Stars: Communities, Continued

Employment Services

For News Hounds

For Student Markets

More Communities

Rising Stars: E-Commerce

Online Magazines

Digital Books

Fast Applications

Multiple Light Bulbs

Self-Designing Duds

Custom Service

Custom Site Tours

Cyber Ball Game

More E-commerce

Corrections or additions?

These articles by Barbara Fox and Melinda Sherwood were published

in U.S. 1 Newspaper on June 30, 1999.

All rights reserved.

Rising Stars Of the Internet

Top Of Page
Stars: Communities, Continued

Top Of Page
Employment Services

<B>Harrison Uhl, president of Web Services Inc.

at 55 Princeton Hightstown Road, uses proprietary database programs

to host high-end interactive sites


For instance, http://www.Help-Wanted.Net provides full

text search on millions of job hostings from news groups plus


of jobs crawled direct from corporate web sites. "Private label

job search sites that seamlessly integrate with existing corporate

web sites are our current focus," says Uhl. A Cornell University

alumnus (Class of ’77), Uhl has been a consultant for 20 years with

such firms as Applied Color Systems, Dow Jones Telerate, Commodities

Corporation, and CreditSuisse First Boston.

"We spent a good bit of last fall developing the technology to

allow us to produce and deploy a generic private label job search

site in minutes. By minimizing per site development costs, we can

offer a free starter service," says Uhl.

The private label site that Uhl sold to Covance at the Carnegie Center

has generated a new hire about every other week for the past six


"This service has proven to be one of the most cost-effective

elements in our recruiting mix," says Paul Surdez of Covance.

Choose button "1" at


to see the site.

Shift scheduling software is previewing on the Net with,

a joint effort between Uhl’s company and ScheduleSoft in Madison,

Wisconsin. "Shift scheduling will be an essential ingredient for

any web-based calendar site targeting the one-third of America’s


employed in shift work," says Uhl. Products are used by such


operations from police departments, nursing homes, and prisons to

multinational enterprises as such airlines. Co-branded and private

label alternatives will be available.

A search site aimed at the Linux technology community is Uhl’s effort

to leverage his experience developing specialized search sites. Now

in beta form at, the site

aims to pitch the services of Help-Wanted.Net. A formal launch is

planned for late summer or early fall.

Uhl added an additional service, mail management technology, for the

Scholar’s Bookshelf at Cranbury Industrial Park


which wanted to send customized E-mail to a database of existing


After each E-mail cycle, Uhl’s eMailServices program provides a


report of undeliverable and duplicate names, incorrect addresses,

and recommended address corrections. "This keeps our in-house

computer network free to handle the more than 100,000 orders received

yearly in addition to the extensive customer service inquiries,"

says Keith Kochberg of the book distribution company.

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For News Hounds

Dorothea Coccoli Palsho of Dow Jones Interactive


on Route 1 North, won TNJ’s prize for number one website as well as

an Internet Innovator award (

Her aim is for Dow Jones to become the world’s leading publisher of

electronic business news and information (U.S. 1, February 3, 1999).

Said Coccoli Palsho: "I am proud to be a part of small team at

Dow Jones who had a dream, not a strategic plan, who had a belief,

not a corporate dictate, who had determination that said if not Dow

Jones than who? Who better to transform brands and editorial content

and publish new products for new markets for the new digital world.

This truly is an exciting time to be alive, and an exciting time to

be in our business."

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For Student Markets

Marty Levine grew MarketSource from a two-person start-up

to a 600-employee marketing services firm in Cranbury that focuses

on the college store business (

Derek White of MarketSource Interactive launched


in 1995 and it soon blossomed into the leading college


site that operates at break-even or better profitability and generates

revenue in the seven figures (U.S. 1, July 17, 1996). As president

of the 45-person MarketSource Interactive, White provides creative

design, technical development, and management for the such


companies as IBM, J.C. Penney, and Carter-Wallace. Both received TNJ’s

Internet Innovator awards.

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More Communities

Freelance Associates at 2909 Route 1, has created, among

other websites, , a online art

gallery and marketing tool for artists


Gerry Crispin and Mark Mehler of the MMC Group

in Kendall Park offer both a paperback edition and a web edition of

their directory of jobs, resumes, and career management sites on the

world wide web (

National Information Bureau Ltd. on 14 Washington Road

( ) has a web-based Right to Know program that

provides customers with a one-stop source for monitoring important

personal records. Consumers can order comprehensive reports on their

credit profiles, motor vehicle records, medical status, Social


records, education, worker’s compensation, and their employment



Princeton Learning Systems Inc., at 707 State Road, has

various distance learning programs including an online Financial


University won a TNJ award, (U.S. 1 May 27 and November 25, 1998).

