I have been a telecom/internet entrepreneur for 17 years now. But other than building my companies together with some great employee/partners who have followed me from Viatel, Jazztel, Ya.com, and now Fon I also invest in other people´s companies. My criteria for investing is simple, I invest in companies whose services I like and whose entrepreneurs I admire. Tariq Krim´s Netvibes is a good example. The companies other that I have invested in are on the sidebar in this blog and I would not be surprised if you use some of them. The other day, I was hanging out with Dave Sifry and we were talking about how could we judge how attractive or “hot” a certain new service or web sites were…. and jokingly we came up with applying the concept of “hotornot” but this time, not for babes or dudes but for web sites. Why do this? Well I think there´s a correlation between what folks think is attractive, what they use and….what I may invest in. So here´s Webhotornot, just launched, have fun adding and voting on your favorite web sites.

PS: we are getting so many visitors right now that we are not being able to add screenshots for new sites in time. Please bear with the coders at Fon Labs so we can fix this in the next few hours.

Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: twitter.com/martinvars

No Comments

Xyborg on January 28, 2008  · 

Good idea, but be careful with the spammy sites :S

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Simon on January 28, 2008  · 

Interesting Martin but there should be a short description added to every homepage, because even if you can judge babes on their boobs it’s fair to give them the chance to say what in their hearts.

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Nestor Juchnewicz on January 28, 2008  · 

Hola Martin.
There´s a good idea; but I think there is a lot of waste, in the mean that people add web sites that are not a service.
Perhaps, if you explain better, could be nice for us -web entrepreneurs- find new ideas about people thinking to offer better services.


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Jens on January 28, 2008  · 

Hi Martin,
Great idea! It kind of reminds me a bit of killerstartups.com, which has more a digg-like feel to it. One thing, to be really able to judge a website I would either need a tiny description/category attached to it (the small screenshots don’t communicate a website’s design/idea enough) or a bigger screenshot, so that I as a user can provide my intuitive opinion.

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Gonzalo - KillerStartups.com on January 28, 2008  · 

I’d like to see how it evolves, but certainly a proven concept. If as Simon said above (Comment #2) you want to explore adding a brief description to the screen shots, count with us to work together on that.
At KillerStartups.com we’re also interested in finding out what the wisdom of crowds feel about the 13,000 websites we have reviewed.

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chris on January 28, 2008  · 

Like it! And whilst this might be starting out as a bit of fun (based on what Dave Sifry has said), I think there’s are some other really interesting opportunities:
* groupings of related sites to make easy comparisons (i.e. see a site on webhotornot and see links to other sites in the same category), based on suggestion from the community and/or editorially determined (would be a great way to see the category landscape, a bit like a directory); would also help users to check out a type of site and then decide which one to use/try (and there’d be a real incentive for site-owners to list, as who would want to be left out?)
* information hubs relating to each site to make comparisons and get information about the sites (e.g. alexa info (if that’s of any use), published news, etc)
* deeper user feedback, comments and reviews facility – good stuff, bad stuff, whatever, but a centralised place for people to make their comments about sites they’ve been to (got it to a certain extent now with the comment form, but would need some more structure)
* site owners taking control of their own site listing, and being able to push out some info about their site through this channel (i.e. what the site’s all about, latest developments), and be able to respond to user feedback, comments and reviews (following on from the previous point)
* the (obvious) community angle, where user’s have a lightweight profile and so others can see who likes a particular site and which other sites they like and don’t like based on the ratings they’ve given (and/or maybe that they’ve said they’re ‘fans’ of), and so be able to navigate through the data in an alternate way to find other interesting sites (and there would obviously be deeper community opportunities beyond this, e.g. around specific interest areas, groups, etc)
* (this type of thing was also said in one of the comments on TechCrunch) have a browser plug-in so that when you’re on a site you can give it a quick rating, see how others have rated it, and see other info on the site (if there’s additional info available on the site’s webhotornot profile); so a bit stumbleupon-like, and a way to drive ongoing usage and engagement beyond the site
* a webhotornot-ometer (!) on the homepage, showing which sites are moving and shaking in the world of webhotornot (although I guess this might skew how it’s supposed to work, but would also let you have a site surveyed intensively by webhotornot)
Adding some/all of this stuff obviously would/could obviously change the lightweight (i.e. clean and simple) nature of what it currently is (and the last thing that you’d obviously want is to over-engineer it or make it complicated to use), and would certainly create more complexity in delivering the site (and in making sure that it’s not getting abused – could obviously look to the community to do some of the policing). But it could make it an amazing resource of centralised (and distributed) data about the websites of the world (as well as still being a fun thing to use). And feels like there should be lots of different ways to generate revenues. Can’t say that this is all entirely spontaneous thinking, as this is a proposition that I’ve also thought about in spare moments.

Glad it’s being done (saw on TechCrunch that there’s another outfit doing something similar, which I hadn’t seen before, but think webhotornot will have some amazing momentum behind it), and looking forward to seeing how it’ll evolve! It could be massive if its THE place on the web to find, rate, comment on, compare and interact around sites! Sounds as though it’s just for fun right now though, so enjoy!

3.0 rating

Andy W on January 28, 2008  · 

Very clever, a list of top-rated sites away from an index.

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