Startup to launch electric minds Web site

A new multimedia startup wants to use 'social' Web publishing to spark other forms of media.

A new multimedia startup wants to use "social" Web publishing to spark other forms of media.

Electric Minds, announced this week by HotWired founding editor Howard Rheingold and Yahoo!'s founding sales and marketing vice-president Randy Haykin, will launch its first project in six to eight weeks: The Electric Minds Web site (http://www.minds.com), a site that will post original articles and encourage public comment and discussion on them.

"Content will spur dialogue and dialogue will spur content," says Lara Morris, a public releations representative for Electric Minds. "You're using the Web as a communications medium rather than just a publishing medium."

Future projects will expand the Web site's content into other media, including cable, books, videos, newsletters, and mirrored Web servers overseas -- what the creators call the "inverse publishing model", Morris says. "The site is going to be the starting point for the other published media, rather than other sites which take previously published materials ... and adapt them to the online environment," Morris says.

The free site will launch with several sponsors, including US West, and will have publishing relationships with HarperCollins San Francisco and Digital Garage of Japan. John McCoy, formerly of Ikonic Interactive, is director of business development, officials say. Bill Peck, who ran Web-based ad sales at HotWired and Infoseek, is director of sales. Abbe Don, formerly of Apple, the MIT Media Lab, and Kaleida Labs, will be executive producer. Jim Race, formerly of MCI Communications, will be director of technology.

Rheingold, author of The Virtual Community (1994), will write articles, officials say. Others involved in the project include Marc Pesce, co-creator of Virtual Reality Modeling Language; and Tokyo-based pop singer Reiko Chiba.

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