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Internet

Lycos ups portal ante

The search firm adds a Japan expansion, coverage of a Mount Everest climb, and a career content deal to its onslaught of recent announcements.

    Search firm Lycos (LCOS) today added to its recent onslaught of announcements an expansion into Japan, coverage of an upcoming Mount Everest climb, and a new partnership in its career channel.

    The new offerings come on the heels of Lycos's debut yesterday of its "personal guide," a channel that allows users to customize online content, access a daily planner and contact manager, and alter their free Web page provided by Net community Tripod, which Lycos acquired in February.

    Earlier this month, Lycos announced it had made six deals worth $30 million, including e-commerce, finance, and content agreements with CDnow, E-Loan, GetSmart, HomeShark, Preview Travel, and Realtor.com.

    All the deals are part of the search site's effort to be Net users' gateway to the Net, or "portal." Other search sites, online services, Net communities, and others are competing heavily in this space, constantly adding features such as free email, paging, games, and stock quotes to lure loyal viewers and the ad dollars that accompany them.

    Today, Lycos said it will launch Lycos Japan, a localized Japanese version of the site created with the Sumitomo Corporation and Japanese ISP Internet Initiative Japan (IIJ). A beta version with navigation and search capabilities is up and running now. Lycos said it soon will add news, sports, and stock information.

    Under the terms of the deal, Sumitomo will own 50 percent of the venture, Lycos will own 40 percent, and IIJ will hold 10 percent, the companies said. Sumitomo and Lycos will be responsible for the daily management of the site.

    Lycos also announced a partnership with mountain sports site MountainZone.com to offer real-time coverage of a Mount Everest climb, scheduled for next month, to Lycos users. MountainZone.com will provide daily reports from the climb, conducted via satellite telephone. In exchange, Lycos will promote the event in its Sports Web Guide.

    This is not the first time a Mount Everest climb has been covered on the Net. In fact, several sites are devoted to Everest climbs. In 1996, several Net sites chronicled the ill-fated trip up Everest in which nine climbers died.

    Classified ads are another active Net market, and Lycos today said it has formed an alliance with TMP Worldwide to feature TMP's job sites--the Monster Board and Online Career Center--within Lycos's Careers Web Guide.

    Lycos's stock was up more than 7 percent to 70-1/8 in early trading today.