LiveUniverse is very much alive, founder Brad Greenspan says


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When is a start-up officially dead? When all of its employees have been laid off? When its website goes down for weeks? When the high-and-mighty tech-news site TechCrunch calls it dead?

Video-sharing site Revver and personalized home page Pageflakes, both part of Brad Greenspan’s LiveUniverse collection of websites, went down on Thursday and stayed that way for more than three days., at the time of this writing, is still down, and callers to the phone number listed on the website can’t get through. Greenspan, who was part of the company that launched MySpace, explained the Web problems in a way TechCrunch deemed too vague. So today TechCrunch declared the company dead.


I reached Greenspan this morning, and he says the West Hollywood company’s heart is still a-thumpin’, as are its 35 websites.

‘All of the major sites are now up,’ he said, explaining that the problem was caused by the company moving data centers. He wouldn’t reveal the new location, however, saying that he planned to issue a press release about it and didn’t want to steal its thunder.

LiveUniverse last raised money in May. Greenspan says the company is ‘about to announce a brand-new product and partnership that will take us into a whole new area,’ namely next-generation social networking. The announcement will be in the next week, he said, and will involve ‘a very exciting technology that was announced recently.’ (A new technology that was announced recently... hmmm ... a tanning drug maybe?)

TechCrunch still doesn’t believe that LiveUniverse is alive, however. It cites a Twitter message from a former employee saying the company was being shut down, and a few blog posts by entrepreneurs griping that LiveUniverse still owes them money.

So whom are you going to trust? The company’s founder or the Interweb? These days, it seems to be getting more difficult to decide.

-- Alana Semuels