Corrections or additions?
This article by Bart Jackson was prepared for the
October 3, 2001 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights
New Interactive Publishing Forum Takes Root
We just don’t do it the same way anymore, states the
New York Times Survey. Within one short year, the majority of computer
use has shifted from net "surfing" to selective information
seeking. The public is booting up not to play with a new toy, but
to ply a familiar tool. For the interactive publishers this means
a shock and a switch to a new access style.
To solve this, and the myriad other traumas to which online publishers
constantly fall heir,
for Interactive Publishers. Feffer founded Tramp Steamer, a web
company, in l997 and early on saw the lack of any professional
for those trying to publish in the whirlwind pace of the net.
are real problems and very real solutions," he says, "that
need to be shared in an open experience like the Trenton Forum."
Since this past June, www.TrentonForum.org has recorded the netswift
progress of Feffer’s brainchild, which is holding its first open
on Thursday, October 4, at 3 p.m. at Thomas Edison State College.
manager of America Online’s Personal Finance Channel. Cost: $35. Call
Initially rooting his Interactive Publishers group in Trenton has
provided a host of mutual benefits for the Forum and the city.
first move was to contact friend John Thurber, vice president of
affairs for Thomas Edison State College. With 8,100 students mostly
involved in technology-based, distant learning courses, it was a
But in addition, the college has strong financial links with the New
Jersey Public Library Association and, of course, its own ample
to house large seminars.
Thurber, seeing the Forum as a boon, quickly teamed up with Tramp
Steamer as co-organizer, noting that "the Internet has grown
all expectations and the Trenton Forum will serve to bring together
some of the top experts in the online field."
By August, the Trenton Forum had lined up the city as a sponsor.
Trenton Mayor Douglas Palmer stated "It is an exciting opportunity
for Trenton to host this important forum. We are a city situated in
an excellent location, surrounded by numerous high tech publishing
"Well, my own reason for building the Forum within Trenton,"
says Feffer, "is that Trenton needs it and it’s a good way to
serve my community." He also agrees with the mayor, the locale
is surprisingly central. Such publishers as Weblications, Factiva,
Vertical Net, Peterson Publications, Tramp Steamer, and Bloomberg
Custom Publishers, all sit within a 45-minute drive of the city.
more cluster within the Garden State. And even for sponsoring company
Flywire, which designs its websites in Portsmouth, New Hampshire,
the several hour drive seems not too far.
In fact, with this sudden flurry of online publishing,
the definition of client, consultant and publisher have become rather
blurred. The traditional print vision of a publishing house as a
chamber filled with grumbling editors, each scowling over pages
for an exact slot on some bookshelf or page of print no longer fits.
Feffer is quick to point out that interactive publishing encompasses
not just editors and writers and folks starting up webzines, but
those updating financial sites with stock reviews, corporate sites
addressing stockholders and clients, and even E-commerce firms, which
put forth extensive product reviews. This is the range of
the Trenton Forum targets.
"Even the oldest online publishing veteran feels a bit like a
pioneer slogging amidst the uncharted," laughs Feffer. And as
pioneers go, Feffer came ashore quite early. Barely two decades ago,
Knight-Rider, Dow Jones and a few other firms began to establish
and view the net as a true publishing medium. By then he was already
Growing up outside Boston, Feffer moved into town to gain a film and
broadcasting degree from Boston University in l982. His first job
was with ABC News in New York as a video tape editor. "`This is
a good start, son,’" he was assured. "`But if you really want
to be a journalist, you’ll go get some print experience. That’s the
future for real journalists.’" So off Feffer trekked to
University and by 1984, he returned east as a writer for Dow Jones
first News Retrieval Service.
"While writing business and finance, then developing projects,
I really began to see the power of this new medium," recalls
In the early ’90s, he left Dow Jones to start his own company, United
Multimedia, online publishing firm, with partner Ronnie Fielding.
Then in l997, as the entire interactive technology surged forward,
he began Tramp Steamer Media, where he and his six employees publish
for Merrill Lynch, Fortune, Charles Schwab, and other clients.
Interactive publishing’s primary problem, as Feffer sees it, is a
surprising lack of concern about the actual content on the web page.
