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Familiar faces help make virtual communities friendlier.
Of course, there's more to community than entertainment. www.kelloggs.com also offers users several
information resources: news briefs about current promotions and products, recipes, educational articles on nutrition, and brief histories of its pitch-creatures. The news
briefs are genuinely helpful; if you're a true cereal connoisseur, haunted by the subtle fear that perhaps there's a special, limited-time-only holiday version of Corn Pops™ available that you don't know about, there's now a place where you can search for this information. And if
you're a real fanatic, Kellogg's will even take the trouble to automatically e-mail you whenever they have important news. (Drop everything!! Pop Tarts™ now come in Wild Berry!!)
The site's recipe page represents another technological triumph. In the past, the space in which Kellogg's was able to disseminate its culinary tips for sweet-toothed gourmands was limited to whatever room was left over on the side of the cereal box. Imagine the frustration of the chefs in the company's R & D kitchens! They spend hours creating elaborate, cereal-based repasts, and then the art director tells them they've only got room for that damn Rice Krispies Treats® recipe again...
Well, no more.
Because the Web, with its virtually unlimited storage space, transcends the limits of the cereal box. Currently at www.kelloggs.com, there are ten recipes available, including ones for Chocolate Marshmallow Crisps, Crispy Peanut Squares, and Cream Cheese Cookies. It is a cereal lover's dream.
Unfortunately, the recipe page is the site's high point. In a less successful attempt to incorporate the mores of the Web and community-building, the site's nutrition-oriented articles strive for a tone of casual objectivity. "This is real, valuable information," they seem to say. Consider the one entitled Good Nutrition and Sugar, which starts with the following sentiment: "When it comes to eating sugar, some of us have questions...and because Kellogg's cares about how you eat, we've answered a few of those questions here."