Interesting reaction over at The Guardian blog to our post yesterday about the StartUp2.0 competition for European web 2.0 sites. Guardian blogger Jack Schofield said that he only recognized 1 out of the 15 finalists. Jack wrote:
"What I find amusing is that I've only actually used -- or even heard of -- one of them: SlideBurner.
Can you do better?"
Hmmm, well I'm never one to pass up a challenge (particularly if it involves testing my web 2.0 knowledge!). So how many of the 15 Euro startup finalists did I recognize? Er.... [cough] 2. I guess I can console myself by saying that I'm not European! For the record the two I knew were Properazzi (property search engine) and Men?©ame (Spanish digg clone). Both of which we've posted about before on Read/WriteWeb.
One of the commenters on The Guardian post. renaissancechambara, pretty much summed up why even web 2.0 experts hadn't heard of most of these sites:
"...the combination of open source software and the free flow of information online means that it is easier for services to be created. These can be financed on a few credit cards and a personal loan. So there can be a deluge of products that look much the same as each other.
Many of the services mentioned are me-too products or iterations on existing web 2.0 products."
A little harsh, but true. One of the main themes in Read/WriteWeb's series on top international web apps is how many Silicon Valley clones there are. Digg, YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, eBay, craigslist, etc - all of the top US sites have multiple equivalents overseas. Having said that, another main theme of our top web apps series is that of localization - and in the case of many European countries, that means language. So it's natural that english-language speakers haven't heard of sites that run in (for example) Spanish or French. However a number of the 15 finalists are either multi-lingual or in english...Thirdly, it could also be an echo chamber thing - most of the tech news that gets attention in blogs and news sites is US-centric.
It should be mentioned that a few commenters on our post noted that the StartUp2.0 list is not a definitive list - e.g. it was missing last.fm and reevoo.com.
Still, what's your score? How many of the 15 Euro startups did you recognize?