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This article was published on July 29, 2008


Preople sells out on Ebay, as Wired clones the ‘net fame-o-meter’ idea.

Preople sells out on Ebay, as Wired clones the ‘net fame-o-meter’ idea.
David Petherick
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David Petherick

Scotsman David Petherick is a director & co-founder of several companies, and provides social media strategy & visibility services. Scotsman David Petherick is a director & co-founder of several companies, and provides social media strategy & visibility services. David became known as ‘The Digital Biographer’ after a 2007 BBC radio interview, speaks Russian, wears the Kilt, and is a co-author for the books 'Age of Conversation 2.0, & 3.0'.

I first came across Next Web co-founder Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten when I stumbled upon his quirky site ‘Preople‘ in early 2005. It had an irrestible and simple hook – you’d compare yourself with others (or compare any two people or things) to see who was more famous, and you could email the results to people, and invite them to challenge others.

preople-boris-vs-david-scores

Preople also had a odd and endearing community of bloggers grow up around it (including myself). It was fun, and very viral, but I don’t think anyone too it too seriously, and it was really not doing very much for the past few years after the initial novelty had worn off. So, being the pragmatic entrepreneur he is, Boris decided he’d offload the site by – what else – selling it on EBay, with a minimum bid of $999. And the news is – it’s sold! The winning bid was $1025! Boris was unavaible for direct comment today, but rumours have circulated on Twitter that he’d blown the proceeds on an extensive lunch in Amsterdam.

preople-winning-bid

Great minds think alike…

Now it may be a coincidence, but I was amazed by the similarity of this tool available at Wired – entitled the ‘Wired Celebrity Meter’, and has some very familiar sounding ideas. Here’s how the service is described: —

Are You Internet Famous?
How It Works
The Celebrity Meter scans your URLs and scores internet fame based on:
* webpages linking to you
* your friends across social networks (just Twitter and MySpace for now)
* pages linking to your photos

Being of 2008 rather than 2005 vintage, The Wired Celebrity Meter is of course an embeddable widget. Try it out for yourself… but be warned – if I am only scoring a few hundred fame points behind Kevin Rose, then there’s something odd going on, or perhaps I need a new agent…