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EILEEN KENT

Vice President, Playboy New Media
15 May 1997

moderator
Hi there, we're just about ready to start. Eileen has just stepped onstage.
Eileen_kent
Hi. It's me, Eileen. Ready to reveal all of New Media's deep dark secrets!
Biff
How many people are present at this event?
moderator
About 20 people are with us today.
Biff
How long has Playboy had a New Media department?
Eileen_kent
I think officially it's been since 1994.
Mozart
The Playboy Cyber Club is an amazing Playboy resource. How many people worked to put it together? How many will be working on updating it after it opens?
Eileen_kent
Right now the department is 14, but they weren't all here from the beginning. We depend a lot on ISI, who host our servers.
Redwing
How many beta testers are there?
Eileen_kent
We invited about 2000 to beta test.
Redwing
What's been the reaction from the Playmates?
Eileen_kent
Playmates are eager for us to get up and running. They are very enthusiastic.
Jamesg
Boy, I've always admired a woman who has your tenacity, passion and good looks. How do you do it all?
Eileen_kent
Aw, shucks.
Mozart
Are there plans to debut the site to the media?
Eileen_kent
We're going to have a "soft" launch. The Internet is a very dicey environment and we've had mucho technical troubles.
Redwing
Will the site be accepting advertising?
Eileen_kent
We have no immediate plans to take ads on the site. We may consider sponsorships in time.
Jbstanley
Are there any plans to release any more photo collection CDs for the PlanIt Playboy software?
Eileen_kent
No -- we're not going to do more collections for PlanIt.
Marco
Eileen, do you have a profile like your counterparts who will be hosting other live chats in the future?
Eileen_kent
I posted to the newsgroup last night to tell you guys a little about myself.
moderator
Could you tell us which newsgroup?
Eileen_kent
Hmm. It must have been Say It, or maybe it was Rants and Raves.
Jamesg
Can we expect to see all of the exciting marketing tools you are planning with the Playmates in beta any time soon?
Eileen_kent
Marketing tools? I knew I should have memorized a couple of Party Jokes.
Redwing
Will membership to the Cyber Club be limited?
Eileen_kent
No. We will try to accommodate as many members as we can.
Biff
Can you describe your management style? How has being a female exec at Playboy and in a techno field affected the way you manage the New Media area? (20 words or less on this one, of course.)
Eileen_kent
Whew. here goes.

I am a member of the team. I am a member with a little more clout than anybody else on the team, but a member nevertheless.
Mozart
Has Mr. Hefner said anything about the Cyber Club that you would care to share with us?
Eileen_kent
Mr. Hefner is very impatient for us to launch!

