Multimedia's most influential, forward-thinking folk emerge as screen saviors

By EW Staff
Updated October 11, 1996 at 04:00 AM EDT

You didn’t think all this stuff just grew in a woodsy patch out back of the Microsoft campus, did you? Here are the people who are really moving multimedia into the future.

Carla Sinclair
Columnist, author, Playboy ”Girl of the Internet”
Why Her:
Helped reclaim the hypermasculine Internet world for women with last year’s Net Chick, a paperback guide to all things femme online. Net Chick and its pink website, Clubhouse prove that sisters can have as many endless debates and trivial obsessions as their online brothers.
What’s Next: A cyberthriller, Looking for Douglas Coupland.

Chief Judge Dolores K. Sloviter, Judges Stewart R. Dalzell and Ronald L. Buckwalter
Justices on a special federal judiciary panel in Philadelphia
Why Them: Declaring much of the vaguely worded Communications Decency Act ”profoundly repugnant” to the First Amendment, these justices set Congress’ effort to ban adult material on its ear with a restraining order.
What’s Next: The Supreme Court is expected to rule on an appeal of their decision this winter.

Rob Glaser
Chairman and CEO, Progressive Networks
Why Him: Glaser and his partners developed RealAudio software, which makes news, talk, and concert broadcasts available to anyone with a modem.
What’s Next: A Dolby stereo version has just been released; more than 30,000 copies are being downloaded daily.

Nick Grouf
Cofounder and CEO of Web music and movie database/community Firefly (
Why Him: Giving cold artificial intelligence a warm glow, Firefly‘s software ”agents” get to know you, then proffer movie and music suggestions, plus names of other Firefly members they think you might take a shine to.
What’s Next: Expansion into such areas as travel and financial planning.

Mark Jeffrey
Director of commercial marketing, The Palace
Why Him: With partner Jim Bumgardner, he led the crew that built The Palace, whose fun graphics take online chat a quantum leap beyond traditional text-only conversation.
What’s Next: A retail version of The Palace is coming to computer stores soon.

Thomas Lakeman
Senior vice president of production, Digital Planet
Why Him: A pioneer in the design of distinctive movie sites like Apollo 13, Digital Planet (www. provides high-paying customers such as Universal Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox with a chic, disposable style.
What’s Next: With the animated Madeleine’s Mind psychodrama (www.madmind. com), DP is seeking to define the content of the Web as well as the look.

Shigeru Miyamoto
Videogame designer, Nintendo
Why Him: The man who gave us Donkey Kong and Mario is back with Super Mario 64, the jewel in the crown of the mind-boggling new Nintendo 64 system.
What’s Next: He’s cooking up a hot batch of N64 games, including a new incarnation of the sword-and-sorcery favorite Zelda.