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

There are a lot of programs that I know of in the Bay area that are training people. They let minority teenagers come in, and they will train them and then place them in a job with one of the high-tech companies. We are actively involved in supporting any organizations that bridge the digitial divide. I think it's a big issue that will take a lot of work and a lot of people's commitments, to bridge this gap.

airsick9 at 12:10pm ET

What technical avenues are open to make using credit cards a safe way for a consumer to make purchases via the Internet?

Tiffany Shlain at 12:11pm ET

There are a lot of privacy technologies that are used and/or being developed. Etrust is one that I look to. I also look for PricewaterhouseCoopers' seal of approval. I still believe that we're in the stage that we're looking for brands and companies that we recognize and respect to place their seal or approval to give the consumer/user the trust needed to make a purchase.

Jamie at 12:12pm ET

What references would you recommend a young professional use in order to become versed in Web technology?

Tiffany Shlain at 12:14pm ET

There are several sites that speak directly to Web developers. I'm not sure what the best one is for new people who have never Web-developed. A couple of them are: Webmonkey.com, which is on the Wirednews site; Adobe.com and Macromedia.com. Those are for people that have more experience developing, but I'm sure that's a great place to start.

Chris Skeeles from neo.rr.com at 12:14pm ET

How can a person get the attention of the media about a Web site they run?

Tiffany Shlain at 12:16pm ET

As director of the Webby Awards, we like to feel like we're providing a service where we put the spotlight on the very best sites. Currently we have a big call for open submissions, where people can enter their site with Webbyawards.com. A lot of our winners from last year came from this open call for submissions. They received press and attention that money couldn't buy.

B.M. Playa from z209031002.sjc-ca.dsl.cnc.net at 12:16pm ET

Have you had any experiences with some of the new online food-delivery services (i.e. Webvan, Peapod, Kozmo, etc.)?

Tiffany Shlain at 12:17pm ET

I use both Webvan and Kozmo frequently. I have not been to a grocery store in a year now. It really has changed my life. Having the ability to save time like that has really been wonderful. When people ask me how it has been life-changing, as a busy person, that's one of the first things I think of.

Moderator at 12:17pm ET

Tell us about some the best Web sites that were seen at this year's Webbys.

Tiffany Shlain at 12:19pm ET

The best film site was Atomfilms. You can watch great animations and original short films on this site. A longtime favorite and multi-year winner is Onion.com, which is a great humor site. One that a lot of people hadn't heard of this year was a finance-category winner called Gomez.com.

The people's voice winner — the peoples' component of the Webby Awards — was Paypal.com, which is a great site to facilitate paying people — or if people owe you money. They facilitate the transaction.

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