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Jewel's site strikes a chord with fans
Soul City Caf

January 31, 2003  

The concept of having a personal Web site is a little bit different when you're Jewel, the best-selling recording artist.


Her Web presence, Soul City Cafe, was launched only last June but has already become an integral part of her touring schedule and relationship with fans.

For example, the site has invited up-and-coming bands and solo musicians to submit three songs for a contest called Music Quest. The two winners, who will be determined by a vote of the site's visitors, will have the opportunity to be opening acts on Jewel's 2003 concert tour.

The operation is a true mother-and-daughter act, with Jewel's mother, Lenedra Carroll, acting as her manager and also her creative force on the Web.

Asked in an interview whether the site was a money-maker, Carroll says, "The contest has an admission fee that pays for itself." (The fee is a modest $25.) About the site's other products, including CDs and T-shirts, she explains, "I feel it can break even definitely within two years."

Rather than selling Jewel's CDs, which have plenty of promotion thanks to her Atlantic Records contract, the site features the work of "artists who are undiscovered," as Carroll puts it. Assorted music tracks and videos are also available for downloading, free, by registered visitors.

Film director Marcos Efron, the winner of a separate contest at the site last year, earned the right to shoot Jewel's "This Way" music video (the title song of her fourth album), which is also downloadable free. The visual portion of the site reflects the work of L.D. Thompson, a consultant experienced in video production.

I don't know where Jewel will go next with her music, but her e-business is one that's fun to look at and a joy to listen to.

See: http://www.soulcitycafe.com http://bri.li/4e7d

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The benefits of using a Wi-Fi card in your laptop are well known -- you can connect to the Net while at your desk or kitchen table or at coffee shops, airports, and hotels around the country.

Now Linksys has released what's billed as the first PC Card that supports both Wi-Fi (802.11b) and Wireless-G (802.11g). Wireless-G is as much as five times faster than Wi-Fi, but you need support for both until public providers upgrade. Linksys's WPC54G card is less than $75, so it hardly pays to buy an old Wi-Fi card anymore.

For details, see: http://www.secretspro http://bri.li/758d

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A lot of us have been meaning to catch up with the features of our HTML editors. That makes this a great time for "Dreamweaver MX: The Missing Manual," David McFarland's latest work on the subject, which has drawn rave reviews.

Whether you're just starting out with your first e-commerce site or you've trying to tune up a growing, data-driven e-business, you'll find something that you wouldn't have come up with on your own.

See it at: http://www.amazon.com http://bri.li/0596003498

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1. "SQL Slammer" worm recedes, but what does it mean for your database? http://www.wired.com http://bri.li/445

2. How Amazon's free shipping is putting pressure on smaller sites: http://www.siliconvalley.com http://bri.li/82d

3. Check boxes that default "on" aren't opt-in lists, says New York court: http://www.dmnews.com http://bri.li/c15

4. Need a popup killer? Site tests 61, rates five as best: http://www.popup-killer-review.com http://bri.li/ffd

5. EndPopup's new Popup Manager meets reviewer's tests AND is free: http://www.woodyswatch.com http://bri.li/13e5

6. File-swapping sites have grown 300 percent in the past 12 months: http://www.internet.com http://bri.li/17cd

7. Get a free .mil site, compliments of Department of Defense: http://www.theregister.co.uk http://bri.li/1bb5

8. Dave Barry starts a blog, which is as hilarious as you'd guess: http://davebarry.blogspot.com http://bri.li/1f9d

9. Free RSS code generator makes it easy to syndicate your headlines: http://www.webdevtips.com http://bri.li/2385

10. Miller gets major marketing buzz with its Catfight video: http://www.usatoday.com http://bri.li/276d

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I've had a lot of fun linking to ads (and some anti-ads) for Apple's "Switch" campaign. Finally, someone's made a cool Flash animation that exhorts the Windows masses to switch to Linux.

That someone is Ubergeek.tv, an animation site run by three tech-heads who seem to be enjoying themselves. With the ad's rambling list of all the "easy" things you need to do to run Linux (check your dependencies, once or twice ...), I don't know whether it'll convince anyone or not, but it sure is funny. (Warning: plays audio.)

See: http://www.ubergeek.tv http://bri.li/c3ad

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E-BUSINESS SECRETS: Our mission is to bring you such useful and thought-provoking information about the Web that you actually look forward to reading your e-mail.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: E-Business Secrets is written by InfoWorld contributing editor Brian Livingston: http://SecretsPro.com

Research director is Vickie Stevens. Brian has published 10 books, including:

Windows Me Secrets: http://www.amazon.com http://bri.li/0764534939

Windows 2000 Secrets: http://www.amazon.com http://bri.li/0764534130

You'll receive a gift certificate good for a book, CD, or DVD of your choice if you're the first to send Brian a Top Story or Wacky Web Week he prints. mailto:Brian@SecretsPro.com

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