Koogle says Net benefits just beginning

Opportunities brought by the Internet are only beginning and will improve as content distribution networks and greater bandwidth come into play, Yahoo Inc. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tim Koogle said during the kick-off keynote speech at the Cyberposium at the Harvard University Business School Friday.

The Internet's attributes allow for communication, content distribution and commerce transactions, Koogle told participants in the conference, which is run by students working on their master of business administration (MBA) degrees. An estimated 2,000 MBA students and academics from around the world are expected to attend the conference, which runs through Sunday.

"This is the first medium that is simultaneously about those three things," Koogle said. "It is real time and it has no geographic bounds. I believe that fundamentally the value you deliver is the integration of the three things."

The effectiveness of the Internet delivering on all three goals is still being questioned, Koogle said. But when that phase concludes, the effectiveness of all other types of media will be called in to question.

At Yahoo, the Santa Clara, California-based Web portal company has evolved in three phases, Koogle said. The initial years around 1995 found a few million users getting general use from Yahoo's site and doing searches. Then, it became a tool for general use, searches and communication.

Now, in its current stage, Yahoo is seeing its portal be used for general use and searches, communication and transactions. It has a user base of more than 180 million a month, according to December 2000 statistics.

The 60 million to 80 million "very active" Yahoo users provide a base of information about surfing habits, most-visited sites that can be used for targeted advertising and marketing, Koogle said. The goal at Yahoo has been to be one stop for users to find information, connect with anyone or buy anything, Koogle said.

The user experience will only get better with more bandwidth, which will offer a richer media experience, he said.

Although some online companies have faltered in recent months, this is an exciting time for companies that have fundamentally strong business models, he said. Koogle concluded by urging the several hundred MBA students to consider joining the IT ranks.

More information on the Cyberposium can be found at http://www.cyberposium.com/.

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