BE FREE, WARNER BROS TO CAPITALIZE ON WEB COMMUNITIES.
Web community company GeoCities Inc has joined with Be Free Inc, a
provider of ecommerce network technology and services. The two companies
hope to create an infrastructure which will allow merchants to use the
content generated by GeoCities' 3.3 million Homesteaders, as the
builders of free web sites on GeoCities are known, rather than having to
come up with interesting content of their own. Be Free will make it
possible for merchants to partner with Homesteaders, "placing
products and services in context" on the Homesteaders'
personal pages. For their part, GeoCities members are to earn
commissions on what they sell. Meanwhile Warner Bros has teamed with
up-and-coming web community company FortuneCity.com. The first phase of
the joint venture is an entertainment-oriented community network to be
called ACMEcity. Warner Bros says it will promote ACMEcity through its
established and new media properties. The studio is also taking an
equity position in FortuneCity - a sound investment if last year's
spectacular community company IPOs are a reliable guide. Unfortunately,
they probably aren't.