Board members will pore for hours over the upcoming annual report
just to soothe the savage stockholder. Yet these same folks give their
firm’s website a quick click and casually respond "My, those
look great." Three major, common oversights, Feffer says, flaw
your website? Do you want to primarily enhance your firm’s image and
attract clients? Do you want above all to tout your product? Would
setting yourself up as an information source within your field be
a good approach? What are your competitors doing?
tool spieling the same old sales spiel, merely to a newer audience,
your readers will steadily drift away. On the other hand, if you
essential data too frequently, readers get confused, unsure about
your site and product.
says Feffer, "is that the web is primarily text driven. People
come seeking information, which they find mostly in words." A
good site is assembled by not only writers, but also by editors
and trimming each piece. Feffer feels that writing for the web is
in many ways tougher than print. Rather than cozying into a wing
your reader sits uncomfortably in front of an oscillating screen.
Odds are he seeks only a few points of information. "Your writing
is just hanging out there," he says, "and you’d better grab
your reader’s attention with a brisk, Associated-Press style of
or he’s on to somewhere else.
schedule of upcoming seminars in place by mid-October. With the second
gathering beginning in January, they hope to cover such topics as
where does the Internet fit into marketing? Why do site visitors stay
and stray? Case studies are also planned to highlight not only
"So far," says Feffer, "we have had an astounding
We never expected interest to grow so large." On the other hand,
who would have expected online publishing to become an important part
of all our lives so rapidly?
— Bart Jackson
Analysts, fund managers, brokers, investment bankers,
and other investment professionals are invited to the New Jersey
Company Showcase. Presented by the New Jersey Technology Council and
Sills Capital Markets Group, the showcase is set for Friday, October
5, 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza in Secaucus. CEOs and CFOs
begin making formal presentations at 10 a.m. Cost: $100. Call
Four of the 12 companies represented are from Princeton:
Princeton 08540. Richard A. Maloy Jr., president and CEO.
Insurance Revolution Inc., part of InsureHiTech.com, is a full service
E-insurance commercial property and casualty broker licensed in 48
states. With 49 employees, it offers business insurance to the IT,
environmental, biotech, and VC industries.
Suite 206, Princeton 08540. Donald L. Drakeman, president.
This biopharmaceutical does therapeutic product manufacturing,
human and monoclonal antibodies. It has 18 employees in Princeton,
plus 60 workers at its 37,000-square foot operations laboratory and
office in Annandale.
Princeton 08540. Curt Welling, CEO. 609-606-3000; fax, 609-606-3297.
With the distinction of being the first company to present a bill
on the Internet, this company does remote banking and processing of
electronic payments for bank clients.
Brook Corporate Center, Cranbury 08512. Fred Fritz, president and
CEO. 609-409-4500; fax, 609-409-4510.
This spinoff from the Sarnoff Corporation develops new hearing aid
technology, including disposable hearing aids.
(Alphion Corporation), a service company for network service providers
in Edison (Aplion Networks), a web-enabled time clock system in
(CyberShift Inc.), a Piscataway-based biopharmaceutical (Enzon Inc.),
a mobile broadband access company in Bedminster (Flarion Technologies
Inc.), a Parsippany provider of wireless services to banks (Incurrent
Solutions), a networking service company in Somerset (Lumeta
and a Flanders-based system for semiconductor device manufacturers.
"This will offer analysts and brokers a close look at the future
Wall Street stars," says
the television show West Wing. "I will absolutely kill to see
the show," she says. "I have left my husband flat in the
of dinner. I tell him `for the next hour, I’m married to Martin
It’s not that Achorn finds Sheen devastatingly attractive. Not
As a consultant who teaches executives how to make successful
she is drawn to the way Sheen and his co-stars prepare to give
speak to the press, and win over legislative opponents. "It’s
how they train the president, how they prep CJ (the pretend
press secretary) to understand where they will meet objections,"
Achorn speaks on "Getting a Yes: Tips on Making a Successful
Presentation" at a meeting of the Mercer chapter of NJAWBO on
Tuesday, October 9, at 5 p.m. at the Trenton Country Club. Cost: $40.
Starting out in teaching, Achorn, a 1965 graduate of Misericordia
College, switched to public relations, first for a local hospital,
and then for Xerox Learning Systems. "It was always the same set
of skills," she says. "It was all communications." In
1985, after 15 years with Xerox, she felt pressure to move into
Preferring to keep on working with clients, she started her own
business. Communications Strategy, based in Fairfield, Connecticut,
teaches presentation skills in seminars and through one-on-one
"Middle and senior managers," says Achorn, "need to make
presentations to the executive committee, to investors on Wall Street,
to international clients. They need to sell a new IT system, or
their engineering to a non-engineering client." Career success
depends on making these presentations well. To do so, managers need
what to say,’" Achorn reports. "That is not the issue. The
issue is what does the audience need to hear. The first job is to
assess the situation, and the code word is `politics.’"
