Webaroo Downloads Hype To Your Hard-Drive

from the the-entire-web-on-your-computer dept

As internet access becomes ubiquitous, times when it is unavailable have mercifully become rare. Yet, the hot web startup du jour, Webaroo, is targeting these shrinking, fleeting moments — offering up large chunks of the web to download and browse while offline. The company believes that using compression and algorithms (red flag right there) they can deliver large chunks of quality content to users’ devices. But, even if there remains large periods of time when people are unable to access the internet (currently plane rides stand out as the big one), is downloading and surfing the internet really what consumers want to do during this time? For one thing, the offline internet can never be the same thing as the online internet, since it’s no longer a two-way medium. There’s no email, sharing, downloading media, etc. Instead, what you have is a one-way medium, more akin to TV or magazines. Given this, it seems that users could just as easily download various articles, songs, and movies that they’d like to consume for periods when they know they’ll be offline. In fact, this seems like a much more efficient use of hard drive space than the 40 gigabyte chunks that Webaroo will offer (and could it really be the whole internet as they claim?). Still, they’re not the only company looking to bring internet content offline. Techdirt Greenhouse presenter Commendo is trying to do something similar, allowing users to automatically download the content of sites that they like. Having content locally hosted also has the advantage of being faster than material online, but how often is this really a problem? Both of these companies, however, seem to be targeting a rapidly dwindling market with their current strategies. It’s also interesting to note how much coverage Webaroo has been getting, almost none of it questioning the company’s strategy. Seems like quite a successful blitz from the company’s PR folks.

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Webaroo Downloads Hype To Your Hard-Drive”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Mr. Brightside says:

Doesn't this cheapen the whole concept?

Back in the day before the “World Wide Web” was a common part of the world’s lexicon, savvy geeks armed with 14.4k modems were doing just about the same thing as “Webaroo” via a long forgotten (but revived as ‘blogs’) technology called “BBS”.

Remember those?

Creating static content for digestion at anytime certainly isn’t a NEW idea, but it’s a stale idea. The Internet has become a dynamic and fluid medium, and contributors who are gearing up to devolve the current standards of rapid change and dynamic content are, IMHO, setting themselves up for failure.

I’m sure we’ll see “Webaroo” on the sidelines soon, left on one of the many dead-end offramps so many other more novel companies have taken OFF the “information superhighway”.

Erik Hoogerhuis (user link) says:

Its about personalization

While Commendo appreciates the comparison to Webaroo, Voyager serves an entirely different purpose.

Commendo believes that it should be the individual who selects what information to record, because only you know what content you will need to Plan, Play, Shop and Sell. You don’t download all the songs from a specific rock genre into iTunes for your personal library, so why do that for the Web?

Voyager lets you record, organize and share your content, whether it be interactive database driven pages, podcasts, pre-recorded streaming media, or services like AJAX mash-ups. Once the content is on your PC, you can interact with it as though you were online – sans the Internet lag, buffering and jitteriness.

The PC freed people from the shackles of the mainframe. Voyager frees you from the tyranny of the web.

Download Voyager and Get Free! http://www.commendo.com

gregg says:

Re: Its about personalization

what?!? Shackles of the mainframe…people didn’t use mainframes; and “tyranny of the web”, did you get that from a marketing class?

Stop trying to sell me this and instead tell me about what I’m gonna want to use it for. I don’t have it, I’ve never felt a lack for it, so it’s going to take more than a few less than catchy phrases to get me to check it out…The world is a big place, and there are LOTS of free things to try…

Anonymous Coward says:

It’s also interesting to note how much coverage Webaroo has been getting, almost none of it questioning the company’s strategy. Seems like quite a successful blitz from the company’s PR folks.

Looks like that is what the startup scene is turning in, a PR circus. People with connections in media and blog (Om et. al.) scene oil their way in. But then, that is just the first 5%. Getting a customer to part with his hard earned money on something like this won’t be that easy.

Rick (user link) says:

so 1997

How is this different from age old offline browsing? I seem to remember this being an option in browsers years ago.

As far back as ’95 I recall applications that would perform a get of an entire website for local browsing. In fact, I still use an app called blackwidow that I downloaded 5+ years ago to grab entire copies of my competitors websites. I can have a record of their site at a specific time or a record of when they blatantly copied content from my site… all locally browsable.

What’s new here? Slapping ‘mobile’ and ‘algorithm’ on the package? Bueller, Bueller…

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...