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Inside Web Lab
Issue 3.0
August 17, l999

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    Our Slogan of the Month:
       I Blab, You Blab
   We All Blab, For Web Lab

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American Love Stories Site Launches - Test Dialogues Begin
PBS and Web Lab
NeedCom In the News
Comings and Goings
Job Opening - Development Director

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American Love Stories Site Launches - Test Dialogues Begin

After months of collecting stories, rewriting 
our dialogue software to take advantage of 
Oracle, and coordinating a thousand details 
for Web Lab's most ambitious site yet, American 
Love Stories went live on PBS ONLINE today.

In addition to showcasing stories about 
relationships that bridge differences, the
site will feature small group discussions 
modeled after the technique we began with P.O.V. 
Salon last summer and refined with Reality Check
in the winter. Although the "public" dialogues 
will begin in early September, when "An American
Love Story" premieres on PBS, you're invited 
to participate in a "test dialogue" that should
begin in the next day or two.

If you're interested in joining a 7-10 day 
dialogue about negotiating differences in 
relationships, while helping us get the site 
into shape for the broadcast, please sign up at:

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PBS and Web Lab

You may have noticed that is in the URL 
of our last three projects - American Love Stories
(ALS), NeedCom and VaguePolitix.  Each site 
represents a slightly different relationship with PBS.

Jennifer Fox, the producer/director of the 
documentary "An American Love Story," commissioned 
us to produce the ALS site.  As with all sites 
tied to a PBS broadcast, ALS is being "hosted" 
on PBS ONLINE.  But it's also being funded by them, 
along with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

NeedCom was one of several projects selected 
for support by the Web Development Fund, a 
project which has had PBS support since we 
launched it nearly two years ago.  Although 
VaguePolitix was produced independently with 
funding only from Web Lab, PBS was enthusiastic 
about hosting it (and helping to promote it) 
when it was finished.

The name "PBS" carries with it a unique kind 
of legitimacy, and we're very proud of our 
continuing relationship with one of the leading 
public interest Web sites in the U.S. -- and of 
the creative ways we've worked together on these 

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NeedCom In the News

NeedCom, which presents itself as a market 
research test for panhandlers, launched July l9
to critical acclaim.  The Boston Globe ran a 
high-profile editorial on Needcom, appealing 
for long-term support for innovative projects 
such as this, and the important industry publication, 
Min's New Media report, called the site "unique 
and brilliant" and an "inspired provocation."  
The site invites you to rate six real panhandlers, 
Learn about their sales pitches and trade secrets, 
and examine your own moral strategies that shape 
your real-life responses.  The site saw over
30,000 unique visitors during its first two weeks.  
Kudos to creator Cathy Davies for this inventive and 
original example of New Media Art!

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Supervising producer Barry Joseph talked about 
what Web Lab is doing in an interview on Look Smart 
Radio, a live Web interview show.  You can hear 
what he had to say at:
Or, if you have Real Audio, go straight to:
You can hear Barry at 46 minutes into the hour.

We're also happy to announce the launch of - a personal poetry 
generator, the pet project of our own Suzanne 
Seggerman, Project Manager at Web Lab.

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Comings and Goings

Chad Ossman, our beloved Project Assistant, is 
moving on to brighter horizons (and perhaps a 
bigger paycheck.)  With the desire to do more
technical work (and load up on new jargon), he 
will be taking up life as a Freelancer.  We wish 
him the best of luck and thank him for his 
great work keeping this place afloat.

As a result, we would like everyone to help us 
welcome the lovely and talented (and self-described 
smarty-pants) Laura Kertz, who has joined 
the staff as of the first of August. A former 
Director of Marketing and a current Masters 
student in media theory, she promises us that 
she has never used the word "dialectical" and 
has only said "ontological" in jest.  And we're 
going to hold her to it.

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Job Opening - Development Director

You could be Web Lab's new Director of Development!  
As the title implies, this is a senior level 
position with a lot of responsibilities. Some 
of the major duties include: coordinating all 
fundraising activities; initiating contacts with 
corporations, foundations, and individuals; 
researching, editing, and writing grant proposals.  
Candidates must have: 2 -3 years of development 
experience, superb writing and editing skills and 
a general knowledge of  Internet, communications, 
and online issues. It's a fun and demanding work 
environment located in downtown NYC.  For more info:

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