March 16, 2001 4:35 PM PST

Dot-com deadpool puts price on rumors

The Web's most popular dot-com deadpool site is opening its overflowing in-box of e-mail tips to the general public--for a small fee.

see special report: Fired! In a newsletter Friday, F*** founder Phil Kaplan, aka Pud, said he has created two premium services for the site, which will otherwise remain free. For $75, subscribers will gain access to all rumors sent to the site, stripped only of information that could identify sources. For $25, subscribers will be allowed to search the site's message boards, known as the "Happy Fun Slander Corner."

The site, which posts rumors of layoffs, bankruptcies and other assorted disasters of the dot-com meltdown, has become a reliable tip sheet for journalists, investors, headhunters and others. It has also generated its share of controversy because of its gutter style, with typical posts littered with profanity.

"F***edCompany has received more information from more employees of more companies than any site--any entity--in history. I'm sure of it," wrote Kaplan. "Point is, while I try, I haven't been able to keep up with all the stuff I get. I've been pretty good about going through it all and picking out juicy ones for the site?But unfortunately, I often miss great stuff that's sent to me."

In his newsletter, Kaplan said the site has accumulated some 43,000 tips since its inception 10 months ago, of which just 1,400 have been published on the Web.

Since many readers already stand to gain financially from the information offered freely on the site, he said, charging a fee for more makes sense.

"What motivation do I have to help strangers with their business?" he wrote. "I know. Money."


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