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August 6, 2007 | by  | in Games | [ssba]


When Fairfax bought TradeMe last year for $700m, most people focused only on the success of Sam Morgan and scratched their heads as to why they wanted to pay so much money for a local website. But at the time I knew that Fairfax would milk probably ten times that amount out of their investment over the next decade.

TradeMe is already kind of gaining a reputation as the Google of New Zealand, due to its innovation for tapping new markets and niches. Already with Smaps they’re giving the previous leader of local online map search Wises a serious run for their money.

Smaps is a large map database where you type the name of a street, road or even lane and it lists all of the streets, etc with that name in New Zealand. You simply click on the one in the town or suburb you are looking for and it will come up with a 3D map with a pin marking the spot. Want to narrow it down? Well there is a speech bubble from the pin marker with street numbers and zoom in and out options. Click on the street number you are wanting to go to and it will take you there and show you what end to go to. This is really handy for knowing what end of a really long road you have to go to. One classic example from experience is Evans Bay Parade, which goes all the way from Roseneath to Kilbirnie, so information of where the house actually is can save you a long walk due to getting on the wrong bus!

You can also scroll around really fast to see the surrounding area and print it out. Although it is built using mapping and local search systems from ZoomIn that are available to competitors, TradeMe, due to its market dominance (built from the auction area of the site) will probably sew up the market and become the most used online map site in New Zealand for a while to come.

Any scepticism of Fairfax’s ability to build on TradeMe have been proven to be unfounded with Smaps. They did pay $700m for a reason and also retained Sam Morgan as Managing Director for a reason. That reason is for taking TradeMe into the future in an industry where how one tackles the future is a core requirement for survival.

I am sceptical of big companies, but Smaps is one thing Fairfax has got right with its TradeMe investment. And it has just celebrated its 1st birthday.

Net Disaster

Pissed off with a lot of websites out there? Well, get your own revenge back by shooting some of them to pieces with a machine gun. Or maybe you are so angry at one of them, you want to drop a nuclear bomb onto it, or you might just want to ridicule some annoying sites by throwing pies at them.

Well now you can! With Net Disaster you can vandalise mock ups of any website to your heart’s content with no consequences! That’s because it makes a copy of the page you have selected, and in order to vent your anger you can rip it to shreds, literally…

But don’t worry, you won’t actually damage the real site! Only your own personal copy of any website/page on the entire Internet.

There is a pretty comprehensive list of disasters to unleash on your unsuspecting cyber offender. Is there a neo conservative site winding you up? well use Flower Power to grow flowers grow all over it. Tired of all those hippies? Well drop a nuclear bomb on the Greenpeace site. Think this Net Disaster site review is lame? Well you can have a ball by making a scribbling baby deface it.

Other good disasters are: Spilled Coffee, Chainsaw, Acid Pee, Flood, Text Sucking Machine and the God Almighty.

YouTube Video of the Week: OSHO – Strange Consequences
The legendary controversial guru Ranjeesh (December 11, 1931-January 19, 1990) who was that dude with all those Rolls Royces back in the ‘70s, renamed himself OSHO in his later years. Not shy of being brash, the one formerly nicknamed the ‘sex guru’ here expounds on some truly wise and much needed wisdom on the F word.


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