The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds has launched an online information and e-commerce service (, designed by new media agency Clarity. The site offers facilities to make secure online donations and membership application, as well as offering free information on RSPB activities targeted at its 1 million members and other potential customers online.

Rival search services Yahoo! and Excite have both unveiled “community” services, offering limited numbers of users access to closed sites featuring chat areas and posting facilities for e-mail messages and photos. Excite’s free service, offered to small businesses, extended families, and other interest groups, is offered free with user numbers limited to a maximum of 100. Service operators will be able to decide whether to make all, some or none of the community area open to non-members…

…Excite has appointed John Polumbo as president and chief operating officer. George Ball, who relinquishes the position of Excite’s president, remains chief executive officer with the search service. According to Ball, Polumbo will concentrate on developing new services to help distinguish Excite from rivals.

Exchange & Mart has been issued with its first audit certificate from ABC//electronic, showing traffic levels running at 1 million page views a month. The audit on the site ( was conducted between June 7 and July 4.

President Clinton’s admission of a sexual relationship with White House volunteer Monica Lewinsky last Monday prompted record traffic levels at a number of US sites. CNN’s site ( registered 20.4 million page impressions on the day, up by a third on its previous record of daily traffic.

Browser developer Netscape last week reported modest profits of $88,000 (53,000) in the third quarter of its financial year, narrowly avoiding most analysts’ predictions that the company would turn in a small loss for the period. Total revenues for Netscape, which has accused rival browser provider Microsoft of predatory practices, stood at $150.2m (91m) for the quarter, up from $136m (82m) the previous year.

Search engine and Web services company Lycos ( announced losses of $1.6m (1m) for the fourth quarter of its financial year to July 31. Revenues for the quarter were $19m (11.5m), up a quarter compared with the third quarter. Despite its loss-making year, the company succeeded in raising $115m (69.6m) in a secondary stock offering in June to fund future expansion.

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