Network World Hits the Big Screen, Babe

FRAMINGHAM (04/18/2000) - "Hey, babe, I've got a couple of primo screenplays in development, so why don't you have your people call my people and we'll do a deal over lunch at Spago's."

OK, I've got the networking lingo down - you know, TCP/IP, caching, the "Internet space" and all that - but I've got to work on my Hollywood-speak now that Network World is moving to the silver screen.

Actually, we're moving to your computer monitor with the May 5 launch of our monthly Webcast called "The Networked World." If you just can't get your fill of Network World in print each week or on the Web each day, now you'll have the chance to see us live every month as we bring to life the issues and technologies shaping the networked world through the magic of Internet broadcasting.

With the help of our sister company, we'll be Webcasting "The Networked World" to anyone who signs up to hear our debates, listen to our columnists opine and join in the discussion via e-mail or phone. The show will run about 30 to 40 minutes, and you can tune in as it happens or watch the recorded event at your convenience.

What will you get if you commit a half-hour of your workday to our program?

First, we'll have a "Virtual Showdown" - hosted by me, babe - on one of the hot issues of the day. Using a "McLaughlin Group"-style format, the two opposing pundits will go head-to-head in a skip-the-PowerPoint-and-get-to-the-point debate. Our first topic: application service providers (ASP) - one of the most overhyped concepts of the day. My question to our debaters: Are ASPs fully baked? Or does this idea still have a lot of cooking ahead?

For upcoming shows, we'll explore what the feds ought to do to Microsoft in the penalty phase of the antitrust suit, whether digital subscriber line or cable will win in the broadband access struggle, whether the government needs to impose stricter privacy rules, and other contentious subjects. The beauty part - as my son would say - is that you get to join in and challenge our speakers.

You simply type in a question or call our toll-free number (just like those radio talk shows).

In addition, we'll have a segment exploring the hottest news in networking with "NetFlash" author Doug Barney, and you'll hear "'Net Buzz" columnist Paul McNamara as he looks at the best and worst developments in the Internet economy. "Backspin" and "Gearhead" author Mark Gibbs will wrap up each show with his own unique take on the world of networking and anything else that pops into his mind.

To register for the Webcasts, go to www.itworld. com/itwebcast/nw. After you sign up, drop me a note about what you want us to debate on the show and then mark the time (1 p.m. EDT, Friday, May 5) on your calendar.

We want you to be a big part of this Hollywood gig, so plan to do lunch with us, babe.

Gallant is editorial director of Network World. He can be reached at

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