CopyCats – our companions


Mobile is our business…

The phenomenon ‘CopyCats‘ isn’t new for us, because they have been constant companions for us since the beginning of our mobile business back in 2000. For example there was a company called IMOCOS International Mobile Content Service AG in Osnabrück providing a wap search engine and later on a similar mobile user generated community services as we did, but now they are completely gone from the market. Other companies sold their mobile community business in the course of time like wap3 Technologies GmbH in Cologne did in 2006 to Jumbuck Entertainment Ltd (press news).

A hard competition is all around in the different fields of online business and CopyCats are just natural in the market development; if I am correct informed then e.g.

Update: Interesting article at TechCrunch.com: Web 2.0 in Germany: Copy/Paste Innovation or more? 

But also our mobile business friends from e.g. admob.com are confronted with CopyCats, e.g. with Decktrade.com – “a global mobile advertising marketplace that delivers mobile campaigns to advertisers and a business model to mobile publishers” – powered by Millennial Media. The funny thing is that sometimes in the rush new companies make just avoidable mistakes like Millennial Media did, if you believe the story “Are the mobile advertising upstarts out of control?” of VentureBeat about Decktrade.com.

Right now my favorite CopyCat is definitely gofresh.de with their product itsmy.com. Even if peperonity.com has around three times more traffic than itsmy.com, they claim to be “worlds stickiest mobile web community” and “No. 1 Brand in Mobile Social Networking” – I wonder how they measure this ‘success’ :o) 

Update: I found another one impressive ad: “gofresh – europe’s LEADER in mobile social networks & mobile communities“. Just crazy :o) 

But I was even more amazed by the statement “gofresh – Europe’s FIRST mobile UGC Company” in Mikko‘s presentation on the Mobile Monday in Munich (2007.02.05), because they founded in 2003 and Peperoni already started in 2000 and please don’t forget our old combatants wap3 Technologies GmbH and IMOCOS International Mobile Content Service AG.

And the conclusion? It seems to be like Sajeed Sacranie, CEO Virgin Mobile, said in a Press Release of Virgin Mobile: “They’re still nowhere close to offering our value… but at least they’re trying and customers will benefit”. We will see what will happen in the next months, everything seems to be possible and (unfortunately) allowed in the mobile 2.0 race. May the best win :o)

6 Responses to “CopyCats – our companions”

  1. I just laugh, laugh because people like you are walking around like they are Eric Schmidt.. All you did was to create a software which enables users to create their own wap sites.. I wonder if you had this much visitors if O2 didn’t redirect all WAP sites to peperonity and all non-O2 traffic to you also. I speak because I know, you started as tagtag then sell software to operators and during this period peperonity has no where near the mywap.o2.co.uk’s stats.

    I still think you have an average service but no company tend to build a competitor.. Even the simplest free web page creator and hosting service from late 90’s is better then your service. Where do your visitors come from? India, South Africa, Kenya, Jamaica?.. I know because I saw your stats by accident?!..

  2. First of all I would like to thank “M” for the compliment comparing me with Eric Schmidt and I am glad to welcome the first reaction on my thought on copycats. And please don’t forget that sometimes the simplest ideas are the most successful ones :o)

    But now let me make some comments to the last post:

    Today we would definitely have such a big mobile community as peperonity.com, because we started to build up our own portal already back in January 2000 with WAPmatic and later on very successful under the brand of mCommunity. This was before we started working with O2. But of course we also benefit from the partnership with O2 and with all our partners/customers as much as they do from the development of peperonity.com.

    The story of tagtag.com is in fact quite similar to the business history of Peperoni, but they started their “WAP page building and hosting portal” in 2001 – 1 year later than we did. And afterwards Mobitel licensed their service that is a part of Mobitel’s pinkponk.com portal.

    If peperonity.com were an “average service”, then I would love to know the rooms for improvement. Any suggestions out there?

    And I can confirm that from our experience countries like India and South Africa have right now a very strong growth in the usage of mobile data services. Even if you don’t recognize to business potential of those markets in the first instance, I can tell you that all in all it is a very good development for our industry and I am very happy to serve that traffic :o)

    And now the big question: Who is “M”?

    It would be a lot easier for me to go into the comments of “M” more deeply and I am also sure a lot easier for other visitors to understand the causes of the opinion of “M”, but unfortunately the identity of my discussion partner is missing. Maybe “M” works for an internet company like Google Inc. (because the comparison with Eric Schmidt), maybe “M” works for an operator like O2 (because of the insider information on the mywap.o2.co.uk’s stats), maybe “M” works for a mobile company like e.g. admob (because of the accidental knowledge on traffic stats), but maybe “M” is just a frustrated competitor :o)

    So my dear “M”, I warmly invite you to visit us in Hagen and to discuss with us the past, present and future of mobile services for user generated content.

