Give us anything with a controversial rapper’s name attached to it and we’re interested (and by “we”, I mean the collective “we”, as in, Americans); give us something techie and we’re hooked; give us a little of both and we’re too busy Googling it to hear what you just said.
That’s what happened earlier this week when Whodat.biz “launched”, creating buzz on Twitter and just about every other social media site since it just happened to be sent out into the world by Donda, which is Kanye West’s startup company. People began tweeting about it before they even knew what it was, but luckily a few thought the site’s self-description was a little odd:
http://t.co/hWewAH9B? “The Facebook of Websites”? Really? Seriously? For real?Kanye West’s first startup is a Whois lookup site?
Yes, you read that right: “The Facebook Of Websites”. They can say that because they aren’t a real startup, but rather a joke site created by web developers OKFocus–a play on Whois, which essentially just looks up info on websites. They were busted by Gizmodo, who used Whodat to look up their phone number while investigating them.
“A lot of it just kind had to do with first playing a prank on our friends and then it kinda just went from there,” OKFocus co-founder Ryder Ripps said.
While Whodat may not be real, Donda actually is, and was announced by Kanye on his Twitter page back in January:
The name of the company is DONDA
— Kanye West (@kanyewest) January 5, 2012
I’m not saying this was all a strategically planned marketing ploy, but if West wanted to create a buzz around his (real) startup, this would be the way to do it….