3025, Pennington 08534. Brian Butler.

609-989-0065; fax, 609-882-1879. Home page: www.hotclubs.net.


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