CONFONZ — That damn Monster is still outside your house, peeking in the windows. Every once in a while, it knocks on the window and quietly suggests that you need a new job. Well, it seems as though that Monster's got its own window knockers, and they're carrying cash. Earlier this week, the dot com's stock price leapt up like frogs in a dynamite pond. All over rumors of an impending buyer. After the jump, we look at the most recent round of rumored ruffian buyers.
As if it weren't bad enough to work for a company's who's mascot has some strange trumpet-based nose, now the poor folks who run this fairly successful site have to worry that they're going to be snarfed up by the Tribune (Note the Favicon defaults to a Sun logo...) company, or worse yet McClatchy. Both of these newspaper companies are desperately poor, thanks to years of losing marketshare to Craigslist, of all places, and the mind boggles at just how, in fact, a company that's biggest paper is the Miami Herald could afford to buy such a successful startup.
Of course, the real sexy buyout rumor is, surprise! Google. Just imagine how excited all those vets working at Military.com will be when their shares get swapped for 10 times their current value! Of course, rumors of Google buying Monster are vastly overstated. In all actuality, it's far more likely that Gannett will end up the buyer. It's another newspaper company, but at least it already owns web properties, namely, Careerbuilder.com.
CONFONZ — Everyone's seen Rotten.com before. It's the site that launched a thousand lawsuits, cease and desists, and mouth-covered sprints to the nearest vomit receptacle. But what you may not know is that the site is not simply a one-off, man-in-a-basement affair. Instead, it is one arm of a larger entity, populated by DorkBot-teers, wayward bubble profiteers, and weird chefs. They all work together to build the most horrifying and terrible retinue of sites on the Net, and Buddha bless them for their hardwork. After the jump, we tip-toe through the Rotten Tulips.
Dear readers, the Valley is a frightening place. So many norms, so few people willing to help. So in addition to how-to articles, consider Valleywag your source for one-on-one advice. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with "Ask Valleywag" in the subject, and you could get your question answered by any of our correspondents or on-call experts.
Fleck.com, a Web-2.0-licious startup with the "1. Be coy, 2. ???, 3. Profit!" business plan, put four businesses on the block today. But Fleck is to a business incubator what a microwave is to a French kitchen. Each available business is just a domain name and a concept — but at starting bids of a buck each, what a deal!
Look, if a company sends out a press release at 1:22 AM EST Tuesday morning, is there any good reason to embargo it until 7 AM the same day? Answer: hell no. If Michael Arrington wants to gush about a startup, he'll gush when he damn well pleases. And if Valleywag wants to unfairly criticize that startup...well, here, about four hours early, is the press release for Sphere. Hope for its sake that it's actually useful. "Sphere is an unfortunate name," says a friend of Valleywag, "if your service is a load of balls."
"Social software sucks," a developer told me this weekend, "because it makes people autistic." Society arises naturally from interaction, not a friends list — and forcing it into the latter makes users act autistic. Palopia — a pre-beta social network so new that even Michael Arrington hasn't called them yet — promises to fix that.
After he met some Finns, SuperHappyDevHouse organizer David Weekly pointed out to me that Finnish names are "very Web 2.0." It's true! The list of Finnish names (with pronunciations!) is a goldmine of Web 2.0 monikers and an invaluable resource for any startup. After all, Web 2.0 sites like Riya are already banking on the cuteness of a first name, and Ikea's been naming its furniture after Swedish locations for years.