A digital guide to the underground

A new counterculture site on the Net, DisInformation, launches and promises to make subversive material on the Web easily available.

Jeff Pelline Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Jeff Pelline is editor of CNET News.com. Jeff promises to buy a Toyota Prius once hybrid cars are allowed in the carpool lane with solo drivers.
Jeff Pelline
Another counterculture site on the Net? Yup.

Today DisInformation launches, promising to make subversive material on the Web easily available.

"People will be one click away from finding out about Terence McKenna (an occult scientist if you didn't know)," said DisInformation's creative director Richard Metzger. "We're aiming to be a mainstream information service, but we're trying to add a bit of MTV panache to this."

Part directory and part "metazine," DisInformation calls itself a Web directory for counterculture. It has categories including Propaganda (as in media manipulation), Counterintelligence (as in monitoring the far right), censorship, revolutionaries (check out William Burroughs), counterculture (UFOs are here), and Newspeak (a list of current events).

DisInformation links to sites such as The Nation and Mother Jones. Despite its antiestablishmentarian bent, it also links to the New York Times.

Next week DisInformation will be accessible from Netscape's NetSearch page, as well as search engines like Yahoo, Excite, and AltaVista. It will be an advertiser-supported site, although no ads have yet been sold. "We can reach people who will want to buy a Saab, Nikes, or go see Independence Day," Metzger said. "I think a lot of advertisers that go to Wired will also touch us."

Just who is the competition? "Do you want me to say Slate? Slate is for oldsters. I don't see any competition," Metzger replied.

DisInformation was developed by AND Interactive Communications of Los Angeles. It joins a crowding field with sites as diverse as Suck, Bitch, and PythOnline.