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.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    suv4x4, Apr 10th, 2006 @ 2:13pm

    It's the question

    Articles need to sell, it's an interesting question after all: "Is it possible to squeeze the entire internet on to just one PC?"

    Well, answer is: no.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Mr. Brightside, Apr 10th, 2006 @ 2:18pm

    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".

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2006 @ 2:57pm


    Algorithms. Wow. I got to get me some of that.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Erik Hoogerhuis, Apr 10th, 2006 @ 3:17pm

    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! www.commendo.com

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Lee, Apr 10th, 2006 @ 3:30pm

    Re: Its about personalization

    The tyranny of the web is exactly why people go online.
    The beauty of the web is that its a 2-way street. Personailze all you want, in the end, without the others reacting to you, or you reacting to other users, it quickly becomes boring.


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Syed Ali, Apr 10th, 2006 @ 4:24pm


    In my opinion, they are going in the wrohng direction. They should help make internet access cheaper and of better quality. Most of the world seems to be on its wide web.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2006 @ 4:28pm

    Re: oooh..shiny

    Of course...algorithms! Why didn't anyone else think of that?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Technopundit, Apr 10th, 2006 @ 5:52pm

    Get out my boots!

    What'll they think of next? Custom solutions to real-time requirements taylored especially to fit the needs of their clients?

    There's another techbubble a-comin', Ma!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    gregg, Apr 10th, 2006 @ 9:18pm

    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...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2006 @ 1:17am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Rick, Apr 11th, 2006 @ 7:40am

    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...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 3rd, 2006 @ 6:33am



    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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