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… https://manteresting.com/nail/918/
p.p.s. I’m too tired to proofread this so forgive the multiple spelling/grammar issues that likely occurred.
Ninja, huge congrats on the launching of Manteresting. After reading through the comments, it seems like a lot of people glossed over the most important fact of doing what you did: not having debt and saving your money up gave you the freedom to get an idea and act on it. I’d call the launch of your new site the culmination of PDITF’s years of hard work and discipline.
But maybe that’s a little too heady. Congrats again!
This is seriously so cool! And I would love to get updates on how things are going for this project. I think it’s fascinating, and while I’ve no intention to start anything like this on my own, I like learning about what it takes to get it done, and the ups and downs of the process. So I wouldn’t mind hearing more about it as you go at all (maybe a side blog?).
Anyway, congrats again on a great idea and great start! This is one of those bucket list type things in a person’s life. 🙂
I’m sorry, how does the naked human body= porn?
Why are people so hung up about nudity? And why has it become sexualized to the point where someone without clothes automatically equals something sexual?
Then again, you think me using a swear here or there is Excessive Profanity, so your perceptions are somewhat skewed.
Congratulations, I guess…
Umm, big naked guy with full erection grabbing his junk while kissing to the camera = porn. Maybe not in your world, but in everyone elses. Will you ever, just once, think I’m capable of making reasonable choices?
2.includes sexually explicit images or other content which is offensive or harmful to minors,
3.includes any unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, or hateful material, including but not limited to material based on a person’s race, national origin, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disablement or other such affiliation,
Those things are on there because there will be minors that visit the site. Its not about being hung up on nudity, its about protecting the integrity of the site. What if facebook allowed nude photos, I don’t know the exact numbers, but I’m betting about 50% of their membership is under 18 years of age. How do you think parents would react if facebook allowed that. Pretty sure a lot of parents would block the site. Which in turn would kill their numbers. I totally agree with blocking inappropriate pics, if you want to visit a site that has those, go visit one.
Nudity =/= Sexually explicit.
What is so sexually explicit about a person’s unclothed body? We are a screwed up society if nudity is treated like this.
I would love to see the nude body as just natural and not some object of sexual curiosity and fascination.
Seeing people naked should just be whatever. It shouldn’t be so taboo. I’m sick of it. I hate what a prudish country I live in. United Prude of Pruderica.
A few thoughts:
– I found that clicking into some of the thumbnails gave me large frames with red X’s.
– “we will fight every incident that comes up.” Well and good, but if your site takes off and you get lots of images uploaded each day, how do you intend to control infractions?
– What is the goal of your home page? I found reams of smaller pictures, and as I scrolled down more and more I just saw more pictures. This can make for very slow loading after a while, and what’s more, I did not get from the home page a clear picture of what the site is all about.
– Copyright issues. Despite your disclaimer, any picture uploaded to the Internet is copyrighted to the person who took it. Have you talked to a copyright lawyer about these issues? Believe me, there can be hefty fines for illegal use of protected images. Our company my mistake used two little pictures that were the property of Getty Images, and we were hit with a $2000 fine. Sorry to be a downer, but I honestly don’t know how you can get around this problem.
I think they would get away from copyright issues if the pictures were linked to the site that they were “nailed” from. I think that’s how Pinterest. Any plans to implement this feature? It might actually be helpful!
Most of our images are nailed via our bookmarklet software. This means that as a user finds an image they want to nail on, say Uncrate.com, they can do so. The bookmarklet retains the source of the image and posts it directly below. The image itself is also linked back to the original source. The DCMA has very specific guidelines on what is and is not acceptable as “fair use”. Pinterest, MANteresting, and virtually all other site (facebook, etc) operate under the fair use guidelines and have clear ways for people to reach out if they suspect copyright infringement or would like their images removed from our database.
Long story short, we shouldn’t be getting sued any time soon. Especially since we aren’t using these images for commercial or marketing use (which I assume Larry’s company did, but could be wrong).
Go Larry, it’s your birthday. : D
Came out from under your rock again, eh troll?