It has just been bought by California-based Yipinet

( ).

Four years ago, Princeton Online

( )

began offering web pages to nonprofit groups and opened cyberspace

to the greater Princeton area, creating a virtual community within

physical boundaries. The site now hosts 120 non-profits, has more

than 80 business clients, and draws events from,

the website for U.S. 1 Newspaper.

Ira Fuchs, vice president of computing and information

technology of Princeton University , won a TNJ Internet Innovator

award for helping to found the BITNET network. He is chief scientist

to JSTOR, the $5 million digital library of out-of-print scholar

journals (

Wendy Rayner, CIO of the State of New Jersey, won TNJ’s

Internet Innovator award for her efforts to make New Jersey the


State ( ).

VLearn International at 4365 Route 1 South has such


as web-based English language training (U.S. 1, November 25, 1998).

It won a TNJ website award (

Cranbury-based Fusion Advertising boasts an interactive

forum at its website ( ), where


in the communications and marketing industry can post comments, share

ideas, and seek advice. It’s a good concept and a potential community

builder, but it’s hindered by limiting access only to those who fill

out a lengthy application form. U.S. 1’s reviewer attempted to submit

a partially filled out form, but was turned away.

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Rising Stars: E-Commerce

Top Of Page
Online Magazines

Everybody says E-commerce levels the playing field,

and no one drives a steamroller with more zest than David


of Zatz: Pure Internet Publishing at 1377 Route 206,


Gewirtz founded his firm with Denise Amrich, and together they think

they can threaten Time Warner.

Zatz publishes three online magazines: PalmPower Magazine (for users

of the Palm device), DominoPower Magazine (for Lotus Notes and


and Windows CE Power Magazine (about Windows CE). Finding no software

program to publish these magazines, Gewirtz built one and now markets

Zenpress as a costly but problem-free turnkey magazine publishing

solution. The firm is adding sales people and editors to its


staff and is talking to investors.

Each of the magazines is "pushed" by an E-mail newsletter

linked to the home page of the manufacturer. "Everybody has to

opt in to get our mail, and once a week we send out a newsletter with

a tip," says Gewirtz, noting that the newsletters are in plain

ASCII text for universal readability, have links to the web magazine,

and have one or two ads: "We try to keep the ad quantity to a

low roar."

The rectangular ads range from $60 to $5,000, with the low end


for start-ups, and have lots of copy. "People are coming to our

site pre-inclined to read descriptions in detail," says Gewirtz.

Typical advertisers are building add-on products for a particular

technical market. Freelance authors get a minimum stipend of $25 plus

visibility in their fields.

His next target: print magazines that feel the pressure to go online

— for instance, the 1,800 existing investment journals and 2,700

law journals. With ZenPress, Zatz will put them online for from $7,000

to $20,000 a month, including the Internet feed, maintenance, and

all the programming including a search engine. "We guarantee no

up-front engineering fee provided you follow our overall structure,

including text ads and banner ads. We have proven it works," says

Gewirtz. "At the $20,000 range I think we help them sell the


A potential competitor, CNet, has an automated production tool called

Vignette’s Story Server, which Gewirtz says must be continually


from scratch for an initial engineering charge of close to $250,000.

"Zatz will definitely go public," says Gewirtz, "but we

need to grow the thing to critical mass, which will be in 18 months

to 2 1/2 years."

A native of Fair Lawn, New Jersey, where his father was in sales and

his mother was a teacher, Gewirtz majored in computer science at


Polytechnic in Massachusetts in 1982. He was in the Ph.D. program

in computer science at Berkeley before leaving to be a middle manager

at a Silicon Valley startup, Pyramid Technologies, and then went to

Living Videotext, owned by Symantec.

Gewirtz founded two companies in California, and when he acquired

full control of both, he started two companies in Princeton, Component

Software and Product Power. Enthusiastic about the virtual business

prototype, he wrote a book on the subject (U.S. 1, April 21, 1993).

He spun off one company, based on FileFlex, to a former employee.

From 1992 to 1999 he helped set up a number of journals for Ziff


His latest publication is found on E-mail only, "Advertips,"

originally intended for advertising prospects on how to do Internet

marketing, now with wider distribution.

"Here we are," says Gewirtz, "in the middle of central

New Jersey, and after one year we have the leading publication in

three major market areas and important trademark licensing


with three of the major companies in the technology world (Lotus,

3Com, and Microsoft). When the fire got lit under this puppy it became

pretty all consuming."

"We consider Ziff Davis a competitor and Time Warner our


says Gewirtz, "but Ziff now really can’t compete with us. We have

the largest market for the topics we are covering. They try to produce

a publication that people have to buy a subscription to. The old


printing companies can’t really compete." As he builds a technical

audience, Gewirtz says, that audience will have interests outside

the technical realm. "It will be very referential."

