DotComGuy logs on for an entire year to promote using online e-commerce from home.
On January 1, a 26-year-old systems manager entered an empty house in Dallas, Texas, with the intention of not setting foot outdoors for an entire year. Supplied only with a computer, DotComGuy (yes, he had his name legally, changed for the occasion) intends to shop, eat, furnish his home, communicate and entertain himself solely through the World Wide Web. In addition, other Web users can constantly monitor his activities through strategically placed cameras. The stunt is an elaborate promotional vehicle for companies such as Peapod online groceries, Net.B@nk and Mall.com to promote online e-commerce from home. Family and friends will be permitted to visit DotComGuy and presumably he will open his door constantly to deliveries (several rush orders of antidepressants?), but exposure to the outside world will be relegated to window gazing. "It's a project that could be defined as the Web's version of the Biosphere," said Stephanie Germeraad of International Promotions, the company promoting the venture. DotComGuy himself seems to have his motives clear: "I want to drive people to utilize e-commerce to simplify their lives." Funny . . . we seem to have worked with a different definition of simplicity for years.