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internet agent

human, not software
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You're a successful businessman and a multi-millionaire. You have a passel of brokers and bankers and advisors who manage your finances. You have a coach to help you perfect your golf swing. You keep a nanny for your kids, a gardener for the grounds and a butler to run your home.

But you keep your homepage on Geocities with the rest of the trailer trash? You built it yourself with Front Page and some clip art? Your e-mail looks like it was written by a 12-year-old? (Trust me, this is not unusual.)

An "internet agent" would create a tasteful and seamless online presence for you. They would host a subdued and classy web site and they would manage your e-mail for you, all of which would have the electronic equivalent of embossed personal stationery.

They could also perform advanced services which you're too rich to bother learning to do for yourself. Manage on-line photo albums. Monitor certain topics and keywords for activity. Subscribe to mailing lists and watch for interesting news. Create and manage your own mailing lists or Web newsletters (complete with access control if needed). Publish a blog. Construct ad-hoc Web and e-mail systems to do things like manage invitations to your famous soirees (without mixing with the crass hoi polloi on something like evite).

The market would be people who, for reasons of professional reputation or personal pride, want to be seen doing everything with the utmost in competence and taste. It would cost, I dunno, $2000 a month.

You would, of course, communicate with your internet agent by phone.

egnor, Jan 01 2003

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       You had me up until you suggested $2000 a month.
jvonr, Jan 01 2003
  

       $2000/mo seems low if this agent is really doing all the things suggested here. A good agent might only be able to fully cover two or three clients and a maybe few extra less demanding clients (the latter at a lower rate, of course).   

       It's not hard for me to imagine that these agents are already beginning to emerge. Maybe, right now, they are personal assistants who are gradually finding that, as more of the business world moves online, ever more of their time is being consumed by maintaining the online persona of those they work for.
bristolz, Jan 01 2003
  

       I agree, this naturally grows out of the role of a personal assistant or secretary, but I think it would be more efficiently and competently done as part of a firm which would have a pool of available services (such as graphic design) and a specialized tool-set.   

       Maybe they would bill by the hour, like a lawyer.
egnor, Jan 01 2003
  

       Web designers are plentiful in the current market, and services similar to the others (if not exactly like them) are already handled by site administrators and personal assistants of all stripes. Still, it'd be nice to establish a position to consolidate such tasks. I'd suggest that $2000 be starting pay for such a position, unless internet agents would work freelance and could therefore manage accounts for multiple clients.
Pharaoh Mobius, Jan 02 2003
  
      
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