Sunday, November 23, 2008

MizPee and others

"Luckily, the Internet can sort you out, assuming you’re not that desperate that going on the Web and navigating a Web site is too long-winded. There’s not just one toilet-finder who’s sole intention is to help you pee comfortably, but at least three, of which, SitOrSquat, MizPee, and Diaroogle, are the best known.

CenterNetworks profiles SitOrSquat, a new New York-based startup aiming to compete in an increasingly crowded market. All three named websites offer users the chance to enter a location. A map is then displayed showing all toilets in the vicinity. Yes, it may be a bizarre idea but it could also be highly useful.

As well as being available on a PC, the sites can be accessed by mobiles and smart phones such as the Blackberry and iPhone. The sites don’t offer toilet locations for every city in the world right now, but coverage is increasing and already taking in Europe as well as the U.S.

SitOrSquat’s business model involves the site selling advertising to hotels for spaces on the map alongside the featured toilets. Whether these hotels are hoping to gain business by enticing people in with the state and availability of their toilets isn’t yet clear, but it’s interesting nonetheless.

When I first read about these sites I thought they were a joke, but the longer I thought about it, the more I realized how invaluable they could prove. There’s literally nothing worse than being caught short when in a strange new place but thanks to the Internet, the chances of that occurring are now significantly less.

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