Bebo founder Michael Birch has laid pretty low since the teen social net’s exit to AOL (NYSE: TWX) in March, even lower than he was usually – $850 million can buy you a lot of relaxation. But now the English serial entrepreneur is getting back in the saddle, as an adviser to, and investor in yet-to-launch video dictionary Wordia, Telegraph.co.uk notes.
Birch and TV producer Edward Baker plan to launch the site, inspired by Wikipedia, at the home of Samuel Johnson, the author of the first modern dictionary, in London later this month, inviting “friends, family, literary types and print luddites” and claiming “the much-loved print dictionary is being laid to rest”.
But whether people looking for words really want to find videos… that’s another question. The online text dictionary space – for online and text are not mutually exclusive – is already well stacked by the likes of Dictionary.com and Merriam-Webster. Birch will have to bring something new to the party to reinvent a form that’s over 500 years old and still going rather strong – he plans a mix of pro and UGC video, having filmed Edinburgh Festival goers recently describing their favourite words. Birch also backed games social net Playfire and merchant space MyStore.