Lessard, Bill 1966(?)-
LESSARD, Bill 1966(?)-
PERSONAL: Born c. 1966. Education: Earned M.A., 1992.
ADDRESSES: Home—Yonkers, NY. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Time Warner, New York, NY, communications producer for Pathfinder, 1995-96; formerly employed by Prodigy and the Globe. Co-founder of NetSlaves.com (now Dotcom Scoop), 1998.
(With Steve Baldwin) Netslaves: True Tales of Working the Web, McGraw-Hill, 1999.
Netslaves was translated into French, Spanish, German, Japanese, Chinese, and Korean.
WORK IN PROGRESS: Will Code for Food: True Tales of the Great Web Wipeout.
SIDELIGHTS: Bill Lessard formerly worked for Prodigy and TimeWarner's Pathfinder, as well as for numerous Internet startups. Unhappy about the long hours, high stress, and the lack of profits, Lessard decided to locate others who shared his unhappy work experience. Together with coworker Steve Baldwin, Lessard founded NetSlaves, a webzine devoted to the stories of those who have been unsuccessful in Internet ventures, in 1998. Based on interviews conducted by the partners with Internet workers of all kinds, from the most humble of web designers to the wealthiest of entrepreneurs, Netslaves documents an industry with a gold rush mentality but little gold. "What's a good boom without a loud backlash?...." asked Katharine Mieszkowski in an article on NetSlaves for Fast Company. "It's no surprise that the boom to end all booms—the explosion of Web startups and IPOs—has triggered a backlash. What is surprising is that the most entertaining complaints and caveats are coming from the Internet insiders."
In 1999 Baldwin and Lessard gathered together the best stories from their Webzine and published Netslaves: True Tales of Working with the Web. APublishers Weekly critic wrote that Netslaves's "case studies of disgruntled tech support operators and HTML code writers make for bitterly funny reading." According to Meg Mitchell in CIO Magazine, the book's tales of working horror are "engaging, hilarious and tinged with despair." Dale F. Farris, writing in Library Journal, found Netslaves to be a "sobering inside look at what really goes on behind the closed doors of cyberspace." The Publishers Weekly critic concluded: "On the whole, this insider's look at the industry offers an amusing antidote to the media's chronic case of Internet hype."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
CIO Magazine, June 1, 2000, Meg Mitchell, "Emancipation Proclamation."
Fast Company, July-August, 1999, Katharine Mieszkowski, "Backlash.com," p. 42.
Library Journal, November 1, 1999, Dale F. Farris, review of Netslaves, p. 98.
New York Times, March 23, 1999, Lisa Napoli, "Web-Weary Workers Find Outlets Online."
Publishers Weekly, October 18, 1999, review of Netslaves, pp. 62-63.
Seattle Weekly, March 25-31, 1999, John Whalen, "Netslaves."
Dotcom Scoop Web sitehttp://www.DotcomScoop.com/ (April 15, 2003).
Internetnews.com Web site,http://www.Internetnews.com/ (June 29, 2000), Ken Cimino, "Digital Disappointment: Horror Stories Haunt the Web."
NetSlaves Media Kit,http://www.disobey.com/netslaves/ (February 3, 2000).