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Webgen Software at the Heart of New Ziff Davis/Microsoft/NBC Web Site


Internet Literacy Consultants, a San Francisco-based consulting firm that developed Webgen software, brings database technology to World Wide Web publishing with this evening's premier of "The Site," the newest of several innovative ventures that combine television programs with online publishing.

"The Site" is being produced in San Francisco as a joint venture of ZDTV (a subsidiary of Ziff-Davis Publishing Company), Microsoft Corp., and NBC. The television program will begin airing nationally on the new MSNBC cable network on Monday, July 15 at 7 p.m. Pacific time.

"The Site" will also exist on the World Wide Web as a rich repository of written material extending the breadth and depth of the televised stories. The Web site will be updated every day by an editorial staff working at ZDTV in San Francisco.

ZDTV licensed Webgen from Internet Literacy Consultants (ILC) and hired the consulting firm to perform custom programming so that ZDTV's database of news articles can be converted quickly into the "HTML" format for use over the World Wide Web.

Webgen is a software package that converts database files into HTML. By using programmable templates, Webgen can perform such complex and sophisticated tasks as ZDTV's database conversion within the very short time frame needed to accommodate "The Site."

"Publishing what amounts to a daily online newspaper is no easy task, and creating pages for the World Wide Web is a challenge under the best of conditions," said Suzanne Stefanac, online executive producer for the ZDTV Web site. "Webgen allowed us to write thousands of Web pages in mere minutes. Being able to consult with ILC makes the day-to-day problems seem both tolerable and solvable."

ILC is currently training the ZDTV Web staff to assume further development and eventual maintenance of the Webgen templates.


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