In Desperate, Successful Ploy For Coverage, ShoutOut Radio Turns TechCrunch Against Itself

Oh, this is shameless.

Productivity at TechCrunch offices around the world have taken a blow over the past couple of hours, thanks to the Great TechCrunch Race, a website where TechCrunch staffers (or rather, uh, farm animals that share our names) race each other across the screen. It turns out that watching a turtle with my name on it going head-to-head with chickens, horses, and pigs named after my bosses and coworkers is weirdly addictive. (While on the Caltrain, I only barely restrained myself from shouting, “Die, Rip Empson, die!”)

The site was developed by Rick Reich, creator of ShoutOut Radio, a smartphone app for sharing music with your Facebook friends. What does that have to do with farm animals? Nothing, really. Reich says he “just really had a few days of downtime and wanted to break out from iOS for a bit.”

But to my mind, the real question is: How are the winners calculated? What algorithm has Reich devised to determine out our real-life running speeds? Has he hacked RunKeeper? Or, in a fiendish twist, is it tied to the speed of our posts on TechCrunch?

Not so much. Reich actually says the results are totally random. At least that explains why I don’t win more often.