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Like all savvy corporations, Kellogg's protects its intellectual property vigorously.
Part of the problem, of course, is the current state of technology. Right now, only a Netscape shareholder could get truly excited by blinking Christmas tree lights (Now they're green! Now, they're red!), but pretty soon more dazzling effects will be possible. And the same goes for the coloring books and word search games the site features. At the moment, these applications are slower and less flexible than their real-world counterparts, but eventually, the reverse will be true.

But will the site be any better then? Probably not.

And that's because the most important issues regarding are those of intent and content rather than technology. The Web may be a new medium, but Kellogg's intent is the same as it ever was: to sell as much cereal to the world as it possibly can. Theoretically, the Web can help Kellogg's do this, because its interactive, hyperlinked, information-rich nature is conducive to building a community, and "community," in the minds of marketing executives everywhere, expands neatly into the phrase "loyal customer base."

But can a community really be built upon and sustained by the common desire for a tasty breakfast experience? And is a profit-driven corporation like Kellogg's really interested in creating a "true" virtual community? After all, most such communities are complex and unpredictable, with many other factors besides a desire to consume influencing their development...

In one regard, however, Kellogg's is seemingly well-positioned for the process of community-building. The charismatic pitch-creatures they have developed over the years appear, at first glance, to be perfectly suited for spreading virtual hospitality: familiar, friendly, and with plenty of time on their hands...

Unfortunately, their extra time comes from the fact that, historically, Kellogg's has been in the business of making impressions rather than building community. In the context of thirty second commercials, Tony the Tiger's™ obsession with Frosted Flakes® works. He tells us they're great, and that's all there's time for. But what happens when you give Tony™ uncounted megabytes to express himself? His obsession becomes, at best, boring, and at worst, a little frightening...

Question: Tony™, what do you think of that new Martin Scorsese movie?

Answer: Kellogg's Frosted Flakes® are ggggreat!!!

Question: Well, how about this weather we've been having?

Answer: Kellogg's Frosted Flakes® are ggggreat!!!

This, of course, is a hypothetical example, but it illustrates the point.