Brit/US entrepreneur Michael Birch has not been resting since exiting from Bebo recently. He’s invested in a new startup which launched today, founded by former TV-producer Edward Baker. But this is not your obvious startup – dictionaries are not exactly hot right now. So why do another one?
Wordia.com – fittingly launched today at the house of Dr Samuel Johnson, who compiled the world’s first dictionary 253 years ago – is, effectively (as Birch describes it) “Dictionary.com meet Youtube meets Wikipedia”. It combines a textual dictionary from partner Harper Collins with user-generated videos both from any user and profesionally produced videos featuring celebrities. Users edit, submit and rate definitions on relevance, accuracy or humour. The launch site has 76,000 words and 120,000 definitions, and another 21,000 word thesaurus entries. And the user-definitions are sarting to flood in, like this one.
Back in June Birch said he would still be working on startups as well as spending time growing Birthday Alarm, a site he founded with his wife Xochi Birch and brother Paul Birch in 2001. Birthday Alarm still has 300,000 users sending birthday ecards for $14/year. Birch has a non-compete period still running with Bebo during which time, he can’t set up any new social media-related business.