Warning this is the longest post I’ve ever written. Hopefully it doesn’t bore you to death. If it does, I’m not apologizing because apologizing to a dead person would be weird.
Holy crap yesterday was exciting. I published the blog post at 6:45am yesterday (midnight my time) and for the next six hours I watched magic happen. I think we may have exploded twitter, or at the very least made a bunch of people angry because all they saw for a good 30-60 minutes were tweets about MANteresting. It was seriously insane how much you guys hyped it. So insane I took a screenshot showing as many tweets as my tiny little computer screen could fit…
I was incredibly exhausted, essentially pulling an all nighter watching the personal finance community go to work and help promote this new venture, but boy oh boy was it worth it. I could say Thank you a million times and it still wouldn’t be enough. Since you all were such huge helps, I figure it’s only fair to give a little more insight in to the business that MANteresting will hopefully become.
Why you copy them for:
This is a legitimate question that we will likely be asked many more times. There’s no denying; Pinterest was absolutely the motivation for this venture. They have grown like crazy over the last two years and have been valued at $200MM. But even with their insane growth, the market is not saturated. No one in yesterday’s comments said “What’s Facebook or what’s twitter?” Everyone knows those two are the standard in social networking. But Pinterest isn’t there yet. A handful of you yesterday had no idea what any of this was. While I obviously don’t think we can even come close to Pinterest, I do think there is potential to ride the wave UPWARDS with their successes. Social image sharing is still relatively new to the world and we have serious potential to gain a solid user base if we get in front of the right people before it’s too late.
The other reason I decided to go with this idea is simple. It is ultimately a user based service. This blog is the exact opposite. If something is on here it’s cause I sat down in front of my computer and took the time to produce something. MANteresting however, works when I’m not. It’s definitely not passive income by any means, there’s a lot of work behind the scenes, but ultimately it’s the user that provides the site’s true value. I like the idea of having someone else do the busy work for me. Thanks users 🙂
I don’t get it:
This one of my favorite things people say, “Sorry, I just don’t get it. Pinterest (or similar site has) no appeal to me.” That’s fine. We know we wont be for everyone. In fact, our URL alone automatically, at least some what, alienates half the human population (sorry ladies). We aren’t trying to be a website every person in the world uses. We just want enough users to make us feel like we did something significant.
So if you don’t know website stuff, I’ll break this down for you real quick. On February 15th we had approximately 0 visits. On February 16th we had 4,203 visits from 3,615 different people. Over 17,622 different pages on MANteresting.com were viewed yesterday, and the average user spent about 4 minutes on our site. Those are REALLY encouraging numbers. This blog only got around 1,300 unique visitors yesterday. We got triple that to MANteresting, which can only mean one thing; people that I shared this with, then shared it with other people, who then shared it with other people, yadda yadda yadda. More people visited the website than I am capable of reaching and that is an EPIC start to building a successful website. I really couldn’t have asked for anything more than what happened yesterday.
The week ahead:
I’m not stupid though. I know today’s numbers will likely be MUCH lower than those above. The initial MANteresting pandemonium has worn off and people are going back to their normal routines. Today (and really this week) will be the true test of our ability to grow the website. If we can retain a decent percentage of yesterday’s traffic for the next few days, then that means people are interested in what we have. If numbers continue on a downward trend, that means we were nothing more than a flavor of the week.
What we need from people who still want to support/promote us:
Yesterday was all about spamming twitter and Facebook with our website. We wanted to reach as many people as humanly possible in a very short period of time. We were successful at that. But now comes the tricky part; continuing to promote without being annoying. The best way to do this, if you feel so inclined, is to make things more personal. Instead of posting a mass Facebook message, write on specific people’s walls who you think might really enjoy the site. You can also tweet or status update specific nails that made you laugh or that you found interesting.
But even these methods will not bring us to Internet: Level Awesome. For us to really step it up a notch we pretty much have to get mentioned on some semi-massive media outlet. Techcrunch, Gizmodo, Mashable, NYT, WSJ, MSN, etc. Problem is, when you don’t “know someone who knows someone”, it’s tough to stand out. You can’t just send an email to them and expect to get featured. It’s kinda like applying for a job I guess, we need someone to help us get a foot in the door. Anyone out there have some hookups, if so send ’em my way and I’ll buy you a virtual beer 🙂
How are you going to control content:
This was a major concern for us as we worked out our business plan. How do we run a business that allows users to nail content freely, while not turning in to a porn site. Legitimate question, and one we are still digging through. Before launch we nailed almost 600 pictures on our own to give you peeps an idea of what the site should be like. Fortunately, that subliminal messaging worked as the 300+ nails added yesterday were very similar in nature to the content we pushed. There was, however, one douche bag that posted up a naked dude. Fortunately, I caught it and had it removed in less than 2 minutes. That users account has been deactivated. We say very clearly in our Terms of Service (which I’m sure every single one of you read right :)) that the website is intended for use by anyone over the age of 13. Porn, or even semi porn, has no place on our site and we will fight every incident that comes up.
But, it gets a little better. As I’m typing this, our developer is putting the finishing touches on a “report” button that will allow any user to flag an image they deem inappropriate. If an image is flagged, the picture will be immediately hidden from the general population and held in a queue for Jesse and I to either republish or trash. There is really nothing else we can do about it. The same is true for Facebook. You could publish a naked pic on FB right now without anyone stopping you, but the FB users wont stand for that crap and they will have it flagged just as quick as you put it up. We expect the same of our users. If you see something objectionable, don’t click away or ignore it. Flag the bajeezus out of it and help keep our site classy.
How will you make money?
We wont. Ha! How’s that for a business plan? Aside from very brief discussions we haven’t talked about monetizing the site yet. Right now we are completely focused on implementing new features and gaining more users. If we allow even a second of our focus to shift towards $$ we will have failed as founders. Do you know of a Mega blog that doesn’t make a ton of money? No, you don’t, cause they don’t exist. If we get substantial user interest, people will throw money at us and we will never even have to think about such silly things as Google Adsense.
Are you going to blog about this all the time now?
Let me be clear. No! This is still a personal finance blog. I will still talk about money in just about every post I write. But to think that MANteresting wont come up at least semi frequently would be naive. It’s a significant part of my life right now. When I was in debt, I blogged about debt. When I was getting married I blogged about weddings. So now you’ll have to suffer through some of my thoughts about business. Running a startup. Working with a business partner (who is awesome by the way), and other things that come with the site. If you don’t like it, too bad. Go read someone else’s lame blog about “10 ways to refinance your home.”
Alright, I’ve been up for 25 hours now so I’m going to crash, but I’ll do my best to respond (when I wake up) to any questions you leave in the comments. You know me I’m an open book baby 🙂
Thanks again ya’ll. I heart you very much. If you didn’t have a chance yesterday, Like us on facebook (less than 50 likes away from passing my PDITF likes) and follow us on twitter. Have a good weekend!
p.s. My favorite nail from yesterday… http://manteresting.com/nail/918/
p.p.s. I’m too tired to proofread this so forgive the multiple spelling/grammar issues that likely occurred.