Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2003/08/14/you_are_a_web_service/

You are a Web Service – and you have an STD

Move over Friendster - here's Crabster

By Ashlee Vance

Posted in Bootnotes, 14th August 2003 23:46 GMT

Noticed a bit of green in your nether regions and can't quite recall where it might have come from? Had a one-night stand that's left you itchy and confused? STD-ster can help.

The STD-ster beta site is backed up by a funky, porn groove and a compelling premise. It will help sex-crazed socialites track down long-lost love partners that dropped off a nasty infection during their last encounter. Whether it was John that left his lesions or Sally that saddled up with a bad rash, STD-ster will point you in the direction of the original STD culprit.

The satirical STD tracking site, has provided a much needed poke at networking services such as Friendster. These blogging offshoots have begun to make their way into the mainstream press.

Friendster and the slightly more compelling Small World project out of Columbia University are a form of dot-com hangover. E-mail has been around for ages, and AOL chat rooms have thrived for a decade, yet people still seem to think contacting each other with the "Internet" is a creative, awe-inspiring process.

There is some kind of unexplained desire to turn oneself into a Web service: "I am not a free man - I am an interactive protocol!"

No doubt the same bloggers who caress each other with praise will flock together in their own social network. They can actually meet out in public now, glob together, buy sodas and discuss their latest, mutual achievements. It's a touching scene, but not one desired by the socially well-adjusted.

At least with "Crabster", the potential exists to catch something you could be ashamed of instead of just doing something shameful. ®

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