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Jupiter addresses online survival

"Go online!" is the rallying cry of leading industry experts who are gathering this week at the Jupiter Communications Consumer Online Services conference.

NEW YORK--"Put down your newspapers and magazines, turn off the boob tube, and go online!" is the rallying cry of leading industry experts who are gathering in New York this week for the Jupiter Communications Consumer Online Services conference.

Persuading users to break traditions that are decades old is not so easily done, however. Most online players still are money losers, and a shakeout is expected. At this week's conference, one of the industry's biggest annual gatherings, experts are likely to focus on ways to survive or even thrive.

Expect some new species to be emerge. Today, for example, a new Web network, JamTV, was unveiled with the support of WebTV. That could greatly expand the market.

The other is to create content that is more compelling, entertaining, or timely than what consumers already get. The multimedia features that are available online can help, too.

The three day-conference, which began today, includes panels that delve into the future of Web surfing devices, the bandwidth dilemma, and the quality (and quantity) of new media content. Companies also will flex their muscles by touting various products.

The conference will include keynotes from industry heavy hitters including the following:

  • Bob Pittman, CEO of America Online Networks. AOL has been getting headlines in the trade and mainstream press in the past few months, but many of them focus on continued controversies surrounding its popular and crowded network.

  • Steve Perlman, chief executive of WebTV Networks. WebTV and other Internet-and-television convergence devices are trying to break into the home-user market, and competition is heating up between the various vendors.

  • Pete Higgens, group vice president for Microsoft. The software giant has mounted an all-out assault on the online world this past year with the newly revamped Microsoft Network.

    Navio chief executive Wei Yen was set to speak but cancelled, a company spokesman confirmed. Yen will be out of the country meeting with a Japanese customer.