PRIVATE DIRT: You might have been reading...

PRIVATE DIRT: You might have been reading about the music industry "dirt" folder on the America Online computer service--an often lively site full of rock-world gossip, gripes and volatile banter contributed by insiders ranging from top executives to the always quotable Courtney Love.

If you haven't checked it out yet, you'd better soon. The discussion is going underground. Julie Gordon, the music journalist and consultant who oversees the "dirt" folder under the nom-de-screen JGFLASH, has worked out a deal with AOL to move the discussion to a private location. Only invited participants will be granted access, via an approved list of members who will be given a secret password.

Why make the move? The current site has been overrun with banality and mean-spirited attacks on various industry figures that are often slung under the cover of pseudonyms, Gordon notes.

The current, non-exclusive site will be maintained, though, for those who want a more public forum. The new folder will probably be inaugurated within the next month.

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