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Useless websites #158

Useless websites #158

SendSocial promises to send anything to anyone, without needing an address. They suggest that you could use it to send gifts to Internet friends of yours, when all you know is their Twitter address.

How does SendSocial do this? By asking said Twitter person for their address, and then sending you a label to stick on your package. A courier then picks up said parcel, and delivers it to the mysterious Twitter person. And they charge £4 for a parcel weighing less than 2kg (which, to be fair, is slightly cheaper than what the Royal Mail charges).

It’s lucky that you can set up websites and company ideas for not much upfront cost, since it’s doomed to failure for the simple fact that if a person on Twitter didn’t want to reveal their address to a Twitter follower, they’re hardly like to entrust said address details to an anonymous company instead.

But hey, don’t take my word for it. Try it out. Send a random Santa present to my Twitter address 😉

I have a web-cool surname?

I have a web-cool surname?

Finally, after years and years of teasing in the playground and classroom from fellow pupils and teachers (hello, Mr. Anwyl) alike, my surname is now so highly sought-after that two web services have just launched, using my name. Honestly.

mister-wong.com is a del.icio.us-esque social bookmarking service that is currently on a private beta in the English language, having apparently become the most successful website of its type in Germany, a country famed for good race relations. After I’ve registered, it tells me that I’ll be able to “start wonging” soon. It even has a catchy slogan: “Wong The Web”, sends out a weekly “wongletter”, and the “wong” blog has a “wongroll”.

Thankfully, the Chinese caricature that was all over the German website seems to have been reduced to an icon on the website, although it’s still loud and proud on the various widgets and toolbars, so I’ll still be firing off an email of complaint at some point. As will, I imagine, Asian American activists such as 8 Asians.

What amazes me is how this website managed to sneak up on everyone and apparently become the second most popular social networking site in Germany – a country not exactly short of Chinese people – without anyone complaining or noticing.

It’s not just the Germans. A UK start-up has launched a website to help you borrow money from them on a short-term basis. And it’s called Wonga. The website comes complete with a terribly low-quality Flash-based video introduction telling you that “you need Wonga. now.”

I don’t know whether to smile, cry or hide in my bedroom. But I’ll probably be sticking to Netvouz for all my online bookmarking needs.

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