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.