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Crowdsource your social causes, lawsuits

Three Web start-ups that help you find gaming buddies, lawyers, and support for your pet causes presented their products on Thursday at the Plug and Play Expo 2008.

One rule of thumb in business is to make use of money-making models that work. In this day and age, recommendations, matching algorithms, and online advertising are tried and true--when done right. Yelp, Pandora, and Google Ads prove it. Everywun, Mylawsuit.com, and MyGameMug are three companies that presented at the Plug and Play Expo on Thursday that have also applied these principles to their services.

Everywun logo

Everywun knows that most people have a pet cause, and that for some, recruiting allies or advertising their volunteerism is a badge of pride. To that end, Everywun has created a money-making system that lets you embed virtual badges in support of your cause into your blog, online profile, and social network.

When your contacts click the badge, advertisers pay up in exchange for getting their logo seen. Everywun is a lot like TheHungerSite.com, except with a more transparent Web site and with widgets that come to you instead of a static site that makes you go to it. That makes it highly visible with a win-win value proposition: sponsors get good press, you get peace of mind, and the Everywun fund in question gets cash for nonprofits, microloans, and community projects. Presumably, Everywun also gets a modest cut for staff fees.

Mylawsuit.com's founder, attorney Michele Colucci, would like you to go to her company's Web site the next time you need a lawyer to represent you on either side of a civil case (specifically, torts law). Mylawsuit.com, though still under wraps, will be a recommendation and referral site where citizens can find local, specialized lawyers who are willing to take a cut only if you're awarded money. Mylawsuit.com will snag 5 percent of the commission for facilitating the deal.

It sounds like a decent way for citizens to find affordable legal aid, but it is yet to be seen how Mylawsuit.com will handle the libelous remarks of sour clients who have lost their cases.


For serious gamers, MyGameMug could be quite a find. Calling itself a social matchmaker, the service, which launched this past August, pairs you up with other like-minded players of multiplayer online games after quizzing you on almost 40 questions to determine your gaming style, playing intensity, and preferred genres.

It should come as no surprise that the two founders, both active gamers, developed MyGameMug after getting fed up with trash-talking opponents.

The quiz results feed the algorithm that produces your suitable companions and also passes on demographic details for serving you targeted ads, the company's sole source of input.