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Web Watch by Leslie Walker
Evite Grows To Include Bigger Events


An earlier version of this article referred to TicketWeb by the incorrect name. The text here has been corrected.

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By Leslie Walker
Sunday, July 11, 2004; Page F05

A new local events directory goes online tomorrow at Evite, a free Web service ( that made its name helping people create and send online invitations to parties.

Evite, owned by Barry Diller's InterActive Corp., started branching out last winter into local event listings. (Diller is a board member of The Washington Post Co.) But until now, events listed on Evite were mostly those posted by the service's users and publicized only to private guest lists. They tended to be bake sales rather than big-name rock concerts.

Starting Monday, Evite will offer searchable listings from five big partners, including Ticketmaster, TicketWeb, (a sports site) and (the popular dating site). The directory will list roughly 50,000 events each month, compared with 3,000 previously.

"We want to become the place to go online to organize your social time offline," said John Foley, president of Evite. "We are shifting from an event-planning tool to a destination where you can come and find things to do."

Foley said the Los Angeles-based site will also add options that give visitors a view of events personalized to their interests. People will be able to tell Evite what they like -- or let the site infer their interests from the kinds of searches they run.

AOL Links to Phone Relays

America Online announced a new service Thursday that allows hearing-impaired people to place operator-assisted relay calls from within AOL's instant messaging service.

The new AIM Relay Service works on any computer, cell phone or handheld device running the online service's instant messaging software; instead of using a special teletypewriter relay phone, users can send a relay vendor's screen name an instant message with the phone number they wish to call. Once the other party picks up, a relay service operator acts as the caller's mouth and ears, reading aloud his or her typedmessages and replying with transcriptions of the other party's spoken words.

"Imagine someone's car broke down and they didn't have their TTY with them, but they did have their T-Mobile Sidekick," said Tom Wlodkowski, AOL's director of accessibility. "They could just ping the screen name of their relay service, open an instant message and ask the relay operator to call Triple A."

Participating partners include MCI's (AIM screen name: MyIPRelay) and the Hands On Video Relay Service (AIM screen name: hovrsIM.)

Down but Not Out

It's time graveyards got connected and let the dead communicate with the living. So says Burlingame, Calif., inventor Robert Barrows, who has filed a patent application for a video-equipped tombstone that plays prerecorded messages for cemetery visitors.

Barrows designed a headstone with a touchscreen on the outside and a video player inside; every such gravesite could include a Web address for online viewing of these messages. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has yet to rule on whether Barrows' vision differs substantially from prior electronic graveyard ideas.

Barrows said he got the idea while he was researching Wyatt Earp and had trouble finding anything the lawman had written. "I thought, 'Wouldn't it be great to hear what Wyatt Earp had to say in his own words?"

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