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Darejunkies.com … emphasis on junk

Because life just isn't dangerous enough already

By Paul McNamara on Fri, 12/08/06 - 1:35pm.

Not on a dare could you get me to use this latest social-networking site, which bills itself as a combination of "Jackass" and MySpace … with cash prizes, no less.

Darejunkies.com is slated to debut in limited beta on Tuesday, and, if there's any justice in the world, by Thursday it will be a footnote in the increasingly comical parade of Web 2.0 wannabees.

(2010's 25 Geekiest 25th Anniversaries)

Here's how they pitch the "concept":

The site will consist of a robust social network of "Dare Junkies" who are able to create, complete and send various dares (challenges) to other users. Log on, accept a challenge, capture it on video and upload it - users will compete for cash prizes and for the opportunity to become featured Dare Junkies.

Or, dare another user. Find the ultimate "embarrassing" dare and send it to another Dare Junkie and see if they can step up to the plate. In addition to videos, the site provides full social networking functionality so that Dare Junkies can meet other like-minded renegades to challenge, face off with and collaborate. Users vote and the top 10 monthly videos win cash prizes totaling $5,000 the first month and $7,500 the second month.

So what exactly are we talking about here? Swallowing goldfish? Stuffing a fraternity into a Volkswagen? Mid-winter skinny-dipping in Lake Michigan? … Yes, I’m showing my age.

Here are two examples cited by the "entrepreneurs" (who are veterans of reality TV, oddly enough):

Excuse me?  Can I get a push?

Be a crappy rollerblader and ask strangers for a little push.  If you suck already that will make the video better.  All you got to do is go to a place where there is recreational traffic and do some terrible skating.  Get someone to give you a push for momentum and see just how far they'll take you.  See if you can get them to guide you somewhere specific, preferably far.  It's a challenge people, don't be scared.

Is This On The Menu?

Dress as a waiter (black pants, white shirt is standard) and run into a busy restaurant. Ask as many tables as you can what they ordered. After they answer, look really confused, then worried and say; "Uh Oh!"  Then walk away in a hurry.

Sounds harmless enough, but something tells me that this kind of prankish fare isn't going to be taking home the Top 10 loot at the end of the month. Operators will be standing by to take your calls … 911 operators.

I understand that 49-year-old fathers of three little daredevils are not the site's target audience. Still, you just have to wonder about grownups who set out to build a business around exploiting the worst instincts of young people.

Of course, the "founders" of this startup will have the last laugh if their baby grows up to be the next YouTube.

But I'll dare to make two predictions right now: It won't … and those involved would do well to hang on to those waiter uniforms.

(Update: Darejunkies has gotten the New York Post to bite.)

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