We are clearly in the information age, and it should therefore
not come as a surprise that there are screen -service businesses. often referred to as infomediaries, that primarily focus on providing information. Some firms focus exclusively on providing information. while others provide information . part of the value added to their
core business. These firms often prov idea information on several levels. H00ers Online, as an illustration, provides information on three levels. The first level. which is free to users. is general information on companies' financial information. The second level adds value by segmenting
or sorting the information to fit the needs of individual users. who pay a fee for this service. The third level involves custom searches that are designed specifically to meet the needs of an individual customer.
Companies that provide information as part of their total offering often also provide chat rooms where customers can discuss issues relevant to the focus of the firm. For example. Magicmarnan.corn, an e-service firm in Paris, France, that focuses on parents with young children, provides a chat room where parents can discuss problems they are having with their children and how some parents have dealt with them (either successfully or