- May 18, 2000
Funeral Homes Find Way to
According to the Dallas News:
"Bound by tradition and
dominated by small, family-run enterprises, the funeral
services industry has been slow to embrace the Internet.
But a start-up called Legacy.com has
figured out a clever way to enter the business, selling
online memorials that can offer information about upcoming
funeral services and then pay tribute to the departed long
after the hearses have left the cemetery. Friends and relatives
can visit this Internet portal for years to come to read
obituaries, poems and eulogies and to view galleries of
Generally, 'unless you're famous,
most people don't get a big article in the newspaper,'
said Carl Painter, vice president for sales at Legacy.com,
who was in Dallas last week talking with Texas funeral
directors at a conference. 'But we're not limited by space.'
Legacy.com can sell its memorials
directly to customers over the Internet. But mostly, the
Evanston, Ill.-based company is following a clicks-and-mortar
approach, with the funeral directors acting as a kind of
here for the full story. [Link no longer active]
IDC Expects a Surge in Live
Voice Communications over the Web
The whole world is already talking about the Internet,
but more and more Internet users are talking over it.
Communications and messaging services bringing live voice
communications to the Internet (Web talk) are expanding at
astronomic growth rates. IDC forecasts Web talk service provider
revenues will increase at a compound annual growth rate of
200% from $208 million in 2000 to $16.5 billion by yearend
"Demand for Web talk capabilities
is increasing from both Web sites and end users," said
Mark Winther, group vice president of IDC's Worldwide Telecommunications
research. "Individuals want to use Web talk to communicate
with their friends and families, and companies with ecommerce
sites want to apply Web talk to improve poor customer service
that is often caused by lack of human interaction."
According to IDC, Web talk applications
leverage the browsers, portals, and network structures
already in place on the Internet. They became a reality
because of improved Internet performance and the declining
cost of bandwidth. Service providers are eager to take
advantage of the opportunities generated by Web talk. Last
year, more than 25 Web talk service providers launched
Web talk service providers,
which use a free business model, make their money from
four revenue sources: advertising, up-selling to premium
services, hosted services, and ecommerce fees. This year,
the bulk of revenues will be generated from premium services,
accounting for $96.3 million, or 46% of the market. Through
2004, revenues from hosted services and advertising will
increase the fastest, however.
IDC believes Web talk service
providers' current objective is to increase their user
base quickly. Word of mouth, which in this case can be
literally applied, will help these providers grow quickly
in the beginning, but later more aggressive marketing techniques
will have to be used.
Overall, IDC believes Web talk
will be a huge success. "By 2004, the amount of time
users spend talking on the Web will exceed 3 trillion minutes
a year," Winther said.
to May 2000 News Archive