Aliza Sherman Clarifies the Record
Aliza Sherman, who I had written about recently for Ghost Site's "Forgotten Web Celebrity" series, sent me an e-mail with a number of corrections and clarifications to my original article, viewable here.
Ah, the high price of pseudo-cyber-fame!
Thank you so much for your kind words on "Ghostsites." Loved your embellishments ("she stripped off her Armani business suit and revealed the cape to a stunned crowd, running her hands over it as if she were stroking the future itself.") You encapsulated my Internet experience beautifully.
Just wanted to make a few factual corrections.
1. "She ran a large gender-specific network called "Cybergrrls" with 100 local affiliates."
Actually, the networking organization was called Webgrrls International. The company was Cybergrrl, Inc. and we consulted companies such as Estee Lauder and Avon, JANE magazine, and built one of the first custom shopping carts for the very first web site for Dr. Atkins.
2. "Then, on a dark morning in March, 2000, when the NASDAQ took its first precipitous dip towards the stygian depths, her once-glittering
career hit the very same wall that pulverized the dreams of so many first-generation cyber-visionaries."
I actually left Cybergrrl in 1999 due to a business partner dispute - turned over all assets, stocks and ownership to the corporation and tried to start another online venture - Eviva.net, a bilingual site for Latina professionals. THEN the market crashed and we gave back our angel funding ($250K) and licked our financial wounds.
3. "Aliza made what in retrospect was her smartest career move: she left town and moved to a place about as far from cyber-hype as you can get: Alaska."
Actually, I left NYC in September 2000 in an old RV I purchased off the Internet and drove around the country for over a year (http://www.rvgirl.com). In the meanwhile, two more of my books were published so I turned the trip into an extended, self-financed book tour. The books were "Cybergrrl@Work" (Penguin Putnam) and "PowerTools for Women in Business" (Entrepreneur Media). I am currently working on a book about blogging for Adams Media and also developing a book about miscarriage and another book about my solo RV adventure.
Then 9/11 happened while I was enroute back to Manhattan. I took a detour and ended up settling down in Wyoming for 4 years (1st Cheyenne, then Laramie and Lander). During that time, I took a 9-5 job with state government doing PR for 2 years, started my own Internet/PR consulting firm for a year, then began producing a 12-part documentary series for the local PBS television station. I also did freelance radio work for the local NPR station and freelance writing for publications such as ENTREPRENEUR during that time. I am still a freelance writer (http://www.mediaegg.com) among other things.
Finally married (late 30s) and just moved a little over 2 WEEKS ago to Alaska. Recently started a film production and media company with my husband (Moonbow Productions, Inc. - http://www.moonbowproductions.com/) and am in production on my first independent documentary film - about miscarriage. I have some other film ideas in development but the miscarriage documentary - "babyfruit" - is in production.
Like one of my idols, Madonna, I continually reinvent myself, looking for ways to work independently, creatively and passionately and hopefully empowering and inspiring others in the process.
And check out my recent cover story on My Business magazine (http://www.mybusinessmag.com) where I talk about the high price of "fame." Not bad for a cyber ghost!
All the best,
Aliza Sherman Risdahl
Labels: Silicon Alley History