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Attack of the Clones

Attack of the Clones

Fed Up With Lack of TechCrunch Coverage, Italian Startup Just Plain Clones the Site

(Photo: TechCrunchCover.me)

Whatever your opinions on its ethics policy, it’s hard to argue against the fact that getting a write-up in TechCrunch is basically the holy grail for startups. So when an Italian weather startup called Metwit found it impossible to usher their company into the TC fold, they decided to take matters into their own hands.

Metwit created Techcrunchcover.me, a website that ganked TC’s logo, font and layout to make it look like your startup has actually been covered by TechCrunch. And you, too, can create your own fake TechCrunch coverage! The company also offers a git codebase of the TC layout. Enterprising startups hungry for press can make a branch in git that adds a TechCrunch-like story, then send up a pull request to have them merge it into the main codebase. Voila! You–ostensibly–have a TechCrunch writeup. Read More

Attack of the Clones

Clone Wars! Paperless Post Up In Arms Over Evite’s New Copycat Site, PostMark

side by side

The startup world is rife with clones and copycats, fueled by the ease of opening up shop on the web. You can find ads on Craigslist shopping for scripts to rip off entire sites. But typically it’s the small fry who are aping the success of their larger, more established rivals.

So the folks at New York based Paperless Post were a little taken aback when they saw Postmark, a new offering from Evite, which looked to them like a total clone of their product.

To make their case, Paperless Post laid out for Betabeat the nitty gritty details of the overlap between Postmark and their service. To them, it copied the user experience and design assets, right down to individual cards. Everything had an eerie familiarity, from the pricing scheme to the name.

“We kind of stumbled on it while redesigning our logo,” said Alexa Hirschfeld, who founded the site with her brother James. “We were checking out the competitors and when we got to Evite’s postmark we had one of those moments, it was actually confusing, looking at it and then at our site, realizing we had been cloned.” Read More

Attack of the Clones

Not to Worry, MySpace Holdouts. Clones Will Soon Keep You Company

Can you recognize the real me?

In the annals of bizzare pitches we have received from PR firms over the years, this one kind of takes the cake.

“Ready to visit your favorite social media pages and web sites to converse in real-time with the page owner? Can you imagine asking your friend how the big date went and getting an immediate, spoken answer from a digital clone? How about a customer asking specific questions about your line of products and having a life-like face of the company give a spoken response in conjunction with a set of images with further detail? It’s not some sci-fi take on tomorrow’s social media. It’s today’s reality with the release of Intellitar for Social Networks. The company, which first introduced interactive digital clones less than a year ago, has begun to move it’s technology off it’s own Virtual Eternity application and onto popular social networking sites. The first set of intellitars (aka intelligent avatars) are moving out across MySpace today. In the coming months, users of additional social networks, including Facebook and Orkut, will be joining the cloned masses.” Read More