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Internet

Prodigy Web Page Builder

Starting today, Prodigy subscribers can vie for 15 minutes of Net fame using a free tool called Personal Web Pages.

According to Prodigy, a personal home page on the Web is a status symbol among the Net-savvy elite. Previously, an in-depth knowledge of HTML coding was required to build a page.

Personal Web Pages provides a template with blank fields for text-only data. Support for multimedia graphics and sound will be added later this summer, Prodigy officials say.

Initally, six different templates will be provided: Basic, for those who want to talk about themselves, their hobbies, and favorite Web pages; Business Card, with space for company-related info; Top Ten List, with favorite sites listed as hyperlinks; Free Form, for those who want to include their own HTML documents; and Index, a form for linking to existing Web pages. Other templates will be added.

"I think this is a smart thing to do. It's analogous to every home in America putting a billboard on its roof. It's America talking to itself,'' says Ms. Modem, an expert on cyberculture.

"People will use it to talk about their pets, their kids, or to put up a family newsletter. I think it's hilarious and indicative of the cyberculture--with the Net anyone can talk to the world,'' adds Ms. Modem.