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Blog

WooMe – online dating’s new darling

Stephen Stokols WooMe is the latest upstart to take on the web dating establishment, launching out of beta last week. 

Backed by European VCs Niklas Zennström, Janus Friis and Klaus Hommels, it enables speed daters to interact via in-browser Flash video technology, then charges them to contact each other if they are ‘woo’d’.

It has competition in the form of SpeedDate.com, among others, but says it is also being used for a range of non romance-related tasks. It has also been approached by firms that want to use its technology in HR, internal comms and elsewhere.

We had a quick chat with founder and CEO Stephen Stokols about its plans for the future.

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Web 2.0 still dumbfounds senior execs

Web 2.0 tools and their business benefits are still an alien concept to many firms' senior management, according to a survey by IT services firm Parity.

The study (via IT Week and PC Pro) found that a third of IT managers had little understanding of Web 2.0 technology, while almost half (47%) of senior managers had yet to 'buy-in' to the advantages it could have for their businesses.

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Is HMRC's online PR fit for purpose?

The last few months have seen a string of firms brutally punished after failing to react to PR disasters quickly.

Both Northern Rock and Mattel have been hit by huge waves of consumer panic and could have lessened the impact had they communicated more effectively, including via the web.

So is HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) doing all it can online to help people hit by its Child Benefit data disaster - the scale of which is up there with both those businesses?

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Is Kindle Fever pulp fiction?

The mighty Economist has produced an editorial forecasting the death of the book following Amazon’s launch of its ebook reader, labelled Kindle.

It seems that Kindle Fever is in full swing, yet the mass consumer adoption of ebook readers seems thoroughly unfeasible in the short term, and I’m not convinced it is a likely scenario in the long term either.

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Web fails to cheer US newspapers

Ad revenues for US newspaper websites grew 21.1% in Q2, according to new stats that will give Rupert Murdoch some more ammunition in his bid to make the Wall Street Journal offer its online content for free.

The data, from the Newspaper Association of America (NAA), shows ad spending on newspaper publishers’ online properties jumped 21.1% year-on-year in Q3 to $773m.

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Interview: Lovefilm’s William Reeve

William Reeve Lovefilm founder and COO William Reeve tells us why he wouldn’t recommend the company’s movie downloading service to his friends.

He explains how the DVD rental company got through last month’s postal strikes and why it’s not the right time for its highly popular service to go mobile.

And he gives us a few thoughts on the subject of Hackathons, having recently brought over the brainstorming concept from the US.

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Website-less AIM firms face punishment

Several AIM-listed companies reportedly face sanction because they haven't yet developed an adequate web presence.

According to The Business, firms listed on the junior exchange were given a deadline to set up a basic website containing information on board meetings, results etc.

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Rightmove revamps site as competition increases

Property website Rightmove has unveiled a revamped version of its site, with a new look and feel as well as improved navigation.

rightmove.co.uk - new homepage

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Google extends video ad network to UK

Google has extended its recently-launched video ad network to the UK in a further attempt to monetise content from YouTube.

The online ad giant says the service is now being offered to its Adsense partners in the UK, Ireland and Canada – enabling them to display ad-supported clips on their sites.

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Calacanis seeks another $20m for Mahalo

Having already raised $20m in funding for his human powered search engine, Jason Calacanis is seeking a further $20m.

The serial entrepreneur is valuing Mahalo at a rather whopping / ambitious / ridiculous $175m, according to Matt Marshall at Venturebeat, meaning that the search engine is worth another $75m more than it was when it launched back in May this year. Astonishing...

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NYT traffic boosted by new model

The New York Times' decision to drop its outdated subscription model appears to have paid off, with visitor numbers increasing by almost 3m in October.

Figures from Nielsen/NetRatings, quoted in WebProNews, show that the newspaper's online audience grew from 14.6m in September to 17.5m last month.

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Yahoo! Europe properties 'face axe'

Yahoo!'s European staff have been given a deadline to turn around parts of the business that have been performing badly.

Toby Coppel, the head of Yahoo!'s European operations, told the FT that some of the firm's regional properties may be sold off if there is no improvement in their figures by Q1 2008.

Services coming under scrutiny include shopping comparison site Kelkoo, the paper added.

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