The online scrapbook

Bambi Francisco Roizen · January 26, 2007 · Short URL:

Scrapbook. That's my impression of all these many social networks. They're all scrapbooks. But hey - the scrapbook business is pretty big. It's about $2.5 billion, according to Andy Halliday, founder of OurStory, which is one of the many social network sites focusing on the family and intimacy. Well, if you can't be MySpace, you may as well try to be different. And, that's what OurStory is trying to do. Now, unfortunately, it's what many sites are trying to do, including Friendster, TypePad's Vox, and, which just unveiled recently. In many ways, there are even media parenting/family sites that are blossoming that also incorporate social network features. They all compete with one another in some fashion. And, they all have money to compete against one another. raised $6 million since it started about a year or two ago. The company will be looking for a B-round soon, and on Tuesday, it will be launching at Demo. But these social networking sites have their own special something. OurStory has a nice timeline graphic whereby each entry is posted on a timeline. Stories can then be printed out into books. That's a nice touch. Pictures and videos are easily embedded as well, as they are in most sites. But the ability to share and communicate is especially interesting. For instance, there is a way for emails to automatically be posted as entries into OurStory. So, what's the model? Halliday thinks that subscriptions - premium subscriptions are $39.95 per year -- will account for 50% of revenue. The advertising/sponsorships and print/DVD packaging will make up the rest. 
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Bambi Francisco Roizen

Founder and CEO of Vator, a media and research firm for entrepreneurs and investors; Managing Director of Vator Health Fund; Co-Founder of Invent Health; Author and award-winning journalist.

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