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MC Hammer's WireDoo: Can it take on Google and Bing?

October 20, 2011 |  5:27 pm

MC Hammer at a Oakland Raiders game

MC Hammer, the Oakland rapper/dancer/preacher/spokesman, is looking to take on Google and Bing in one of the most competitive segments of the tech industry -- online search -- with a new start-up called WireDoo.

Hammer, whose real name is Stanley Kirk Burrell, announced WireDoo at O'Reilly Media's Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco on Wednesday. He described the project as a search engine that offers a level of "deep search" and related topics that Microsoft's Bing and Google don't offer.

So how does WireDoo, which is still in a closed pre-beta stage and nowhere near ready for the public, plan to offer deep search and challenge some of the world's largest tech firms?

Hammer explained to O'Reilly writer Alex Howard at Web 2.0 (in an interview that can be viewed in the YouTube clip below) that WireDoo would offer different results and thus a different product than current search engines.

"The engine crawls and the algorithm is designed in a way to get all of the related information to your query and then package it consistently in one environment," Hammer said. "Kind of thinking, right? The way you would think. If it's a car ... it's not just about the word 'car,' but it's about insurance, it's about the specs, it's about mileage, it's about style, it's about all these things. So that's the way it works."

Hammer told Howard that WireDoo would pull such related data from across the Web and public records, so if someone enters a search query for a ZIP Code, they'll find results that include information on the schools in that ZIP Code, education levels of the residents of that area and other results tied to public information that can give a user a better understanding of what's going on in that community.

Those interested in trying out WireDoo can submit their name and email address. Hammer's team will eventually open up the site to a select number of beta testers.

Skeptical? Well, you'd have the right to be.

Bing, which is widely considered Google's biggest threat in the search engine market, has grown, but so far it has failed to really rival Google's dominance in the space.

Google's biggest threat at this time might actually be Facebook, which is increasingly becoming a place where people consume media, play games, share photos, search for information on companies, celebrities and bands and even read, watch and listen the news.

How big a threat is Facebook to Google's business? Just look at Google+.

WireDoo clearly has some steep mountains to climb before seeing success.

Another thing you might wonder: Why is Hammer trying to get into the tech business? Well, this isn't his first attempt to crack the online world.

Hammer is a co-founder of the website DanceJam, a social network centered on sharing dance videos online. TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington is listed as an investor.


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Photo: MC Hammer watches warmups before an NFL game between the Oakland Raiders and the Cleveland Browns at Coliseum in Oakland. Credit: Kyle Terada / US Presswire