| HOME |

CBS Web site turns mouse clicks into cold, hard cash


Showing up late in the portal Web site game, CBS has turned to a simple but powerful way to attract users to its new Web site.

Their marketing tool? Cash. Money. Greenbacks.

CBS is plans on shelling out $25 million in order to attract Web surfers to its new portal Web site, called iWon.com.

The TV network's plan is to award the prizes over a year's time in the site's first year. CBS officials unveiled the Web site last week and said they plan to recoup their investment as venture capitalists invest in the site.

You're going to see an lot about iWon.com on CBS TV -- the network has committed $70 million in air time for promotion and to announce winners of the sweepstakes.

IWon's premise is simple.

After your initial registration at the site, every place you go, every link you click on adds "points" to your account. Any activity at the site generates points, from using the search engine to reading the news.

The Web site keeps a running total of your account visible all the time while visiting iWon.com.

The points are what help you win the prizes -- namely, $10,000 a day, $1 million a month and $10 million on tax day, April 15th.

Drawings are made daily and posted online.

But don't think iWon.com is solely about giving money away. Partnerships with Inktomi, Travelocity.com, Mail.com, AutoWeb.com, Realtor.com, and others contribute substantial content depth.

CBS holds a minority interest in 11 other Web sites. iWon is the company's first site in which it holds a majority stake. CTC Bulldog Inc. operates the site for CBS.

iMAC DEBUT. As expected, Apple unveiled additional models to its highly successful iMac lineup of computers.

The new iMacs are slightly smaller than existing models. Other changes include a drawer-less CD ROM; built-in high-fidelity speakers; improved cooling; and improved support for additional digital input devices like cameras.

The cases are even more translucent than the original iMacs.

The base G3-processor-equipped iMac model unveiled runs at 350MHz and retails for $999. A DVD-equipped 400MHz iMac is priced at $1,299, and a special edition, graphite tinted iMac tops the lineup at $1,499.

Users can cut the effective price of a new iMac by $400 by signing up for CompuServe Internet access for three years.

The iMac DV model includes Apple's hot new movie editing software called iMovie. Folks who have tried it say it will revolutionize video editing the way the original Macintoshes revolutionized desktop publishing.

The key to big holiday sales may be in Apple's ability to meet the demand for these machines. Apple's stock took a dip last month after it announced that a lack of processors for its high-end Macs would cut its estimated fourth-quarter earnings.

To see the details on the new iMac lineup, visit Apple's Web site at www.apple.com.

NEW MAC OS. A new Mac operating system was unveiled last week along with the new iMac computers.

The operating system incorporates Apple's Sherlock 2 search engine, as well as other refinements. Existing users can upgrade for $99.

For more details on Apple's new iMacs or operating systems, visit their Web site at www.apple.com.

NAME GAME. Intel Corp., maker of most computer processor chips installed in PCs, has renamed its chips that will be the brain of the next generation of computers.

The chips formerly known as Merced, will now be called Itanium (pronounced like titanium without the first "t").

The reason is pure marketing. Itanium tested better than Merced.

Itanium won't hit the streets until mid-year next year, Intel competitor Advanced Micro Devices also recently chose a name for its next-generation K7 computer processor chips.

The name "Athlon" is aimed at conjuring an image of high performance in the minds of customers, according to a recent story.

ONLINE KY. There's a new portal that's specifically aimed at folks interested in all things Kentucky.

Online Kentucky offers a wide range of information about the state, including links to government agencies, Kentucky newspapers, colleges and services.

You'll find links to e-commerce sites, and have a chance to enter contests, including a November drawing for a 3Com Palm III.

Visit Online Kentucky at www.onlinekentucky.com.

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

| HOME |