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Ellis is one of a growing number of celebrities who are embracing technology to promote their music and other ventures, stay in touch with their fans and manage their business affairs.
“Before, I was scared to touch the computer. I thought I’d mess it up or break it because I didn’t know what I was doing,” says Ellis, who only recently added the Internet to her arsenal of high-tech tools. Now she travels proficiently over the Net, using her laptop to access various services to purchase CDs, airline tickets and other products online. “[The Net] provides a venue for people to access the mall without having to go to the physical location,” she says. “It’s convenient–and really kind of fun.”
Her own site, created with the help of Virtual Melanin, a Web site design firm in Brooklyn, New York, offers easy access to her line of Southern Exposure products, which also includes candles, bath teas, lotions and body creams. The only drawback to online marketing? “You can’t smell my fragrance over the Net,” she quips.
Terry Ellis Southern Exposure www.southerngal. com
FUSING HIGH-TECH WITH HUMANITY
PIANIST HERBIE Hancock is perfectly at home on the Internet. Originally an engineering major, Hancock switched paths and became one of the first jazz artists to fuse technology with music.:: Recently, he folded a third factor into the mix–humanity. Two years ago, Hancock founded the Rhythm of Life Organization (ROLO), a San Francisco-based organization dedicated to helping bridge the gap between the technology “haves” and “have-nots.” “The future looks so bright with entertainment, education and communications merging together–but if you don’t have a computer of some sort, you’ll be out of the game,” he says. ROLO will operate a community technology center to help people become computer literate and better able to compete for high-tech jobs.
“When I show people who have never been on the Net how easy it is. :it blows their mind and they immediately: want a computer,” Hancock says. His first: visit to the Web three years ago lasted for three straight days, because it was so “fascinating.” He uses the Net to browse, shop, visit home theater and entertainment sites, and check airline schedules and the weather, among other things. “The Net gives you access to the world from your living room or laptop. In a sense, wherever I go, I carry the world with me,” he says.
To learn more, drop by Hancock’s new Web site.