for 2 July 1996. Updated every TUESDAY.

BIG IDEA Wink Martindale meets E*Trade
... on the Web!
25 WORDS <= Online investing promises to be the 21st
century equivalent of Lotto...
digisquares.com adds the zingy game-show
format to net.stock speculation - the sum
is pure fun!
HARD SELL If the future of networked media hinges on
the illusion of interactive community,
the value leader for the medium is
clearly games. Already, the Ids, Bungies,
Segas, and Imagination Networks of the
world are dredging the talent pool in
anticipation for this space-age
opportunity. But while they're puzzling
out methods to conquer latency times and
turn the Web into a
rocket-launcher-enhanced virtual
bloodbath, the true value of traditional
game programming shouldn't be overlooked.
The old standards, those beacons of
hilarity, hope, and histrionics - gems
like the Price is Right and Wheel of
Fortune - are the oracles of our
programming projections. The unique
digisquares.com insight is that, on the
Web, the common currency is not Buick
Skylarks, it's securities!
The gaming elements of digisquares.com
will be everything legions of webheads are
yearning for: a challenge suited to their
particular knowledge, new media
celebrities, networking opportunities par
excellence, and the peerless prospect of
aggressively building their investment
portfolios while having a wonderful
entertainment experience. Our pilot
vehicle appropriates the brilliance of
Hollywood Squares, drawing on borderline
net.personalities for humor, and
substituting the tic-tac-toe playing
board for a bit mask grid. The game can
be accessed and played anytime, as
questions and celebrity answers (all
related to the net and net stock
valuations) are assembled in advance to
game play. Special events would include
high-profile CEOs wagering portions of
their own stakes, feature segments which
allow participants to bet against
emerging IPOs (a la The Price is Right),
and gala year-end finales with grand
prizes including ownership of an entire
company. Departing contestants receive
more humble prizes, such as signed,
vintage 2400-baud modems of the networked
stars and, possibly, shares in the
Digital Hollywood Squares Company itself.
OVERHEAD The production cycle for the first season
would not be dissimilar to that of a
middling-grade CD-ROM project. A vast
database of questions and answers would
entail a 30-60 day round of filming.
Concurrently, the limp performance of
net-based tech stocks could be
capitalized upon by purchasing large
blocks of securities during
digisquares.com's development stages, and
using the few that perform exceptionally
well to fund late production and
continuing implementation. Exclusive
contracts with obscure figures such as
Cliff Stoll, Stephen Levy, and R.U.
Sirius could be had for ridiculously low
amounts. Similarly, the digisquares.com
host could be someone whose current
career might be characterized as
"off-peak" - Adam Curry comes highly

courtesy of
The Duke of URL