I've just been told I'm not typing fast enough. Geez, give a girl a break.
Jbstanley
Why does there seem to be no advertising or promotion of the Playmate Profiles video subscription service?
Eileen_kent
Playboy is divided into three divisions: Publishing, Entertainment and Catalog. Sometimes there isn't as much communication and collaboration among divisions as perhaps there should be. The Web site tries to provide a place for all of the divisions and departments to present information to Playboy fans.
Jamesg
How do you plan to increase traffic on the pay site once it is officially launched? How will you promote Playmate chats, etc.?
Eileen_kent
We will promote Cyber on www.playboy.com. We will publish an email newsletter.
Marco
Eileen, I find that surfing your site from home is really frustrating b/c of the high-intensity graphics on your site. How are you going to alleviate this problem?
Eileen_kent
We're hoping the technology is going to alleviate it -- not us. We hope that cable modems, ISDN and better performance on the Internet in general will begin to show improvement.
Redwing
A follow-up to Mozart -- Has Ms. Hefner (Christie) said anything about the Cyber Club you care to share?
Eileen_kent
Christie is very proud of the Web site. She believes that it may have the greatest potential of any business Playboy is in.
Mozart
There's a lot of interest in Playmate appearances. I'd like to put in my voice for having an official spot on your Web page with appearance schedules. You have done it in the past, but it seems only sporadically. Is it possible to be more consistent about it?
Eileen_kent
We'll try to work out our problems.
Lancelot_link
Any chance of seeing any of the Best Of fiction from the magazine on the Cyber Club?
Eileen_kent
The fiction is not likely to wind up in Cyber in the near future.
Biff
Any plans for web-Playboy to begin using push technology?
Eileen_kent
No immediate plans for push. We are considering proposals and possibilities.
Vivian
When you have chats with Playmates, will the participants have to prove they're over 18?
Eileen_kent
Cyber requires a credit card. In the U.S. you must be 18 to have a credit card.
Redwing
Do you think the annual or analyst meetings can or will be held via chat?
Eileen_kent
I think it's a ways off. We tried to have a New Media meeting in the Palace and it was tough to do. Everybody kept on morphing and saying silly things.
Mr_boo
When will the Playmate chats begin?
Eileen_kent
Monday. But btw, beta will end Sunday night.
Redwing
Do you think a casino might be part of the Cyber Club in the future?
Eileen_kent
Yes I think a casino will be there. But not for a long time because of legal issues that will have to be resolved first.
Chaplin
Are there any plans to tie in the Playboy Jazz Festival with the Cyber Club?
Eileen_kent
We plan to have extensive jazz pages. Performers' contracts will prevent us from doing live video or audio, though.
Lancelot_link
Any plans for a fan directory? Links to Playmate fan pages, collectors' pages, etc.?
Eileen_kent
Sure. We're just now finishing up a customizable home page for Cyber.
Mozart
Do you anticipate any trouble with members grabbing your images and posting them publicly? Do you have any plans for dealing with that?
Eileen_kent
Playboy defends its copyright aggressively. We will deal with it. We do not want hurt the fans, but we don't want the fans to hurt us, either.
Mr_boo
How about some Russ Meyer content?
Eileen_kent
Eve Meyer has a home page.
Jbstanley
Since the Datebook software went nowhere and the PlanIt software is at an end, what CD titles might we expect in the near future?
Eileen_kent
The latest title will debut any minute -- it's The Art of Playboy. Oh yeah, there's a Jenny McCarthy CD coming out soon. We are considering a hybrid CD.
Elrod021
This is almost a dream come true; however, some of the Playmate pictures lack in quality and size. Any chance you'll be correcting this?
Eileen_kent
Tell us which images you think are lacking and we'll look at them.
Vivian
Are you going to promote these chats on the Playboy free site?
Eileen_kent
Sure. We will announce chat skeds on the free site.
Redwing
Eileen, what do you like best about working for Playboy?
Eileen_kent
Playboy marches to the tune of a different drummer. I love the independence and the intellectual freedom.
Elrod021
Do I submit the picture list via the bug report?
Eileen_kent
Yes, bug report for now, but we're working on a VIP Lounge that will have a suggestion box.
Redwing
Must you be a Cyber member to enter the Palace?
Eileen_kent
Yes, you will have to be a Cyber member to enter the Mansion. But we put up a mini-site on www.playboy.com.
Mr_boo
Will the newsgroups be moderated? For inappropriate comments, content, etc.?
Eileen_kent
Mr. Hefner's response to that was that one's peers would do that.
moderator
Yes, that's the essence of virtual community.
Mr_boo
All right Hef! My First Amendment man!
Joepro
For those of us who are debating whether to return after beta, what additional content can we expect to see to keep us paying year after year?
Eileen_kent
Playboy has an archive of something in the neighborhood of 10 million photos. But the most valuable content will be the Playmates' participation and your own participation.
Matilda
Will Hef ever do a chat?
Mr_boo
BTW, when will Hef be doing his chat?
Eileen_kent
Yes, Hef will chat. He will chat when we're absolutely sure we're ready to have the man himself.
Mr_boo
How often will content be changing? Monthly? Daily? Weekly?
Eileen_kent
We will add content frequently but not according to a schedule. Mr. boo, do you have any idea how many pages are on the site now?
Redwing
Were you pleased with the performance of beta testers?
Eileen_kent
Some were really diligent and gave us very good criticism that we were able to act on. We were very appreciative. Many just came for the free ride.
Jamesg
If beta is ending Sunday night, does that mean the pay site officially launches on Monday?
Eileen_kent
Beta members will be able to register and get in the site. We have promised tours to many thousands and will open up the site for them starting Monday.
Redwing
When content is changed, will be be told, or do we explore and find?
Eileen_kent
We will be alerting you via a newsletter (if you choose to get it) and via the VIP Lounge.
Redwing
Are Playmate photos going to be rotated?
Eileen_kent
Yes. We will be studying logs and making determinations at least partly on that basis.
Jbstanley
Since beta ends Sunday night, does everyone have to sign up again on Monday to be members of the Cyber Club?
Eileen_kent
I'm not sure I can say that applies to *everyone.* I believe that if you have done the complete registration process that you won't be required to do it again.
Redwing
Will Playboy be at the Chicago Glamourcon promoting the Cyber Club?
Eileen_kent
Playboy will certainly be at Glamourcon. But specifically promoting Cyber? We'll try.
Mozart
What things did you consider in setting the subscription price?
Eileen_kent
We considered value, of course. We considered our costs. We think it's a fair price.
Redwing
I'd like you to know I think you and your team did a great job!
Eileen_kent
I really appreciate that! We worked damned hard and we're very proud of it!
Lancea
Hi, Eileen. For those of us who paid the $40 to join after the end of beta, will we have the same charge applied to our accounts as before?
Eileen_kent
I think we didn't want to make assumptions. I think that you will have to sign up again.
Redwing
Will multiyear subscriptions be available?
Eileen_kent
We hadn't given any thought to multiyear. Maybe we should do a lifetime sub for a thousand bucks. What do you think?
Elrod021
My father read Playboy, I read Playboy and now I'll be a member of the Cyber Club for a long time. Thanks for the idea, congratulations and good luck with this new adventure.
Redwing
That hard work is appreciated; I know it wasn't easy!
Eileen_kent
But you guys make it all worthwhile!
Richie
Any chance of getting right-wing leaders such as Don Wildmon or Pat Robertson to come on and debate Playboy live?
Eileen_kent
That would be...interesting. It's pretty doubtful but who knows?
Lancea
Could you restate the price as I must have missed that part of the chat?
Eileen_kent
$6.95 a month, $18 for three months, $60 a year.
Redwing
Any plans on having a certificate or something to show you're a Cyber Club member? My dad was an early keyholder; I think it was $50 and he's still got the key (a real metal key).
Eileen_kent
We really should do something special for the charter members. Let me think on that.
moderator
OK, we're just about to wrap up. Any last-minute questions from those lurkers out there?
Ricky9
The new site is a far cry from the original Alpha.
Lancelot_link
How about a Cyber Club Member mouse pad?
Eileen_kent
I want to thank you all for taking the time to do this today.
Mozart
Thank you, Eileen! This was great.
Eileen_kent
Mouse pad noted. Far cry noted.
Redwing
Thank you for allowing us into the world of Playboy.
Eileen_kent
There will be more more more. It will grow and evolve forever!
Mr_boo
Thanks for your time. What's your email?
Eileen_kent
Sorry, Mr. Boo. My email is private.

Bye-bye, y'all. See you tomorrow.
moderator
Everybody meet in the Events Lobby (/events) to share impressions of today's chat.