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Birds do it, bees do it, but can Excite do it twice?

It wasn't easy getting the Mill rolling this week.

It wasn't easy getting the Mill rolling this week. The sun was out, the spring breezes were blowing, and you know what that means: Young lovers sucking face. Le printemps dans le vent, yes--maybe pheromones in the pollen. All in all, I had to shut my window shade. My desk looks out over the park, and everyone was in shorts, tank tops, roller skates... sigh. My French-Canadian blood boils when everyone else can faire l'amour and I have to write rumors. There was one Skin-side scoop, however, about a sexy search engine that made my extremities tingle.

It sounds as if Excite's plans for a secondary stock offering haven't been as successful as their move into a new HQ in Redwood City, California--right next door to Internet service/cable modem zealots/Hearst plaything @Home. Despite Excite's creative digs, which include a scrolling garage-like door in a conference room and catwalks snaking along the ceilings, Offering II has not followed a smooth blueprint.

It was supposed to happen this week or thereabouts, but news leaked out a couple weeks ago and short-sellers making a quick buck also made the price take a dive. A brief check of the charts shows shares dropped under 10 for a while, down from the mid-teens. I wonder how much Excite's backers Robertson, Stephens ended up eating? Depends on the price they were guaranteeing for the rollout. The Frisco Kids weren't telling. Down at their glinty mid-peninsula playground, Excite officials say that the offering is still in the works but won't say when the carne asada is hitting the grill.

My Skinformers say Excite will take a chill pill until the market warms again, and lo and behold, their shares have nudged north again and ended Friday at $12 per. It's a thrill a minute on the techstock-coaster, kids!

By the way, if the first offering is an IPO, why can't the second be an SPO? Maybe because our business editor is also a short-order cook.

It was a fun ride while it lasted: One of the livelier email discussion lists around has decided to turn the cancelbots on itself. The No-End list was dedicated to the discussion of Web design but often branched out into Net culture, the merits of East Coast vs. West Coast, and travelogue dispatches from various members. The members also had real F2F get-togethers in a funky studio space on San Francisco's Potrero Hill--a refreshing change from the usual byte-babble on the Net. Alas, the list had server host trouble several weeks ago. When it went back online for a brief time, the fickle finger of the Net crowd already had pointed elsewhere.

Speaking of fingers, certain scuttlebutt-heads are pointing at Rad Technologies, a recent Java One attendee, as a possible buy-out target. Observers near their booth say a lot of conspicuous names were dropping by for demos of JRad's database development environment. Who knew that database development could be so sexy? There's nothing sexier than a reader who sends me rumors.