Presenting the most pointless website in the world

Summary:Regator, describes itself as giving "a bite of the blogosphere's best". After investigating this startup,  from a technical standpoint the website looks quite swish: lots of AJAXy goodness and Web 2.

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Regator, describes itself as giving "a bite of the blogosphere's best". After investigating this startup,  from a technical standpoint the website looks quite swish: lots of AJAXy goodness and Web 2.0 features. Unfortunately that's where the goodness ends.

This website claims to pick out the best online material and then aggregates it. First off, it doesn't pick out the best things on the web but what it's self appointed arbiters of taste and quality deem the best. In my book that's called editorializing.  Second, aggregation of information is something that really annoys me. In the last month, most of my trackbacks from my iGeneration blog have been aggregating-only blogs. Why do they do it? To boost the page views? To boost page rank? I don't know, but I'll throw in some examples:

Aggregated, aggregated, another aggregation, aggregated, oh and here's another, aggregated, yet another aggregation, and for my final magic trick, another boneheaded aggregation post.

The world doesn't need another digg, delicious or reddit. We especially don't need one that has a popularity mechansim to vote posts up or down. That's just so easy to game. Given those two thoughts, I've no clue how they plan to monetize Regator unless this is one of those build to flip projects.

When searching through the "about us" pages, I came across a fictional cartoon alligator called "Reg" as the leading mascot of the company. Just looking at this unfortunate creature makes me want to punch an old lady in the back of the head as she's walking across the road. Seriously, this kind of thing is juvenile. I may as well have a beaver called Boris, a duck-billed platypus called Andrew and a gopher called Gordon... alright scrap the last one, but the point remains. If they want to write silly stuff about a fictional cartoon alligator which appears to have thyroid orbitopathy, then surely Regator is making a desperate attempt to be "down wid da' kids." It sure as heck isn't going to cut it for business use. But then maybe I've missed the point and what I'm seeing is yet another of those consumer plays.

Someone emailed me the other day to look at this site and wanted to know why an otherwise reputable website had been rejected. Here are the facts relating to this anonymous (but very real) website:

  • Well over 2,000 unique posts since around September 2005.
  • Over 5,000 comments from real readers.
  • A wide range of topics specifically for enterprise readers, software-as-a-service, enterprise innovation, ERP, GRC etc.
  • Only 205 posts which have some content from media aggregating sites like delicious but all with commentary.

After some inquiring, I followed up with some emails to see why this site didn't make the cut. This is quoted correspondence between Kimberley Turner, the editorial director and the site author:

"Unfortunately, your nomination can't be accepted at this time because too much of its content is repurposed from other sites. Regator standards require that our approved blogs create original content."

As you can see from the statistics, only 205 posts have had some content from delicious. That says to me Ms Turner didn't take a proper look when she's able to assert that:

"When 90 percent of what I can see on your current RSS feed isn't yours, I cannot call it one of the web's best blogs."

Maybe it isn't one the world's best blogs, but do the facts match the reality as perceived by Regator? If nothing else, it beats an article from the Huffington Post entitled: "Sarah Palin Photos: A 'Busty' T-Shirt From Her College Days". Sure, maybe that's something I wouldn't mind seeing but then is that 'the best' we can get from an aggregator?

The person who decides whether your blog gets on there or not calls herself "a word nerd". Maybe so, and full credit for at least attempting to review websites but whichever way I try and look at Regator it's just not doing it for me. By looking at the front page, we're presented with a number of stories:

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I know you'll get this sort of thing on delicious and Digg, but this site is meant to promote "a bite of the blogosphere's best." Regator is poor. Either that or what's being selected really is not great material. It's the sort of service which makes me wonder about the state of innovation in the startup world. Not only that, if I was made to use this site for another minute, I'd look forward to my next cold-handed prostate exam.

I'm not slating this site for the sake of it. Goodness knows we need decent services. I'm writing this because in the wise words of the infamous Annabel Port, this site is really, badly rubbish.

Topics: Software Development, Browser

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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