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Boo.com back from the dead

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Anyone concerned that Web 2.0 is beginning to resemble the bubble of the late 90s, will be heartened by the return of boo.com.

The fashion website was a poster child for all that was wrong with overly optimistic start-ups of the period us old timers call the first internet boom. The company raised £100m, some of it from public pension funds, and blew the lot in 18 months on what insiders described as "the three Cs" - cocaine, champagne and Concorde.

The site promised designer clothing for the world - it launched in several countries simultaneously - but was almost unusable via the dial-up connections most people had at the time.

But now it's back as a travel website. Or at least the address is. Its owners assure us they know the ropes having been "creating profitable websites since 1999". Web Reservations International is based in Dublin and made Ebitda of €19m in 2006.

At least the website appears to function, doesn't demand enormous amounts of bandwidth, and doesn't include an animated guide even more irritating than Microsoft's infamous paperclip.

The site offers hotel bookings and some user-generated reviews. It's still got some teething problems - searches for Las Vegas, for instance, take you to the Las Vegas Guesthouse in Kowloon.

CNet chose Boo as number six in its Top 10 dot-com flops chart behind such giants as Webvan and Pets.com. ®

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