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State's tourist attractions promoting themselves on the Web

Oct. 6, 1996


If you're a hockey fan, then you're familiar with the Louisville RiverFrogs. And if you've got access to a computer with Internet access, you can pay a visit to the Frogs' own version of a virtual ``Swamp.''

The Louisville-based hockey team have a very spiffy Web site now running and you can visit it at http://www.riverfrogs.com/

What's there to see? Besides the usual fare that includes schedule, ticket information (season tickets or individual tickets) for the Frogs' 35 home games this season, there's lots to do. (Reminder: The Frogs' season starts the 18th, so visit the Web site for all the information.)

You can check out player biographies, coaching staff info, photos of the Frogs, notes from the coaches, an on-line newsletter and even an on-line chat area called Frog Talk.

A visit will make even the most rabid hockey fan ``hoppy'' he visited the Frogs' on-line site.

KENTUCKY HISTORICAL SOCIETY. If you're a genealogy buff, or just a fan of Kentucky history, then you've probably made a trek to the Mecca for all genealogists with roots in Kentucky -- the Kentucky Historical Society in Frankfort.

The KHS has offices near the Old State Capitol building, though a new $22.5 million Kentucky History Center is being built.

Actually, the KHS operates three museums: the Kentucky History Museum, the Old State Capitol, and the Kentucky Military History Museum.

And for the latest information on their exhibits, the first place to start is the Kentucky Historical Society's new home page on the Web.

It is more than an on-line brochure; it is complete with maps and directions,a s well as updates on construction, historical society news, and information on joining the organization.

And lots of people do; more than 30,000 researchers visited their archives last year alone.

One of the major exhibits now on display at the Old State Capitol is ``A Taste of Kentucky'', an exhibit honoring the culinary heritage of the state. Admission is free, and you can catch the exhibit open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, and noon until 4 p.m. on Sundays.

Visit the Kentucky Historical Society's Web site at http://www.state.ky.us/agencies/khs/ for all the details.

MORE HISTORY. Another valuable source of Kentucky history is a little off the beaten track; in fact, if you aren't a student or graduate of Western Kentucky University, you probably have never heard of the Kentucky Library at WKU.

Fortunately for us Web surfers, a great deal of the Kentucky Library is cataloged on the university's computerized card catalog, called TOPCAT, and it is available via telnet through your Web browser.

You may need a helper application to do it, but once you have it set up, it's almost as good as being in the library at Western walking through their stacks.

The Kentucky Library houses extensive genealogy files, manuscripts and collections of illustrative materials about the history of the state, and photographs and postcards that date back to the late 19th century. These aren't cataloged on TOPCAT, but many can be copied, depending on condition.

Hint: If you find something you might want to make the trip down to see in person, the Kentucky Library is open until 8:30 p.m. on Monday nights, as well as Saturdays 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

For more information, visit WKU's Web site, Western Online, at http://www.msc.wku.edu/

INVESTING ON-LINE. If you're interested in mutual funds, you might want to join the thousands of Web surfers who are taking time to visit the Mutual Fund Educational Alliance's Mutual Fund Investor's Center at http://www.mfea.com/

Launched Sept. 3, the site has been getting lots of visitors -- and press -- since it began offering information on funds and links to home pages of fund firms.

It's a clean site, and you'll either be pleased or nauseated at the page's use of frames; either way you'll have lots of information to sort through, including current fund prices, news on funds, and educational areas to learn more about mutual funds. A handy glossary keeps you in-the-know in this especially jargon-filled investing field. I thought computers were bad!

But their advice is worth taking, for example, guideline number two: ``Learn the basics before you begin.''

Its a complete resource for the mutual fund do-in-yourself investor.

BROWSER NEWS. Microsoft's next Web browser is expected to be available for beta testing by the end of the year. It reportedly will be tightly integrated with both the Windows95 operating system and its as-yet-unnamed update.

The company is also making moves to send its own ActiveX software development technology to an outside company or consortium of companies.

With the Justice Department making noise about new anti-trust violations, Microsoft apparently believes that moving ActiveX out of the company's hands will be seen as an making it a more ``open'' standard -- and not simply a development tool to give Microsoft's developers and advantage over competitors.

And Reuters reported Monday that Microsoft's research and development budget for the next year will hit $2.1 billion. The focus will be on improving Windows software and further integration of Internet technology into its business software, the report said.

AOL UPDATE. With a target goal of 10 million subscribers by next summer, expect to see an advertising blitz soon from the folks at America Online.

With an ad budget of $100 million for this quarter, the on-line service hopes to boost profits and membership with a new TV ad campaign, including infomercials on TV and videocassette (and yes, more of those pesky diskettes).

Shares of the 6.2-million subscriber online service recently began trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

NET WORTH? Advertising revenues on the World Wide Web are anticipated to rise sharply by the end of the decade, according to a California investment bank.

Revenues will reach $300 million this year, and top $3.8 billion by 2000, says a report by San Fransico-based Habrecht & Quist.

According to the report, traditional advertisers will recognize and take advantage of the specific demographics on the Web, and gear their marketing toward Net-savvy consumers.

What's that mean to those of us who use the Net? Most likely more URLs splashed in print and TV ads, and yes, more of those pesky AOL computer disks.

Comments and questions about this column may be sent to jbrooks@myoldkentuckyhome.com, or visit www.myoldkentuckyhome.com on the World Wide Web.

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