Hammer Time for Google? WireDoo needs fancier pants.

Forget about Googling something. Pretty soon, if you need to find anything on the Web, you can Hammer it!

Well, actually, you can’t, because for some unexplainable reason, rapper/minister/apparent-tech-guru MC Hammer is calling his new search engine WireDoo. So I guess you can WireDoo it, or something.

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Anyway, Hammer announced his plans to challenge Bing, Google and all other comers at the recent Web 2.0 Conference in San Francisco. Apparently, WireDoo (why MC, oh, why not call it The Hammer?!?) will separate itself from Google by showing the relationships between search terms.

So if you go looking for sheep dogs, you might find pages about them, but also services for those animals, kennel clubs, local vets and the like. Who knows, it might even be able to relate your current searches to previous ones you’ve made. Details beyond that were a little sketchy, though we do know the slogan: “Search once and see what’s related.”

Yawn. This is all we get from the guy who made gold pantaloons a fashion statement? That makes WireDoo sound like a Mormon genealogy site. Come on, MC, how about “You CAN Touch This!”

Hammer said that a team was working around the clock on the new site, and that the project has been in development for more than two years. If you hit the website now, there’s a brief message saying that the search engine is in pre-beta (I think in the tech world this is called an alpha, but anyway) and asking people to sign up to help test the beta when it’s ready. I signed up. What the heck? Hit me Hammer!

Seriously though, Hammer might want to rethink his promotional strategy if he’s going to have a snowball’s chance in you-know-what of getting this lead balloon to fly. And this is meant with all due respect from someone who once had an MC Hammer poster on his wall. (Full disclosure: The MC Hammer poster in question was pinned in the back of a closet of a house I rented about 10 years ago and I never bothered to take it down. It might still be there for all I know.)

I just don’t think that MC Hammer and his tech team are going to be able to conquer Google on even footing. I think they need to play up the MC Hammer angle.

Make WireDoo somehow more fun to use than Google. Make it the cool place to hang out, the place that plays a snippet from the “Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ’Em” album every time you hit the Hammer (instead of search) button.

Come up with a better slogan that doesn’t sound like it was created by dull Harvard business school graduates — from 50 years ago. How about “Nail your search with the Hammer!”

And whatever you do, change the name. This is the age of wireless, and the title just makes it sound old to begin with. I’m on Hammer’s side and wish him the best, but he’d better break out some fancy pants soon and get some pizzazz, or his WireDoo might quickly become WireDon’t, just another sad story for the tech industry.

About the Author

John Breeden II is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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