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Digital Books

Using one of the new portable electronic "book


does not substitute for holding a good, old-fashioned book in your

hands. But John Feldcamp of Xlibris Corporation is using

digital technology in another way


He founded the company at the Trenton Business and Technology Center

to drive the cost of paper publishing down so that every author could

self publish (U.S. 1, May 6, 1998). Last week the firm moved to


"In contrast to mainstream publishing practices, because an


book is stored digitally and produced on-demand in quantities as low

as a single unit, Xlibris books never go out of print," says


Less than two years after founding Xlibris, he has 295 titles on his

server, and more than 400 authors have signed contracts.

For $450 and a manuscript supplied in electronic form, the company

digitally formats a bound hardback of up to 800 pages, programming

it with codes for pagination and text and title styles. Authors get

galley proofs for review and retain control over their work; the first

set of corrections is free but correcting the second set of galleys

costs $100.

Stored electronically, the book can be ordered via the Xlibris


at one of the sites, at a traditional bookstore, or by phone,

fax, or mail. Books can be manufactured in single-unit quantities

at a price competitive with retail. Xlibris ships the book to the

buyer and pays royalties.

Just last week Xlibris and its 17 employees moved out of Trenton’s

incubator space into the old Corn Exchange National Bank building,

in Philadelphia’s Olde City (215-923-4686; fax, 215-923-4685).


space is cool and it doesn’t cost very much," says David Hisbrook,

himself a new hire as vice president for communications.

Potential recruits are Philadelphia’s mother lode of graduate students

and recent college graduates. Hisbrook wants "really really bright

20 somethings who were liberal arts and computer science majors, who

are casting about looking for a mission in life."

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Fast Applications

When Peterson’s started producing college guides

in 1966, it provided a unique service to a blossoming new market.

Today using such guides is a rite of passage. The Carnegie


firm has turned many of the grueling rituals necessary to get into

college — from preparation for college entrance exams to the


application process — into electronic transactions that can be

handled with relative ease (

When the Thomson Corp. bought the family-run business in 1995,


and Casey Hegener had already launched a reasonably-big website

and started pioneering E-Commerce. Now Michael Brannick is


and CEO, and the company’s "supersite" has a book store


after Amazon as well as searchable databases, using both key words

or zip codes, to track down colleges, grad schools, virtual campuses,

summer jobs and camps, and executive education.

Then last year the company teamed up with ETS, formerly a competitor,

to produce an online admissions service called GradAdvantage


for students applying to business schools. It is the only site capable

of sending college applications with official, confidential test


attached. The best part: you only have to fill-out your background

information once. It’s simply transferred to each new application.

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Multiple Light Bulbs

<B>Jeff DiBartolo, founder and president of


Multimedia Inc. at 1100 Cornwall Road in Monmouth Junction, sees

the Internet as a giant laboratory. "If I were Edison, I’d get

to invent something in the basement," he says. "I do it on

the Net, and then see if I can apply it to some of our customers."

The results of his light bulb moments: a site for registering other

websites with search engines using proprietary software


and E-magazines geared towards the reader suffering from


overload" ( "I roll them out

but I don’t really worry if they fail because it’s not my core


Interact’s core business ( pulled

in 2.5 million in revenue last year. For Budweiser, it created an

interactive screensaver; for Spelling Studios, an interactive


tool used at conventions and trade shows; for Philips Lighting, a

web site that won an award from Apple Computers; for Tower Records,

an in-store kiosk that lets people listen to music. All this, and

DiBartolo never touched a computer before leaving college.

DiBartolo is a graduate of Trenton State College, Class of 1988, with

a degree in advertising and design. Initially, he went into print

design with CompuDoc, now a competitor.

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Self-Designing Duds

<B>Mark Meara of Princeton Internet Group


on Roszel Road ( bagged a TNJ

award for the website of one of the firm’s clients, Boathouse Row

Sports Ltd. It has an E-commerce application to make everyone’s

mouth water: On the site you can design your own team jacket


Boathouse Row is known for making fabulous team jackets, first for

crew teams, then for everyone else. With PInG’s Design Online tool,

developed with Java and an Oracle database, customers can choose


(color, logo, lining, collar, and hood style) and right away see the

custom product. It significantly changed the way Boathouse Row did

business. "This feature is not only entertaining for the customer,

but it bridges the gap from the conceptual into the practical,"

says Meara. About 1,500 users work with the Design Online feature

each week, and sales are on the rise.

