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Lycos does site with nonprofit

The portal firm teams up with nonprofit EnviroLink for a cobranded Web site about environmental issues.

Online environmental nonprofit group EnviroLink has launched a cobranded Web site with Internet search engine and gateway Lycos.

Under the terms of the deal, the two companies will share revenues from advertising banners on the environmental site. Lycos will try to drive traffic to the site by posting internal advertising banners on its Net gateway or "portal" site, the firm said.

EnviroLink will supply environment-oriented Portalopoly content such as news links, business information, and socially responsible investment practices to the site. The site will include resources from EnviroLink's library of reference material.

Additionally, EnviroLink hopes to take advantage of Lycos' large user population to promote its Green Marketplace, a commerce site that sells environmentally friendly organic goods as well as T-shirts featuring artwork by Koko the Gorilla. Sales revenue will go to the two companies and the Gorilla Foundation.

"It seems from our discussion with [Lycos] that they certainly feel that the environment is a serious issue and that people need to learn more about it," said Joshua Knauer, EnviroLink founder.

"Environmental issues aren't just about tree hugging and saving whales," he added. "There are a lot of prudent business practices that can help the bottom line as well as the environment."

For its part, Lycos emphasized the content itself rather than the nonprofit status of its partner. "Lycos is going after premium branded content and we feel that EnviroLink has the best concentrated environmental content on the Web," said Lycos spokesman Tom Murphy.

Murphy noted that Lycos does not have any plans to pursue partnerships specifically with nonprofit organizations, but will continue to make deals with content providers that reflect the tastes of its demographic. Murphy said Lycos' user population is more affluent and better-educated than "the norm."

"We're looking out for other opportunities like this and they could be for-profits or nonprofits like [EnviroLink]," Murphy added.

EnviroLink recently gained notoriety when it sponsored an interspecies chat with Koko on America Online.