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Track your online foes with Competitious

Want to keep an eye (or several) on the competition? Try Competitious, a collaborative tool that lets you keep tabs on your competitors.

Launched last October, Competitious lets you quickly and easily compare your Web site with your competitors' sites. After adding their URLs, you can compare traffic, make detailed comparison charts, and keep track of press (both good and bad). The goal is to get a quick snapshot of your competition and have the tools to keep tabs on them in hopes of making your own site better.

There's a strong emphasis on collaboration, as you can invite others to join your Competitious project. Each of your collaborators can use the Competitious bookmarklet to add stories to each competitor's profiles. Doing so also gives you the option to rate whether the story has a positive or negative effect on your competitor. What's cooler is that once this information is compiled, you can sort through it with several filtering options. Each collaborator is given an RSS feed they can subscribe to, allowing them to keep track of new stories without having to log in to check them on the Competitious project page. You can also see all the new additions or edits to your Competitious project and who made each change, and this, too, has an RSS feed.

Competitious is an easy-to-use tool for potential Web start-ups. It is missing a few things though, mainly a way to export all of your data to another application, such as Microsoft Excel. It's also missing a way to automatically add news stories about your competitors' Web sites. It's not hard to rely on people adding links, but a way to automate clippings would be great. In the meantime, Competitious is a smart, simple tool for those who want to create a new service and piece together what the other guy is missing without having to use multiple applications or pay for research tools.

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