My birthday was five months ago. I brought up some concerns that I thought Ninja should be aware of. I notice that when others (including myself) bring up ideas to you, they’re often dismissed or ignored – which is why I feel no interest in commenting on your own blog.
That’s cool. I have plenty of nice people there already. But if you ever change your mind, door’s open.
I was sad to see that my idea wasn’t included! But otherwise the site looks awesome I am very happy for you and hope that you can employ my ass one day
What was your idea, Ev?
I love love love this idea! I will admit I seriously need an intervention for my addiction to Pinterest but I have a few questions:
Nudity – I saw your posting above saying that it was indeed a disgusting porn image but if on Pinterest a lot of people post “Boudoir” photos that inspire them for their wedding photos. Will you allow? Also, most men I follow on Pinterest have at least one “Hot Babes” board – you have to admit men love sexy images…
Do you have media press packages made out? One of the truest things you said is it is hard to get media attention unless you know somebody (or know somebody who knows somebody) but maybe having prepared packages might help! I have a side wedding business and we crank that out to media outlets and it works (coupled with advertising $$)
My only other point I want to make as a Pinterest addict is Pinterest is great because it helps people do something they want to do. Need a new recipe to amaze dinner guests? Go on Pinterest. New workout routine? Pinterest. Hopefully yours will be just as amazing!!
I’m loving your new site by the way!
I haven’t used the site much yet, though I did make an account. Just wanted to say that automatically removing an image after one person flags it seems a bit heavy handed. One person could find anything offensive. As the site grows, I’m sure you’ll probably want to have a more automatic way of dealing with images like that. Something like “If x% of viewers flag this image, then send to moderation”.
Pinterest’s homepage yesterday had a naked picture of Adam Levine with a female’s hand covering his groin, for comparison.
thanks for the comment, we were just talking about that something like if flagged three times then it’s pulled. agree we dont want people being flag happy. and remember, just because it’s pulled down doesn’t mean we cant put it back up if we think it’s appropriate. it’s a tricky spot to be in when we have certain standards for our site and trying to deal with issues that will blur the lines. should be very manteresting 🙂
Good luck with it, sounds like a winner.
Congrats on starting a new venture. Through it I found this blog, which looks like it will hold my interest, too. Thanks for sharing the ‘personal’ side of what you saw with yesterday’s release.
I mentioned yesterday that I didn’t like the name of the site but I wanted to admit that it may be doing exactly what you wanted. I showed my boyfriend the site yesterday who found the name of the site amusing and then spent awhile looking at it. He spent another hour on it today so in my mind, that makes it a success! Good luck with it!
Also, I thought this was interesting – apparently Pinterest is having an issue with offensive content as well: http://mashable.com/2012/02/17/pinterest-porn-naked-people-art/
Indeed, it’s not easy to get covered unless you have contacts or a truly amazing/unique product or marketing gimmick. I believe there’s a good Quora thread somewhere on how to get TechCrunch, etc to cover you (might be worth looking up.)
But if you can’t get pure product editorial, there’s another way you could get your name on those sites. Posting! (Especially Mashable – their bar seems pretty low TBH). Example: you pen a post about, say, image sharing sites in general. You get a bio and link. at the end of the post – X is founder of MANteresting, an image-bookmaking site that’s blah blah blah.
Congrats on the new site! I told my boyfriend about it when he got home from work yesterday and he probably spent a good 10-15 minutes on it just cracking up. He loved it and wanted to tell his work buddies about it today but forgot the name of the site. We’ll work on that 🙂
The only thing was – he had never heard of Pinterest so I had to explain the whole concept to him. I don’t use it, so I’m assuming guys with girlfriends who don’t use it or single guys might not get the connection right away.
Anyways, great job!
Congratulations on your blog!! Keep up the amazing work and don’t forget to keep us updated on your success. Stay young and thrifty 😉
Nice job on the launch, you’ve obviously found a niche that needs your service. Go Men!
Hopefully you keep growing from here, but please don’t forget about us over here at PDIF.
Manterest!?! What a BRILLIANT idea.
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