Dear Netscape

Dear Netscape,




Would you be so kind as to allow us a few moments to intro­duce our­selves?


Extra­tone is a small media out­let on the WWW. Our mis­sion is quite sim­ple: Extra­tone believes that the Inter­net has “come of age” as a per­va­sive force in mass cul­ture, and we’ve elect­ed to take it upon our­selves to be the rig­or­ous and uncom­pro­mis­ing crit­ics — and occa­sion­al­ly court jesters — of this new, com­mer­cial­ized, con­sumer dri­ven online cul­ture.


Extra­tone may, at times, come across as a bit harsh in our assess­ments and opin­ions, but we’d ven­ture to guess that Netscape, as the lead­ing indus­tri­al advo­cate of the medi­um, hard­ly requires us to explain the val­ue of unfet­tered dia­logue.


We’ve had the plea­sure to watch the epochal ascent of your enter­prise from risky start-up to lofty mega­corp and, boy, are we impressed! It seems as if it were only yes­ter­day that we would sit around smirk­ing at Clark’s Fol­ly, won­der­ing how you’d ever squeeze a dime out of your efforts. Well, you sure showed us!

In par­tic­u­lar, we’ve been putting some thought towards your “What’s Cool” page. The way we see it, the Netscape home page prob­a­bly receives more vis­its than any oth­er home page on the Web — after all, upwards of 80%  of Web surfers use the Netscape brows­er in some incar­na­tion, and it’s our rea­son­ing that a rel­a­tive­ly few of these info­nauts actu­al­ly have the time, incli­na­tion, or resource­ful­ness to mod­i­fy the home page loca­tion pref to, say, Undoubt­ed­ly few­er still choose to dis­able those attrac­tive, hard-cod­ed direc­to­ry but­tons you so help­ful­ly pro­vide at the top of every Netscape brows­er. And we haven’t cho­sen to men­tion those hit counts you give to poten­tial adver­tis­ers. All in all, we think it’s a fair­ly safe bet to assume that your “What’s Cool” page is one of the most pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tions on the Web.


Make no mis­take — Extra­tone is cool.


We spare no effort in the dynam­ic pre­sen­ta­tion of hon­est, rel­e­vant and often pass­ably amus­ing con­tent. And we pub­lish dai­ly, to boot! We’re like “Cool Site of The Day” with­out the embar­rass­ing puns on the names of week­days and a bit more “laff val­ue.”


Now, we took a gan­der at the cur­rent entries on the Netscape What’s Cool page, and were a bit dis­turbed to dis­cov­er (through a bit of cyber-sleuth­ery) that the sites includ­ed dis­pro­por­tion­ate­ly rep­re­sent the Netscape Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and Com­merce Servers — not sur­pris­ing, per­haps, con­sid­er­ing the mon­u­men­tal­ly com­mer­cial­is­tic goals of the larg­er part of the sites, but a bit reveal­ing con­sid­er­ing that the Netscape servers own less than 10% of the mar­ket, accord­ing to the WebCrawler sur­vey and the bet­ter-doc­u­ment­ed but small­er-sam­pled sur­vey by Paul Hoff­man.


We’ll be the first to con­cede that peo­ple giv­ing you mon­ey is a pret­ty darn cool thing, indeed, but “cool”, as an abstract con­cept, sure­ly must sig­ni­fy some­thing more pro­found than the exchange of filthy lucre, no?


Don’t get us wrong — we wouldn’t mind if peo­ple start­ed toss­ing cash in our direc­tion, but that’s not real­ly our goal. We far pre­fer sup­port in the form of a lit­tle pub­lic­i­ty, maybe a link to us here or there. It’s not as if Extra­tone hasn’t already pro­vid­ed links going the oth­er way, and we like to think our site is a sol­id addi­tion to any hotlist, cor­po­rate or not.

Show us that you care.


Give us a shot…give us a spot.




The Soci­ety of Extra­ton­ers