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The Bronx News
June 19, 1997

By Daniel Gessle

Computer users can now surf through the fast growing web site of the All-American City. The Bronx Mall allows users to not only know what is going on in the borough but also experience it.

On top of a map of the Bronx, users will see several pictures of various borough landmarks. You can click on pictures of Yankee Stadium, animals for the Bronx Zoo, an Italian flag with a canoli for Belmont and Fordham and Lehman College. Each area clicked on allows you to learn more about that section. For example, the Yankee site relays the scores of the last game as well as fan and ticket information and upcoming games.

Barbara Tallerman's goal, when she came up for the idea of the Bronx Mall, was to design a site in which information about the entire borough could be accessed. She has been working with the Internet for the past four years. Back then there was not much on the Net. She wanted to develop the Internet for the home user. Bring it down more to a personal level.

"I wanted the layperson to understand it."

She envisioned all information about the Bronx brought together. She said this is ideal for advertisers who want to get their message to just the immediate ara where they are. It is also perfect for consumers. How will someone in Riverdale know about a new store on Westchester Avenue that could be cheaper then any other where they live. One example of how people do not know what's going in their borough is the existance of the New York Tennis Club. This institution has been around for 100 years yet few people know about the Throggs Neck facility.

The Mall also has features where residents can contribute. In Kids Connection, children can submit drawings, short stories and poems which will be displayed. Kids can also E-Mail their letters to President Clinton. If they click on the White House Website, Socks the cat introduces them to the site.

Adults can write and give their opinion on a specific issue. This time people can voice their say on whether graffiti is art or anarchy. There is also a section where people looking for old friends can contact each other. The calendar section has complete listing of events in the Bronx. All you have to do is click on the calendar and the events for that month pops up.

Also, there is a special section, called Bronx Fact, which relays a special date in borough history.

"I think people need to see the positive aspects of the Bronx."

Tallerman said her site gets 5,000 hits a week. A hit is the number of times a person has called up the site. One person could view the site more than one time. A truly accurate reading of how many different people is unknown. The main group of people who flip through the Mall are between 25 to 55.

The biggest problem with the site, as with any on the Internet, is that of overcrowding. The use of multiple users, transferring numerous graphics across, is sometimes too much for the system to handle and therefore delays occur. Any Internet server will do buy she said problems could emerge because not all systems are fully compatible with each other.

Tallerman sees this as just the beginning of Internet use. With the refinement of the technology she said this will make the Net more accepted by people and reach more homes. People may be hesitant about using the Net but this is not a passing fact. She said such sites will inform more people and bring them closer together.

Of the Internet Tallerman said people should accept: "It's not going to go away."

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