Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Diane Neal - BusinessWeek Online Article
Published August 21, 1998

BusinessWeek Online
August 21, 1998

by Diane Young

Do you feel as though you know just a little bit more about President Bill Clinton lately than you need to? Are you, like me and so many others, growing tired of hearing about Bill's backroom escapades? Let's say, for the sake of argument, that you want to know more about his partner in sin, Ms. Monica Lewinsky. Sure, she has been on TV, been splashed across the papers, and been the butt of late-night TV jokes. But not nearly as much as Bill. So in the interest of equal time, I set out to find Monica on the Web.
If you're among the relative handful of people who feel compelled to take on the same mission, here's a hint: Don't waste your time with your standard search engines such as Yahoo! or Excite. Instead, you need a 24-hour, dedicated Monica search engine. Head straight for goMONICA.com.

Yes, it's true. There's a Web site that's not only devoted to Monica Lewinsky but also to helping you find all the other Monica pages out there. And it's just full of stuff that never made it into Linda Tripp's tape recordings. There are even links to the Top 100 Monica sites. Sure, you could find these on your own by scouring the Web, but here they're conveniently bundled in one place.

Once you're over your initial disappointment that there aren't really 100 Monica sites listed -- goMONICA is up to only 43 -- you can start cruising. What kinds of sites are we talking about? One of the most prominent is MonicaCam.com. The MonicaCam is stationed right across the street from the offices of Lewinsky's legal dream team, Plato Cacheris and Jacob Stein. The enthralling view is updated every 10 minutes from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. Honestly, you can't see much, but it is history, after all.

A word of caution for parents of school-age kids on the lookout for civics lessons. Though goMONICA declines to host adult content, it does have links to pages that are about as steamy and sleazy as a five-minute encounter in a White House closet. If your employer will fire you for looking at soft-core on the job, wait 'til you get home.

Do you secretly think Monica and Bill make a cute couple, cheek-to-cheek? Other goMONICA links let you order Monica and Bill buttons or send buddies free Zippergate postcards. GoMONICA also has a gallery of Lewinsky photos (most of which you've seen on TV) so you can take a trip down memory lane. Look! There's Monica at the Pentagon. And here's one with her parents before she became Ken Starr's new best friend.

Who's responsible for this cornucopia of Monicaism? That honor belongs to George Karas of The Fuzz Net Inc., an Internet marketing firm. Karas launched the Monica pages in February "as a joke." Because of its popularity, the site has since evolved into an alternative take on the sex scandal, albeit a sarcastic and irreverent one. Karas reports average daily visits of about 8,000, with recent days bringing in 25,000 or more. The all-time high, he says, was 38,000 on Aug 18, the day after the President testified before the grand jury and then went on TV to give his version of the Lewinsky tale.

The link on goMONICA I like the best takes you to technology magazine (and Denver radio show) Exopa Terra (www.exopaterra.com). It has an impressive collection of staff-written articles that track Monica's rise on the Web. The series is called "The Web Does Monica."

How will the Web treat Monica once her grand jury days are past? Who knows? Who cares? But if you want to check out how others are poking fun at someone other than the President, check out goMONICA.com

Young, who is BW Online's associate Webmaster in New York, is about to have her Web access yanked

Copyright 1998 McGraw-Hill Companies.  All rights reserved. Any use is subject to (1) terms and conditions of this service and (2) rules stated under "Read This First" in the "About Business Week" area.

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