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Daily Crud – October 14th

Ok, I’ve been getting plenty of new site submissions coming across my desk, but nothing crudworthy enough to warrant their own blog post.   Here’s just a few…

Like|Umm – It’s a Digg wannabe, but not as interesting, useful, or fun.  And by the way, your domain name like umm… sucks.

TechCrud Grade: F

koornk – Ditto the proceeding review, replacing Digg with Twitter.

TechCrud Grade: F

ur tbox – A social network for young narcissists. Nice looking site, but it’s all style and no substance. Where’s the talent?

TechCrud Grade: C


In case you missed the obituary, Michael Arrington of TechCrunch has declared this as the end of Web 2.0.  The economy is in the toilet.  Venture capital is drying up and massive budget cuts and layoffs are imminent for many internet companies.

Perhaps the easy money is done, but is it really the end of Web 2.0?  I say no.  The concepts that define Web 2.0 will continue on.  Sites built on user generated content, daily launches of new social networking sites, paper thin revenue models and business plans,  even silly domain names and pastel logos… these things will not go away.

Mark my words, for every Web 2.0 death we see in the coming months, another start-up will be waiting to take it’s place.  Team Cyprus won’t stop believing.  Neither will I.


Web 2.0 lives!  Bring on the crud!


Feng-GUI Heats Things Up

Today we’re checking out Feng-GUI (fung-gway), a heatmap simulator for webmasters and visual designers.  In their own words,

Find out how people see your website, photo or ad and which areas are getting most of the attention. This artificial intelligence service simulates human vision during the first 5 seconds of exposure to visuals.

Feng-GUI is very easy to use.  You can start uploading images and generating simulated heatmaps within moments, with no registration needed.  Here’s what it spit out for a screenshot of our site.

Feng GUI likes the pretty pictures.

One minor annoyance as a webmaster is the need to screenshot their site and upload it as an image.  Hopefully future versions will include built-in thumbnailing to allow webmasters to simply input a URL.

Feng-GUI cleverly borrows inspiration for its name from Feng Shui, the modern Chinese practice of arranging objects to generate good energy.  Like it’s namesake, I suspect Feng-GUI also incorporates some degree of bullshit into their algorithms.  Take my next image for example.

Who littered? Feng GUI wants to know!

While Feng-GUI surely fits the definition of tech crud, It is always refreshing to see a startup with an actual technological development behind it over yet another regurgitated “social networking for [bleh]” business model. In that respect Feng-GUI earns good marks from this reviewer.

The Good: Easy and cheap, just the way I like them.

The Bad: Not all that useful.

TechCrud Grade: B-

Forecast: Relegated to life as a tech novelty, despite improvements in its technology.


Watch out Earthcomber, Arrington’s on the warpath!

We learned today that TechCrunch was being sued by Earthcomber.  It seems the real beef they have is with Loopt, over an infringed patent involving systems for searching users based on a criteria.

As the story goes, TechCruch had created a mobile network on Loopt for their users and now find themselves tacked onto this lawsuit as a co-defendant.

As Michael Arrington reports on TC,

I called Earthcomber President Jim Brady this morning to verify the lawsuit. At first he wouldn’t answer – all he did was try to explain how he’s been wronged by Loopt. When pressed he did confirm that the lawsuit was filed, but quickly added that he didn’t really mean to press it with us. He wants to go to court with Loopt, but is willing to quickly work something out with us to make this go away, he told me, hinting that he’d like to partner with us. He also said he’s been desperately trying to get me on the phone but hasn’t been able to, so he decided to sue us instead.

TechCrud commentary removed (see below)

Arrington continues,

We will not be bullied, and people who file frivolous lawsuits need to be put down. I would rather run TechCrunch into the ground and go out of business than let this guy win.

Go get ’em, Mike!

We’ll continue to track the progress of the situation.

TechCrud Update: Anonymous lawsuit threats coming from Chicago based IP addresses scare me. The following statements are hereby retracted:

  • If what Arrington says is true, Jim Brady is a major league asshole.
  • Jim Brady is the cruddiest person on the web.

I will add that it is not true that the staff at Earthcomber is required to give Jim Brady oral sex as a condition of employment or that Jim himself is an actor in several gay porn movies. I repeat, the proceeding statements should be considered to be untrue.

Thank you, that is all.


Peegly lets you whine to strangers

From the daily REJECT pile comes Peegly.com, another “come confess your secrets” type of site.

In their own words,

Peegly is a virtual pillow intended for your inmost thoughts, feelings and emotions. A big, soft and good-natured pillow is always ready to hear you out and help you… Here you can tell just anything, share any emotions you seethe with or are overwhelmed with.

“Right, come share anything and everything, because…”

All new sentiments appear on the main page of the portal, which gives every visitor a personal ‘podium’ to declare their feelings.

“…we want to publish your most intimate thoughts publicly, where everyone can read and ridicule them.”

Anonymous submissions are added to the site immediately with no moderation or email verification needed.  Visitors also have the option to comment on others’ posts.  (There may be great potential for fun in this.)

The Good: Cheaper than a psychiatrist;  Easier to confess your sins to a virtual pillow than going to church.

The Bad: Another creepy mascot.  That tasseled pillow looks all to eager to hear my secrets.

TechCrud Grade: F

Forecast: Who cares?  Probably will be found and overrun by spammers within 6 months.

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