March 13, 2000 12:00 PM

Star Stakes

Banking on their fame, celebs seek fortunes in Internet ventures

Hitting the jackpot in Hollywood used to mean snagging gross points in a Steven Spielberg flick. Now stars are trying to strike it rich(er) by lending their faces to fledgling dot-com companies. Whoopi Goldberg scored equity in to tout its online gift certificates; Alanis Morissette got stock in music site for a three-year promotional deal; Cindy Crawford owns a chunk of baby-goods purveyor “William Shatner,” Goldberg notes dryly, “did rather well. “(No kidding: Capt. Kirk’s stock options are reportedly worth more than $5 million.)

When celebs own a piece of the action, they don’t just pitch; they often pitch in. Crawford writes a column on her site, while Goldberg has called CEOs of companies that work with hers. “I guess,” Goldberg says, “they might have been a little bit astonished.”

Just Desserts

So every Girl Scout in town has you on speed dial, yet you crave more cookies? At, you can learn how to whip up any of a palate-boggling 3,000-plus sweet specialties submitted by sitegoers. The smart cookie behind all this—Seattleite Tim Hunt, 37, an ex-anthropologist—also oversees 16 more recipe meccas, including and The flagship cookie list runs from A to Z—that’s ABC (Absolute Best Chewy) Chocolate Chippers to Zucchini-Coconut Cookie Bars. A cookie that’s a vegetable? There oughta be a law.

Internet Manners

I got an e-mail addressed to a list of people. May I introduce myself to other people on the list now that I know their addresses?

Sure—networking is a national pastime. But better ask your mutual buddy to check with the intended targets first. Many people guard their e-mail addresses as fiercely as unlisted phone numbers—or just find unsolicited e-mail creepy. The person who sent the message, however, is also guilty of a common faux pas. When sending e-mail to a bunch of people who don’t know each other, use blind carbon copies (“bcc” in e-mail programs). Everyone stays anonymous, with privacy protected.

My Favorite Site

Sheryl Crow
I really enjoy David Bowie’s site],” says the Grammy-winning rocker. “He’s so innovative.” With Bowie writing a journal and popping into chat rooms, Crow adds, “it becomes much more personal.” As for e-shopping, Crow has had e-nough. “I bought a camera online,” she recalls, “and it got sent to me without a lens.”

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