Who asked you to speak? This person, or entity, is your first
says Achorn. You need to understand what it is that you are supposed
to accomplish. Ask questions. Do research. Clarify the objectives
your presentation is to meet.
or 300? The style, the tone of voice, and even the vocabulary that
works in a small group will not be right for a large gathering. Beyond
size, it is important to look at the culture of the audience. "In
large corporations, the culture may be to stand still behind a
says Achorn. "That is what is expected." In a conservative
industry, presentations most often should be delivered while wearing
a dark suit. In start-ups, she says, clothing is less important.
the energy of the delivery may be the key element.
The style of spoken language needs to be different from that of
language. It should be natural, to the point, and free of jargon.
"Every discipline has its jargon," she says. "They talk
about `mission’ or `robust training.’ After a while, that is just
baloney. When you want to move someone, you have to get away from
at making presentations. "He doesn’t pontificate," she
"He’s in working mode, in a baseball cap. Even in a suit, he has
his sleeves rolled up."
making presentations, Achorn says onlookers often believe "`she’s
a natural.’" But, she says, "the people who look most natural
are the ones who prepare the most." In her opinion, Clinton was
a gifted speaker, but he was also a well-prepared speaker who wrote
his own speeches.
with which the former president prepared to speak. Upward career
could depend on it. "Face time is so valuable any more," says
Achorn. "When you stand to speak, your career stands with
a Disaster Fund for Children of New Jersey to provide immediate
to children and their families affected by the events of September
11. Chairman Brian Maher, CEO of Maher Terminals, announced that an
initial gift of $100,000 has come from
employees and matching funds from the Prudential Foundation.
the September 11 terror attacks are eligible for free tuition at
County Community College. The offer of a free education applies
not only to children who are now ready for college, but to all of
the victims’ children.
have established a Manhattan Disaster Fund to provide support to the
local communities in which Amersham employees work. The company has
facilities in Piscataway, Princeton, Lawrenceville, South Plainfield,
Amersham will contribute $500,000 to the fund, which will offer
assistance to individuals and local communities adjacent to the
sites in New Jersey. The company says it intends to work with local
townships, communities, and other relief organizations.
Organization representing persons who suffered bereavement or personal
injury as a result of the September 11 attack may request
for a grant by calling 609-514-6443.
is sponsoring a six-week bereavement support group for those grieving
the loss of a loved one, and those who care about friends who are
grieving. The lecture series will be held every Wednesday from October
10 to November 14 in the chapel conference room at 601 Hamilton Avenue
in Trenton. Call 609-599-5090.
& Complexions , a Hamilton beauty salon, plan to hold an all day
"haircut-a-thon" on Sunday, October 28 from 11 a.m. through
7 p.m. to benefit the Red Cross. The salon will offer discount hair
cuts on that day — $10 for men and $20 for women. Herrera, a
New Yorker, says her entire staff of 11 will be on hand to help out.
Hunterdon company, is offering 30-minute coaching sessions for $20,
which will be donated to the Red Cross. The offer is good from October
1 until November 1.
to survivors and to victims’ family members on a sliding-fee basis.
has announced that accountants in the state will offer pro bono
and temporary office space to individuals and businesses affected
by the events of September 11. Call 973-226-4494 ext. 246 or visit
a commemorative event on Monday, November 5. The event, open to
and their guests, will raise money for "organizations in the
of the recovery effort" through guest green fees, silent auction,
offering borrowers affected by the events of September 11 relief
including suspending or reducing mortgage payments for a period of
time or establishing longer payback plans.
Foreclosure proceedings will not be initiated against any affected
borrowers for at least 90 days. After the 90 days, all foreclosures
will be reviewed by the agency. Families can call 866-NJCRISIS or
who have been relocated to New Jersey in the aftermath of the events
of September 11. In addition to rideshare assistance, carpool and
vanpool formation, the TMA will work with employers to set up
corporate vanpools, and alternate work schedules.
Arrangements already have been made for additional shuttle service
from the area’s train stations to local Merrill Lynch facilities.
Call 609-452-1491 or visit www.gmtma.org.
has set up a toll-free hot line to help businesses whose offices were
destroyed or damaged and companies whose business has fallen off as
a result of the events of September 11. Call 800-643-6090 from 7 a.m.
through 7 p.m., or visit www.newjerseycommerce.org/njhelps.
Corrections or additions?
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