Added: (Tue Sep 19 2000)



High-Profile Information Providers Applaud SIDEWIZE Partner Programme

Connextra Limited, a London-based Internet technology company, announced today the Partner Launch of their flagship product, SIDEWIZE to Internet information, product and service providers on the Web. This follows a successful beta run. SIDEWIZE is a browser companion that travels the web with a user, providing relevant information from sources they trust.

The concept behind SIDEWIZE is based on an inverted model of site 'stickiness'. Instead of getting the users to stick to a particular Internet information provider, the information provider has the opportunity to stick to the users.

"SIDEWIZE is the answer to a content provider's prayers. By linking up with SIDEWIZE, a content provider can stick to web users, and give them the information they need, wherever they go on the web," said Michael Freeman, Non Executive Chairman, Inflexion PLC.

All participants in the SIDEWIZE beta trial have joined as official SIDEWIZE partners. Current SIDEWIZE partners include FT.com, Guardian Unlimited, gameplay, ZDNet, Columbus Travel, iii (interactive investor), Tradesafely, whatsonwhen, Ticketmaster, dotmusic and Ukmax. Connextra has focused on establishing partner relationships with Internet information providers, who are leading off-line or on-line brands. Their sites are structured and rich in content, with clear strengths that differentiate them within their sectors.

"Our main challenge to date has been explaining this new concept," said David King Lassman, CEO of Connextra. "Once we started demonstrating the benefits, our partners immediately saw how it could maximise their presence on the Internet."

Content Provider Benefits
For Internet information providers, SIDEWIZE is an efficient and unique way to increase the visibility of their sites, products or services. As SIDEWIZE content providers, they maintain complete editorial control over the information delivered and there is no proprietary technology to install on their Web server. Using SIDEWIZE, providers have the opportunity to increase existing customer loyalty, attract new targeted customers and visitors, as well as participate in Connextra's joint marketing opportunities.

Michael Foster, managing director of FT.com comments: "We've seen massive growth in page impressions over the past year, and a corresponding increase in the amount of time users spend on site. Our business audience has limited time to surf and craves authoritative news from the brand they trust, quickly and accurately."

"By using SIDEWIZE, Tradesafely.com registered consumers are able to continually verify the authenticity of web-sites as they browse. This is sure to increase consumer confidence in the site being visited as they are assured that the company is as it purports to be," said Mike Hawkes, Managing Director, Tradesafely.com.

"The importance of context cannot be over-emphasised. Information is often described as data in context, and data certainly does not have meaning without context," said David Burman, Director of Research at Butler Group. "Connextra has recognised the need for this marshalling of trusted information sources and with SIDEWIZE, offers an interesting proposition for both the end-user community and the world's information providers."

How does SIDEWIZE work?
As the user views Web pages from their browser, SIDEWIZE requests relevant information from the chosen information providers' web-servers. SIDEWIZE requests contain derived contextual data, which is used by the information provider to determine what information is most valuable to the user at that exact point in time. Each information provider sends the information back to the user's desktop where it is displayed in the SIDEWIZE bar alongside the browser. A user may select which content providers they want to see in the SIDEWIZE bar.

An article written by Bloor Research earlier this year stated, "For the information providers the [SIDEWIZE] service will provide a new route to draw users. As a user of the service, a prospective purchaser (or investor, or any other interested party) can simply navigate the Web in a conventional way and then use the SIDEWIZE window to view additional information from a number of different content providers. This will assist the formulation of a balanced view based on independent 3rd-party opinions. The service is likely to be especially valuable to buyers in an eProcurement role as well as corporate investors and individuals conducting eCommerce."

"SIDEWIZE helps you find exactly the information you want by providing specific, relevant and independent information quickly and from a source the user recognises and trusts," continued King Lassman. "SIDEWIZE acts as a facilitator, rather than a middleman, and is designed to complement any website."

SIDEWIZE is currently compatible with Microsoft Windows 95, 98, NT and 2000 and with Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.01 and above.

SIDEWIZE is currently available to content providers and is also available in a trial capacity to consumers, with a full consumer roll out to happen this autumn. SIDEWIZE is free to users and the basic service is free to content providers.

About Connextra
Connextra Ltd. was founded in April 1999 to enhance information delivery on the Internet and increase visibility of websites, products and services. The company is backed by leading UK private investors and by non-executive directors with global connections in the converging new-media and new-technology industries. In a second round of funding, Inflexion PLC, the AIM quoted pan-European technology investor, invested ? million in April for a shareholding in Connextra, valuing the business at more than ?0 million.

Connextra is privately held and headquartered in London. Revenues will be generated through targeted advertising, sale of anonymous demographic data and e-business partnerships.


For more information about the SIDEWIZE Partner Programme, please contact Business Development on 020 7692 9894, e-mail bizdev@connextra.com or visit the website at http://www.sidewize.com

Contact information:

Rebecca Rabin
Mantra Public Relations
Tel: 0207 958 9009
E-mail: ldore@mantra-pr.com

Connextra Ltd.
Tel: 020 7692 9896

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