Archive for the ‘ CharityBirthday ’ Category

A New Product

We’re considering building a new product. It would be our fourth product following,, and

Why Not?

Well for one, we already have three products, and all of them could use some attention. We’re also nervous that we’re simply doing this because it’s shiny and new and has infinite potential. It’s always easier to imagine a non-existent product becoming a hit than a product that has a track record deviating from that track much. We don’t want to be guilty of getting distracted too easily when we have products that are showing solid results that we can build on.


We feel that one more product can help round out what we are working on effectively. We also want to explore a site that is built around community with the potential to monetize through advertising, unlike our other sites, none of which have advertising on them. We know that it’s not easy to build a business off of advertising alone, but advertising is a very established and effective way of generating revenue and right now that is what we need, even if it’s not a huge revenue stream, it would go a long way to helping us keep the doors open long enough to make sure the other products have a chance to get going as well.

We are also thinking about an idea that may be an effective story in the press, helping us to get the word out about it, and may help a lot of people improve their lives, which we feel really good about.

How’s It Going?

We’re still debating it, but I’m pretty sure we’ll be building it soon. Will have some more info about the product once we’ve fleshed it out a bit more and can describe it effectively. Hopefully soon.

StumbleUpon Advertising

Test out advertising using

Why Not?

Like all advertising it costs something. With StumbleUpon specifically I think we were a little worried about the casual nature of the traffic. It wouldn’t be surprising to see people on StumbleUpon just flipping through sites, paying attention to a few that were very engaging right from the start, but quickly moving on with little attention span.


Cost mostly. At $0.05 / visitor it is one of the cheaper advertising solutions we could find. I think that was pretty much the only reason we tried it.

How’s It Going?

Well our concerns were well founded. We tried it for and the vast majority of people just clicked right on by. I think we spent $20 (400 visitors) in the Non-profit category and got one person to sign up. Not a very good ROI.

With however, we had a little more success. So much so, that we dropped all of the other advertising we were doing to focus on StumbleUpon’s Matchmaking category. Right off the bat we had a number of signups and have since been achieving roughly a $2 cost/acquisition. Unfortunately it looks like we might be running out of visitors in that particular category, which might be a significant issue with StumbleUpon. We haven’t spent that much on advertising yet, and we’re already running out of inventory. We are targeting 18-30 in the US only right now, so it’s possible that if we broadened our targeting we would get enough inventory to meet our budget. For a larger site with a significant advertising budget, though, this might mean you are very limited to the amount of traffic you can get from a specific category, and they won’t let you advertise in just any category (has to be relevant to the content of the site).

One added benefit of Stumble Upon ads is that they can turn in to free traffic if the site gets a thumbs up from enough people. It took us a little while before we started seeing this benefit, but now the majority of our traffic from StumbleUpon is free.

Overall it’s been a successful marketing experiment, giving us a good ROI for TheMatchingGame at least. I would recommend it for sites that have immediately engaging and casual content. It doesn’t seem to be very effective otherwise.


Our second site ( A site that let’s people donate their birthday to charity by setting up a profile page that lists their favorite charities. Then, when their birthday, christmas, etc. rolls around, they can tell their friends and family to make a donation in their name through the site instead of getting them a gift.

Why Not?

It’s a little out-there, not exactly something where there is obvious demand for the product. Most young people, who really celebrate their birthday, want gifts, while most older folk generally don’t make that big of a deal of their birthday. Plus it would be hard to monetize.


Mostly because we want to set the tone that we, as a company, are going to be exploring products that are not solely focused on money making. We’d like to make a difference through our products and this one felt like an opportunity to do that. We may also be able to make some money from it by providing eCard services, etc. Also it has the potential to spread virally as, once you donate your birthday, there’s a good chance you’ll tell your friends to go there to make a donation on your birthday.

Also I wanted to use this site myself. I’ve wanted something like this for a while now. I never know what to tell people to get me for my birthday or christmas so I had started telling people to make donations in my name. Now I have a way to tell them what charities to donate to and why I like this charities. I also have an easy way to celebrate my friends birthdays by donating to charity instead of getting them some cheap gift they probably won’t ever use.

How’s It Going?

Not too well. I think there’s about 50 people on the site so far. It’s only been a month or two, but we had hoped it would be going better than this. Still we use the site personally and love it and we think that with a little more attention and promotion the site could get going. Unfortunately right now we’re focusing our attention on the products that are more likely to generate revenue as we need to keep the doors open.


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