eMailbag: Something Cabled This Way Comes?

First reader up this week, from MB, whose firm provides a turnkey service
for small- to mid-sized cable operators wishing to offer Internet access
over their cable plant:

“Do you have an opinion about the ability of cable operators to
compete with their local ISPs?”

Reply: ISPs are generally more responsive to customer needs and the
know-how needed to get people on the Internet. Cable operators have run
virtual monopolies for 20 years and haven’t yet shown the mindset to
compete for Internet business. To them, the Internet is an industry
separate from cable TV anyway.

I think that whoever runs that branded content via wire into the home has
the best chance at running all types of goods and services. So the large
ISPs may win in the end and become “interactive cable” services. In fact, I
think the Internet is “interactive cable” already, a bottom up revolution.
How’s that for the 500-channel universe? More like 50 million and growing.
Every page a


“Just curious about your opinion on DoubleClick (DCLK). According to some
of the news reports the company is hiring some “heavy hitters” in the
Internet advertising world. Its stock was an IPO just a few weeks ago; it
may be a bit of a roller coaster at first, but if DoubleClick handles
things right?”

Reply: I like DoubleClick (NASDAQ:DCKL) for several reasons, the
first being its Net-enabled nature. DoubleClick couldn’t exist anywhere but
the Internet and it pioneered a new way of advertising. Another reason why
Madison Avenue may be losing clout in the new media frontier. See ISR
17, 1997
for more analysis.

Broadly Speaking

“Liked the information [about Broadcom in ISR March
24, 1998
], but when is the issue due out?”

Reply: Broadcom filed the initial documents to sell stock to the
public. These documents don’t provide an offering date, that comes later as
the issue progresses to a red herring and then prospectus. The whole
process of paper pushing usually takes about 30 to 45 days. Keep an eye
out. Contact the underwriters listed in the report.

Relevant Answers

“I noticed the most recent Internet
had a column called
‘WEBDEX: Assessing the value of the top sites’ users.’ I was wondering where
the number for the users column comes from–is that from a service like
I/Pro, self-reported, guessed, or what?

Reply: User numbers are from Relevant Knowledge. WEBDEX is a service
of Mecklermedia, producer of this report, which combines those figures with
market capitalization and our estimated private market value for Web
assets, yielding the WEBDEX. See ISR March
26, 1998
for our latest weekly roundup.

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