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January 2000


Tech Talk

Retailer talks kilobytes and megahertz with best of 'em

Twenty- and 30-somethings with scientific minds and big paychecks are coveted jewelry customers these days. Lazare Kaplan International, New York City, identified young engineers and information technology professionals as the most likely enthusiasts for its GE/POL-whitened diamonds, and they're certainly your most viable opportunity to sell high-end wedding sets.

But the young and brainy are demanding and hard to reach with usual marketing techniques. How do you claim them as your own?

Speak their language, says Curt Parker. He and his wife, Elizabeth, operate Curt A. Parker Inc., St. Louis, MO. An engineer himself, Parker adores computers and spends half his work day programming his store's Web site. (He spends the other half at the bench.) Many of his customers are young men who keep returning because they feel confident he understands them. The reason: he can talk "tech" with the best of them.

If you're not a wired person but are located near technology companies, look for young salespeople who understand the technological culture, even if they can't program a computer. Also be aware of the kind of information a technically minded person wants – they'll be more in tune with cut proportions and average girdle diameter than most customers.

by Stacey King


'Want to bone up on the language of the new millennium? Here are a few terms you won't find in the American Heritage Dictionary but might encounter in conversation.

Cybrarian: An information science professional (librarian) who uses the Internet as a research tool.

Emoticon: The e-mail community invented shortcuts to express intentions to prevent misunderstandings – facial expressions created by punctuation. (They make more sense if you look at them sideways.) They range from the common smile :-) and wink ;-) to frightened looks =8-0 and drooling :-~~.

Silicon Alley: New York City, where many Internet and technology start-ups are emerging, making it the little sister to the e-region of Silicon Valley in Northern California.

Bandwidth: Data speed, measured in proportion to the complexity of the data you're downloading. To keep it simple, it's how fast your modem can download a Web page.

@: The "at" sign has taken on new life with the Internet. This little alternate keyboard character, previously restricted to math word problems, is an icon for the electronic world, dividing user names and server names in e-mail addresses (as in It's now being picked up in catchy ads too.

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Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.


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