Sign of the times: Companies call for Internet appreciation day


Saturday, March 31st 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6


SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) _ Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

Wringing their hands in despair over the dot-com meltdown, some Web boosters are calling for an Internet appreciation day _ encouraging people to shop only online, buy shares in their favorite online company and donate online to charity.

The organizers hope their ``Back the Net'' rally Tuesday will ``send the world a loud, clear message that the Net will not only survive, but thrive.'' Their site even features a drawing of a clenched fist raised in defiance.

``I think it's just giving people reason to think about how the Internet and technology help us in their daily lives,'' said Londonne Corder, a spokeswoman for ExciteHome, which will offer ``Back the Net'' versions of its Blue Mountain online greeting cards and donate up to $10,000 to an online education program.

``It's a feel good thing. It's an exciting thing to talk about, given the ups and downs of what we've been experiencing.''

``Back the Net'' was dreamed up by Michael Tchong, founder and CEO of Iconocast.com, a San Francisco-based online newsletter about Internet marketing.

He acknowledges that dot-com hype got out of control but believes all the ``viral negative news'' about the Internet economy has caused a ``frenzy in the other direction,'' with no businesses getting funded.

He decided to schedule the Internet pick-me-up on April 3 because it marks the one-year anniversary of the day the Nasdaq lost nearly 350 points, more than 7 percent, kick-starting the tech-stock swoon that still is raging. Tchong envisions having a ``Back the Net'' day every year, like Earth Day, and promises that next year's will be much bigger.

So what's next, an Internet bake sale?

``Well,'' he said with a laugh, ``You never know.''