Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Welcome to Westmonster

Thanks to Mike Butcher at TechCrunch UK for news of a new professional blog publisher in the UK called MessyMedia formed earlier in September by Lloyd Shepherd, formerly of Guardian Unlimited and Yahoo Europe, and Andrew Levy, formerly of Yahoo Europe.

MessyMedia's first blog 'Westmonster' focusses on British politics and is described as irreverent, clued-up and scurrilous. It is edited by 'Westminster insider' Sadie Smith.

Shepherd said: “There's a yawning gap in British political coverage, between the established media, which have fallen into the “us-and-them” trap, and the partisan political blogs like Iain Dale's Diary and Guido Fawkes."

Monday, September 10, 2007

TechCrunch UK relaunch and Seedcamp winners

In November 2006 TechCrunch UK and Ireland launched with Sam Sethi as publisher and Mike Butcher as editor bringing much needed focus to the UK tech start up scene.

Just one month later Le Web 3.0 conference organised by Loic le Meur in Paris sparked off a series of 'misunderstandings' that led to Michael Arrington editor of the US parent site effectively shutting down TechCrunch UK. Much heat was generated in the blogosphere about who said what and why.

Following the suspension of TechCrunch UK, Sam Sethi and Mike Butcher worked together at Vecosys, then separated to run their own tech blogs at blognation launched 8 weeks ago (currently in 9 countries) and Mbites respectively.

So to bring things up to date it is refreshing to see Techcrunch UK up and running again with Mike Butcher once more working with Mike Arrington. The important stuff is after all spotlighting new tech in the UK rather than the individuals blogging about it.

This week Techcrunch UK covered Seedcamp and focused on the 6 winners that each received €50k of funding :
First up is Project Playfair, a Scottish project still in development described as "hypertext for numbers";
next is Zemanta, a 'content intelligence platform' from Slovenia;
is a hyper-encrypted personal finance application syncing all your bank accounts and utilities in one user-friendly place;
Swedish Tablefinder is an online restaurant searching and booking service;
UK-based Buildersite is a trusted marketplace for construction services based on 5% of the project fee;
Lastly is rentmeonline which has been described an eBay for renters.

If anyone has inside info, or experience of using the applications mentioned here share your thoughts on them below.