NET CAFE, from A to G (1996) Stewart Cheifet

Net Cafe: E-Commerce (1999)

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Video Description

E-Commerce (1999)

In the late nineties, ecommerce was just taking off on the web. This program looks at several innovative online shopping sites including,,, and Originally broadcast in 1999 from the Club I internet cafe in San Francisco. Hosts are Jane Wither, Andrew deVries, and Stewart Cheifet.



Della & James is an online gift registry and one of the first to partner with a broad selection of brand-name retailers. With access to retailer's gift registries, shoppers have the convenience of shopping online at Crate and Barrel, Neiman-Marcus, Williams & Sonoma and much more all while using the recipient's registry. And for the registered user, the site provides a no-hassles way of registering for gifts and a place to post information about the actual event.


At Oak Grove High School in San Jose, CA, students are designing e-commerce sites for small local businesses. With donations from Adobe and site hosting through Sirius, students are providing a non-profit, public service to those wanting to get their businesses online, while in return, students get valuable hands-on experience producing web pages.


Growing out of one of the earliest online rare-book lists, Alibris is an "infomediary", or a middleman in e-commerce. Rare book buyers do all their business with Alibris and never know the name of the dealer that is actually selling the book. There are 800 member dealers selling through Alibris, many of them other businesses such as Amazon and Barnes and Noble.


RocketCash Corporation provides teens a way to shop online, within a safe, parent approved environment. Parents create an account for their kids at the site using their credit card. Parents get an administrative account with its own user ID and password so they can make deposits, choose which sites their teen can shop at, and choose times and day of the week they can shop online. Teens get their own account with a user ID and password and the freedom of shopping online.


Ebates is the internets' next shopping portal where consumers get paid to shop at the Web's most popular retail sites. By utilizing the collective buying power of their members, is able to pass commission payments they receive from their collection of online merchants, directly back to their members in the form of rebates - cash.

Documentary Description

Net Cafe was the world's most widely distributed television series covering the Internet revolution during the height of the dot com boom. The series was broadcast throughout the United States and in more than one hundred other countries for six years, from 1996 through 2002. It was hosted by Stewart Cheifet, Jane Wither, and Andrew deVries.

The weekly program went behind the scenes of the World Wide Web to meet the people and explore the culture of the new "wired" generation. The series featured Internet tips, a guide to the best web sites, a preview of internet startups, and interviews with the movers and shakers behind the Internet phenomenon. It introduced many new web sites to the public which are now household names such as Yahoo!, Google, and eBay.

The series has been recognized for its journalistic excellence, winning a variety of prestigious broadcast awards. It was produced on location at various internet cafes around the Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Stewart's Bio

Stewart Cheifet has been called “the original TV techie” and “the dean of television computer journalists”. He pioneered the field over twenty years ago when he created and launched the award winning public television series “Computer Chronicles”.

He served as host and managing editor of “Computer Chronicles”. He also anchored another public television series devoted to the people, culture and business of the Internet, called “Net Café”. Both series were broadcast nationally and throughout the world in over 100 countries.

Stewart has been a guest commentator on technology for National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” and he hosted a weekly web-radio talk show called “Talking about this Week”, produced by in association with He also wrote and anchored a syndicated radio series about the Internet, “CyberTraffic Report”.

He has been a commentator, anchor, and emcee at many major technology events including Comdex TV News, the Computer Museum’s Computer Bowl, Discover Magazine’s Technology Awards, Upside’s Showcase, Upside’s Digital Living Room, Windows Magazine’s Win-100 Awards, and the Codie Awards for the Software Publishers Association and the Software Information Industry Association.

He frequently appears as a moderator and speaker at corporate events in the technology field, having worked with such companies as Acer, AutoDesk, Bay Networks, Boeing, Cable & Wireless, Commerce One, Hewlett Packard, IBM, KPMG, NetSuite, Oracle, PeopleSoft, Sybase, and others.

Stewart was formerly a correspondent for the PBS “Nightly Business Report” covering high-tech in the Silicon Valley and the Pacific Rim. He has worked in various capacities for ABC News and CBS News in major locations around the world, including New York, Los Angeles, London, and Paris. He served as President of PCTV, a company focused on media and technology and was also CEO of WITF, a diversified broadcasting and media company. He was also a Director at the Internet Archive, responsible for all audio and video content.

He has won numerous awards for his broadcast journalism work, including twelve awards from the Computer Press Association (CPA) and the CPA award for Best Individual Technology Television Program of the year. He was named by AdWeek magazine as one of the five most influential broadcast journalists in the field of technology.

Stewart wrote the foreword for the recently released book “Tech Trending”, published by John Wiley & Sons. Has also written for publications such as Windows Magazine, PC Magazine, Silicon Valley Magazine, Apprise Magazine, and Digital Video Magazine.

He is a graduate of the University of Southern California with a degree in mathematics and psychology. He also holds a doctorate in law from Harvard University and he was a Benton Fellow in technology journalism at the University of Chicago.



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