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A New Place That's Hip to Hang

July 04, 1999|SUSAN CARPENTER

Capitalizing on the chatty nature of teenagers and their tendency to trust peers' advice more than their parents', Bolt.com (http://www.bolt.com) is rapidly becoming the largest teen-oriented destination on the Web.

Nearly 1 million 13- to 21-year-olds visit the site each month, according to Nielsen's Internet rating service, I/Pro.

And for good reason. The site is a perfect venue for teens to voice their opinions. Between user surveys and bulletin boards, the teens generate 95% of the site's content, entertaining each other with postings about the serious (depression) and the silly (advice from a Bronx-born swami).

The site opens with a message from Bolt's "member of the day" and a quote from the "Bolt board," pulled from one of the chat rooms. From there, the pages are divided into topics such as activism, college, dealing (a.k.a. advice), poetry and writing, sex and dating, jobs and money, in addition to movies, TV, fashion and music.

A poll can be found on nearly every page, asking questions like, "Do you have a tattoo?" or "Which do you prefer: McDonald's or Burger King?"

In a recent week, nearly 80,000 visitors cast their votes in response to the last question. Who won? You'll have to log on to find out.

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