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Brier Dudley's blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

February 12, 2007 at 2:34 PM

Seattle tech gossip site

TrenchMice is a new Seattle-based Web site that’s pitching itself as a forum for tech employees to share tips and inside information about their companies.

The idea is to inform potential employees of issues they should be concerned about, founder John DeRosa told me. He was formerly engineering vice president at DocuSign, and before that was a development manager at 4thpass and Motorola.

TrenchMice site seems like a blend of F-d Company, Vault and community info sharing/referral sites such as Digg and Slashdot. It has some interesting tidbits, and the volume seems to be going up after a recent Slashdot mention.

Among the tech companies discussed so far are DocuSign, Walt Disney, Kinetix Living, AOL/Singingfish, IBM, RealNetworks, Isilon, Entellium and of course Jobster.

I asked DeRosa why it’s different from F-d Company, where useful tips are often buried among all the anonymous rants. He said TrenchMice is building a user community where members can moderate and vote on others’ input, similar to Slashdot.

“So, inaccurate information will sink, and quality information will rise to the top,” he said via e-mail.

TrenchMice also has a rebuttal service. For $99 a year, companies can get tips alerting them if they appear on the site, giving them a chance to respond. Or they can pay $150 a year and also have the ability to “intercept” postings that could damage their reputation.

Those premium services give the site a twist. They also make the site very different from old media such as newspapers.

The intercept service doesn’t block negative comments completely. It holds them for 24 hours so companies can prepare a rebuttal, that will appear alongside the initial post. It will presumably give companies enough time to seek injunctions if the post is really bad, which ought to make things interesting.

The site is focused on tech firms in the Northwest, but it will also accept discussions about companies from anywhere else. The company is considering rollouts in other tech hubs such as Silicon Valley, Austin, Chicago and New York.

UPDATE: John noted he was a development manager, not developer, so I fixed it above.

Comments | More in | Topics: Startups, Web

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