Gutsy, Michigan Grandmas Tout World’s First Website Alternative

Published: Mon Feb 28 2005

Romulus, MI, February 25 – Is it possible that two Michigan Grandma’s have created the world’s first alternative to a website? That’s exactly what Karen Whitledge of Romulus and Donna Hicks of New Boston claim with ‘eSYTES’. This gutsy pair says their company’s concept will add millions of affordable, portable, updateable electronic sites to the web.

"I realize this is a bold statement, but it is what it is." says Whitledge, "eSYTES offer the familiar look and function of traditional websites when viewed on the web but can also sit on the desktop. They’re quickly created, then instantly available to the public. They can save people hundreds, even thousands of dollars when compared to the cost of a traditional website since designers and programmers aren’t needed. You can use existing literature such as ads, flyers, menus and so on."

Whitledge, a Real Estate Broker and Grandmother of 21, began brainstorming last February when she became frustrated searching the house for a misplaced carryout menu. She decided to scan local menus and place them on her computer desktop. Soon, friends and family members were calling asking her to email them a menu. It occurred to her that it would be great if the desktop menus could update to display current coupons, coming events and sales information.

"We accomplished this", Whitledge explains, "by merging website display techniques with eBook software. The idea took off from there and now eSYTES offer internet-presence for everything from ultra-professional corporations to small businesses to just plain family fun.

Donna Hicks, a Graphics Designer and proud Grandmother of one, says she realized the potential immediately due to her 30+ years in the advertising business. "Karen and I have been friends since elementary school. When she asked me to join in this venture I was all for it. The concept is fantastic," says Hicks. "As a replacement for direct mail, the savings in postage alone could be substantial. Also, consider when you go online to do a yellow pages search, what do you get? A phone number and address, right? Maybe a map… With our business search you get a lot more, address, phone number, up-to-date sales info, coupons, current events, what’s showing, map, etc. You also have the choice of viewing eSYTES online or downloading to your desktop. I can’t imagine what business would not want their logo sitting on computer desktops. There’s nothing like it anywhere."

Patent attorney, Christopher J. Falkowski, a Technology Specialist with Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP, filed a provisional patent May 4, 2004 on their behalf.

The partners’ recently launched a website to introduce the concept and currently have users spanning the country, including Cheli’s Chili Bar, owned by Chris Chelios of the Detroit Red Wings. For family fun, offers free stuff like photo albums and greeting cards. Even though is so new Google hasn’t found it, the site receives hundreds of hits a day from visitors the world over.

Contact Name: Karen L. Whitledge
Contact Email:
Contact Phone: 877-245-4200

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