Chat Transcript: Internet Expert Tiffany Shlain (Sept. 15, 2000)

If you want to know about the Internet, Tiffany Shlain is the woman to ask. A recognized authority on the best of the Internet, Shlain has been an outspoken and articulate commentator on media, design, Internet culture and technology. Shlain co-founded The International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences and she’s also the director and founder of The Webby Awards, created in 1996 to honor the people behind the Web.

Shlain made her debut today as Good Morning America’s new Internet expert and then joined us for an online chat. Below is a transcript of a chat.

Moderator at 10:22am ET

Learn more about the Webby Awards. Welcome, Tiffany Shlain.

James F. from at 12:00pm ET

Which one or two Web sites can't you live without daily?

Tiffany Shlain at 12:01pm ET

Well,, of course, because that would be the homepage of my company. I do use to order all of my groceries, and, which is my favorite search engine — and it also won a Webby Award. Those are a couple. I use so many sites.

Digital Degrees from at 12:02pm ET

Hello, Tiffany. What's your opinion of the advent of accredited online education, and which institutions do you see as innovators?-Ed

Tiffany Shlain at 12:02pm ET

I am all for getting education online. I know a lot of people are limited by where they live. The Internet provides the opportunity to get educated by some of the best teachers in the world no matter where you are. I personally haven't tried these so I can't recommend the best, but I recommend going to the education page on our site.

Jeanne from at 12:03pm ET

I would like to know how you see the the Internet used in the daily functions of hospitals.

Tiffany Shlain at 12:05pm ET

My father is surgeon and my brother is a doctor, so I have a lot of familiarity with this issue. As medicine discovers more cures, doctors need to have access to more information. Not only do doctors have information about the patient's past history, but they also have access to information on all the latest studies and cures online.

Another way that it's really helping the medical profession — and this is full disclosure, that my brother runs this company — is with What it allows you to do is, before you go on any trip, to get medical information to prepare for your trip. If you get sick while you're travelling it will hook you up with a network of respected and English-speaking doctors around the world.

Truluck at 12:06pm ET

What are the Web site addresses, again, that you spoke about this morning?

Tiffany Shlain at 12:06pm ET was the first site that I talked about. I understand that it might have buckled under the traffic after I talked about it today. is a great one. The second site I talked about was

Moderator at 12:07pm ET

We often hear about the "digital divide" on the Web. Are you seeing more minorities and women getting access to the Internet?

Tiffany Shlain at 12:10pm ET

I heard recently that the number of women that are now online is increasing exponentially. I always think of hunters and gatherers, and women are gatherers — they're gathering information online. As far as minorities, the Webby Awards and the Academy work a lot with organizations on helping with this issue.

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