  3. Listen, I don’t want to cause arguments like you do, if didn’t understand what I mean read your blog above again, I’m not working in any of the companies you mentioned in this blog post or blog comment. I just point out my view but of course your reaction is as expected.. but honestly I didn’t expect this much arrogance lol, I didn’t compare you with Google’s CEO, I meant what you achieved is normal, even below normal in this Internet business but when I read some of your blogs you are showing your business like one of it’s kind, like nothing else.. You keep thinking like that, like the companies you mentioned such as itsmy.com.. At least it’s a real community service but you call yours community too which is stupid I think.. It’s a simple WAP page creation service like tagtag or wen.ru.. Is it the g.book messages what makes it community??

    My experience in this business is not less than yours so you can’t cover the truth with any of your words cos I really know the period you passed. Yes there was mcommunity.biz and peperonity services before but no one knew it, most of the sites I saw was mywap.o2.co.uk, then suddenly mywap decided to stop giving this service to non O2 customers, not only they’ve stopped new registrations but also converted most of the mywap sites to peperonity..

    Regarding to India and South Africa traffic, if you believe those markets are as good as UK and USA then go on but everyone knows that most advertisers are interested in UK and USA traffic, because of this the CPC rates are 10 times higher. Why? Because while 1 in 1000 visitors from India buy content it’s 50 – 100 for UK and USA.. I don’t mean no WAP site owner should serve services to Indian users, what I’m trying to say is when there will be no international ads to show then there will be no way to turn that traffic into revenue, I’ll see you then :) take care lord of the WAP lol. Why don’t you put the top 10 countries by number of visitors on your web site? Then everyone will see who is using your service, instead of talking about copy cats write at least one unique service, I mean not copy-cat like wap site creation service ok shut up.

    M

  4. It is really not necessary to become impolite, however I like “lord of the WAP” :o)

    Of course “M” is right saying that only a guestbook functionality doesn’t make a community, but there is definitely more than that inside peperonity.com – just give it a try and explore our service deeper. On the other hand, depending on the definition you can call almost every (mobile) internet service, where people with shared interests somehow meets, a community. It would be interesting to understand why in the opinion of “M” peperonity.com is less a community than e.g. itsmy.com. In a good discussion I would appreciate concrete suggestions for improvement and not only vague criticism.

    And certainly right now the UK and USA traffic is very valuable in our industry – it’s like gold fever. And yes, it is a big challenge to turn traffic from India and South Africa into revenue, but for a perspicacious entrepreneur it’s no reason to surrender. But I am rather glad, that “M” and hopefully others don’t care about the rest of the mobile world, hey, just more business opportunities for us :o)

    “M” seems to have good expertise in mobile business and I am sure “M” is able to give even more interesting insights on the mobile industry, but the provocative notes and the namelessness are unfortunately very disappointing.

  5. I’m glad you’ve acknowledged yours is not a community service, it’s a simple WAP page hosting which doesn’t even provide FTP. All sites looks same only the background and link colors varies, no more customization which makes your service very limited, nothing much changed from early 00’s.

    Making a deal for 200 million ad views/month! What a good business, do you share some of the money you earn from ads with your users which genarates %100 of the content? You only provide service but they genarate content, of course it’s not illegal but we’ve seen examples in the past before like lycos, geocities and many many more.. All have lost their popularity because of their AD spam on user’s pages! ..

    I believe things will change soon, a better service with more custimization, FTP and with less ads on pages will attract more users no doubt, if only somebody tend to build such service.

    I examined peperonity before, I know exactly how it works that’s why I think it’s very simple… but I must say it’s now better than tagtag which will be history soon, if they won’t innovate.. you must be very happy, all of your rivals like tagtag, winksite, wen.ru etc.. couldn’t make it to next level “XHTML”

    I remind you again, I commented on your blog, I had nothing negative to your service before but after seeing your comments in your blog and replies I felt somebody has to say something, but I know I’ve wasted my time.. People like you will always be there to ruin the busienss for others, as I said before if you have nothing to do, (I guss you don’t, because users do all the stuff), shut up and don’t call others copy-cats while yours is no where near being original.

  6. Even if I appreciate some of the comments, it’s sadly, that “M” is not able to go on with a more objective discussion. With the ongoing abusive notes, hiding the identity and giving a false colour on the facts, for me a further exchange of ideas seems to be pointless. But “M”, thank you for your time and contribution, which I will use as an outstanding example for a new blog post about “The dark side of user generated content” in the next days.

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