2013: the year of the relaunch

22:45, Feb 06 2013

It looks like a new year means relaunch time for all and sundry, from Kim Dotcom's online kingdom to Wheedle and even the email scammers.

And while the Mayans might have got it wrong about the world ending in December, I'm beginning to wonder if we're heading for Doomsday now: Gareth Morgan wants to get rid of all our moggies, Atari has filed for bankruptcy and Justin Bieber is the King of Twitter with the most followers of anyone on the whole of Twitter. Yes, Justin Bieber, with Lady Gaga in the No 2 spot, followed by Katy Perry and Rihanna.

Apart from making my head hurt, that list probably sums up all that is wrong with the Twitter-verse: Where are the interesting people? We don't need to follow the Biebers and Gagas of the world on Twitter because every detail of their lives is already reported in the media, with full details on their latest "cutting edge" fashion choices (read that as "got dressed in the dark") and thoughts on the meaning of life chucked at us at every turn.

Back to the relaunch news, and Kim Dotcom reckons his new Mega file-sharing site has already got more than a million users signed up. The internet guru's latest venture sits alongside the likes of Dropbox as a cyberlocker and the man himself reckons the lawyers have been over everything with a fine-tooth comb to ensure it won't fall foul of the authorities.

In other relaunch news, word is that Trade Me rival Wheedle will be back in business soon. The site, financed by Mainfreight co-founder Neil Graham, was launched in October but closed just days after its launch because of software problems.

Wheedle's boss now says the site will be back "within weeks" and will have more features than at launch.


I'm still not convinced there's a market for yet another auction site, even if this one has a slightly different model from Trade Me because many have tried to chip away at Trade Me's dominance of that particular market and many have failed.

Now let's talk about those wannabe scammers. Most of the scam attempts are pretty easy to spot, such as the old classic Nigerian scam, where you get an email offering you a share of the ill-gotten gains of some recently dead despot or millions in lottery winnings so long as you are prepared to pay a fee to bribe crooked officials to let the money out of the country (or a "processing fee" if it's a lottery scam).

And I have to say, the recent influx of emails from Jennifer Anniston, Angelina Jolie and the likes in my inbox is a bit unlikely. However, I have had a few emails this past week or so that were pretty sneaky.

If you've ever bought anything on Trade Me, you'll be familiar with the payment instructions email that turns up after your winning bid, and that is what I received last week with instructions on how to pay for the four-burner barbecue I had won.

However, I hadn't bid on any such auction, let alone won it. It was, of course, a scam. Within the email was a link to click if I wanted to cancel the transaction, which no doubt was linked to somewhere undesirable.

Yes, they are out to get you.