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Tuesday January 18, 9:24 am Eastern Time
Company Press Release
ScreamingMedia Integrates Content Distribution Service With Virtual Communities Inc.'s Powerful Community Management Solution
ScreamingMedia's Digital Content Network Also To Offer Around-the-Clock News from Israel Using VCI's IsraelWire Service
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 18, 2000-- Virtual Communities Inc. (Nasdaq: VCIX - news), provider of turnkey solutions for the development and management of Web-based communities and publisher of online ethnic communities, today announced a distribution agreement with ScreamingMedia, a premier aggregator and distributor of world news and topical content on the Internet. Under the agreement, VCI will integrate ScreamingMedia's service into online communities published by VCI including www.virtualjerusalem.com, www.virtualiireland.com, www.virtualholyland.com, www.virtualitaly.com, and www.virtualindia.com and in VCI's proprietary Community Management Solution (CMS), enabling communities created by VCI to seamlessly integrate real-time content from ScreamingMedia's network of nearly 500 national, regional, foreign language, and niche content providers.

Additionally, VCI's proprietary IsraelWire news service, part of the VCI owned and operated community www.virtualjerusalem.com, will provide news and features to ScreamingMedia. Under the terms of the agreement, VCI may receive royalty payments in the event ScreamingMedia clients select IsraelWire content for use on their web sites.

CMS, developed by VCI after building numerous online communities, offers customers a comprehensive technology and service solution, including scalable content management and publishing software, community design and development services, cutting edge e-commerce functionality and best-of-breed community retention features. The agreement with ScreamingMedia is the latest in a series of major distribution agreements signed by VCI to provide its customers with best-of-breed technology solutions as part of their turnkey solution for building web-based communities.

The first VCI community to make use of the ScreamingMedia relationship is www.tromaville.com, a virtual city for independent entertainment, alternative thought, and cutting-edge lifestyle.

``We chose VCI to gain access to their growing base of online communities, who are ideal customers for our custom-filtered content,' said Kevin Clark, CEO of ScreamingMedia. ``Working with VCI, we are able to cost-effectively market our services to their client base. The fact that they also own a proprietary news service for Israel-based content is a bonus to the relationship, and enables us to deliver targeted content to the growing number of websites demanding this type of news offering.'

``This partnership allows VCI to offer its client communities another powerful tool that we can easily integrate with our content management software,' said Avi Moskowitz, President and CEO of Virtual Communities. ``As we create the first Community ASP, it is important that our communities have access to the most advanced web features. We are also thrilled that ScreamingMedia have added IsraelWire News Service to their prominent roster of news sources for timely and relevant news from Israel.'

About the Companies

Virtual Communities Inc. markets its proprietary Community Management Solution (CMS) to organizations interested in building their own web-based communities. CMS, developed by VCI after building numerous online communities, offers these customers a complete single-source solution, including VCI's Community Content Server, cutting-edge tools for content aggregation, interactive features, and community design and development services. VCI also develops, acquires and operates web-based communities targeted to U.S. ethnic and affinity groups. VCI's current network of communities includes: virtualjerusalem.com, virtualireland.com, virtualitaly.com, virtualindia.com and virtualholyland.com.

ScreamingMedia (www.screamingmedia.com) is the premier Content Network on the Internet, aggregating relevant, real-time content from a wide array of providers and delivering it to hundreds of clients every day, seamlessly integrating it into the look and feel of their Web sites. Using proprietary ``harvesting' and filtering technology, ScreamingMedia streams more than half a million articles each month to its Web site subscribers, including AOL, Microsoft, About.com and Drkoop.com. These sites use ScreamingMedia to drive traffic and increase the ``stickiness' of their sites with continuously updated, customized content from some of the world's leading sources, including The Associated Press, The New York Times Syndicate, Business Wire, Red Herring and Salon.com. The company is based in New York. Its Chairman of the Board is Jay Chiat, co-founder of Chiat/Day.

Statements in this release which are not historical facts are ``forward looking' statements and ``safe harbor statements' under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that involve risks and/or uncertainties, including risks and/or uncertainties as described in VCI's and HDG's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

For additional information visit the Virtual Communities Inc. Web site at www.vcix.com.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Contact:

Virtual Communities Inc.
Amy Wasserman, Director of Communications
212/931-8965
amyw@vcimail.com
or
ScreamingMedia
Elena Salij, 212/691-7900
elenas@screamingmedia.com
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