The Passion of The Hammer

Remember MC Hammer (the hip-hop icon from the 1990s who, only a few short years ago, filed for bankruptcy)? Of course you do. Whatever happened to that guy? Well, according to AdWeek’s Gabriel Beltrone, the patron saint of parachute pants is pulling a Madonna and attempting, once again, to rebrand himself. And this time, in his everlasting quest for relevancy, Hammer has taken to the web.

With over two-and-a-quarter million people following him on Twitter, the former rap mogul attended last month’s Web 2.0 Summit where he announced his latest venture, WireDoo. In an effort to knock Google off their high-horse, Hammer describes the new search engine as a “deep search” or “relationship” engine. “Rather than just return(ing) the 10 blue links of keyword-based results,” he explains, “WireDoo will also display more tangential data culled from Web indices, public data, and social media.”

You’ve got to admire Hammer’s determination to stay within the public eye – especially after losing it all in 2009 – but for someone who’s notorious for making bad business decisions, I can’t help but wonder if something like WireDoo is the way to go. There’s something to be gained (knowledge, mostly) from the way things used to be done. You know? When someone with a completely unique idea and not a penny in their pocket would work hard to build that concept from the ground up. Just like Google did it. Hammer, on the other hand, seems intent on riding the coattails of the Internet powerhouse just long enough to climb to the top and lob the head off one of the world’s most popular websites. He’s destined to fail like he has in the past, but the man just doesn’t seem able to learn from his mistakes.

In 2008, just a year before going bankrupt, Hammer invested in DanceJam.com. The site is essentially a YouTube rip-off, focusing primarily on user-uploaded videos of poorly-choreographed, amateur dance routines, but the most recent uploads are from 2010. Not quite the success Hammer had in mind, I’m sure, and his luck only seems to have gone downhill since. I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see whether or not WireDoo is actually able to put a dent in Google’s traffic. Let’s just say a little blue bird told me it’s not going to work out.

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