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Custom Service

<B>P.V. Kannan, president and CEO of four-year-old

Business Evolution at 305 College Road East, parlayed his interest

in groupware to devise the "@Once Service Center," the first

Web customer support software that uses these four channels: E-mail,

live messaging, private chat, and telephone callback. The system can

also prioritize customer questions according to their urgency or


to purchase, so that only the qualified customers get access to


channels (

"Customer service on the Internet is more than chatting with


it is providing the experience that today is done in the brick and

mortar world. It’s understanding the customers needs and quickly


to them," says Kannan, who won a TNJ Internet Innovator award

as well as a website prize (U.S. 1, April 30, 1997).

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Custom Site Tours

Chellury Sastry is project manager of Web Tour for call centers,

E-commerce, and distance learning, developed at the College Road


of Siemens Corporate Research


Verbal and diagrammatic annotations on the web pages help viewers

go through a website, and the viewer can respond verbally or with

E-mail. For instance, a doctor could make notations or verbal comments

on a patient’s record and pass it along to a colleague for review.

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Cyber Ball Game

Jim Medalia founded the world’s first and only retailer


in sales of balls over the Internet on Route 27 in Kingston


Not only was Justballs! voted most likely to receive funding

at the New Jersey Venture Fair, but it won People’s Choice (most ready

to receive funding) at the prestigious Early Stage East Venture Fair,

both held this spring. Medalia says he is, indeed, on the verge of

getting his first venture capital funding (U.S. 1, August 12, 1998).

Top Of Page
More E-commerce

Blessing/White Inc., the Orchard Road-based consulting

company that specializes in personal and corporate growth, merges

input from both managers and employees to pull out insights useful

for a career development discussion. This intranet is available by

a password at ).

Datamark Technologies at the Technology Center of New

Jersey on Route 1 South is developing a brandable customer loyalty

program that will provide account balances, point totals for loyalty

programs, and redemption options or discounts, awards, and gifts —

all at the client’s website, which will reside on Datamark


server. These webcentric programs, now in effect for 20 clients, are

expected to launch late this year

( ).

Kandu Inc. won first place in its division for TNJ’s


awards ( ). Located on Kuser Road, the


interactive multimedia company does both hard-core programming and

the high-end graphics (U.S. 1, January 27, 1999). As an extension

of its kiosks for NikeTown stores, it put a Java-based expert system

on the website at It polls the user

on requirements for running shoes or soccer shoes and then recommends

appropriate models.

Princeton Cybernetics Inc.


has webcentric market survey programs that are written to a database

that resides in a protected directory on the server, thereby


the security of the collected data (U.S. 1, August 12, 1998).

Princeton Partners Inc., on Research Way, is helping


clients on the Internet using what it calls "weblicity" —

a thorough search of the World Wide Web for sites to link with their

clients’ sites. The agency is also designing and redesigning websites,

and building E-Commerce applications

( ).

Strand Management Solutions Inc., a 20-year-old East


firm, has created a grant application and administration program for

the state arts council and a capital purchase evaluation software

for PSE&G. Soon to be released: a $1,000 to $6,000 human resources

policy site that notifies employees of ever-changing personnel policy.

In an increasingly litigious climate, this will help HR managers track

down employees to get them to review policy and sign-off with a simple

click (

A whiz-kid who attended Stevens Institute of Technology at the age

of 15, David Krumholz was one of the first independent developers.

"Back 20 years ago, the information world was divided into two

parts: the IBM world, and everyone else," he says. "We


decided we were going to be everyone else because the IBM world was

very structured and slow. We wanted to put quick solutions directly

into people’s hands."

CrestanCorp Communications of Flemington offers an


of a firm’s communications strategies. Visitors can respond to a


of questions, submit their responses, and receive the assessment by

E-mail ( ).

Decision Technology Inc. at 4390 Route 1 South won a TNJ

award for its website ( , which

offers specifics about an end-user tool for legacy mainframe formats.

Formal Systems Inc. on Thanet Circle won a TNJ award in

the pharmaceutical category for

The site promotes custom software development services and has


Campus as its on-line virtual university.

After adding E-commerce to its skill set, the Princeton


Gillespie Organization is perfecting direct customer marketing

for such clients as Columbia House, which erected an online music,

video, and bookstore called Total, and, a company that

bundles computers and Internet service together for discount prices.

It just received assignments for Fidelity in Boston and Household

Credit Services in California. (

Among the Internet projects for Stonehouse Media Inc.,

at 4390 Route 1 North, is a , which

supports a CD-ROM offering educational information related to proper

fire investigation (

Trenton-based Tramp Steamer Media, helped develop the

overall design strategy for Dow Jones University, the new personal

finance education product from Dow Jones Interactive Publishing, and

produced more than 50 video segments for the courses

( .

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