Find stuff to do with kids on Famplosion

Bambi Francisco Roizen · April 20, 2009 · Short URL:

Social media guru Charlene Li helps us evaluate a new site for families

A Yelp meets Ticketmaster meets Facebook for families? That's what Famplosion is positioning itself to be.

In this week's Vator Box, Charlene Li, founder of Altimeter Group and social networking guru, helps us analzye the opportunities for this young San Francisco-based startup, founded by David Gehring. 

Li joined Ezra Roizen (Vator Box regular and digital media investment banker) and me. Here are our observations and advice.

- The idea of a family-focused service for local events and activities is a great one. We're all parents, so we can see the value of a service that allows us to find fun things to do in our local area.

- Famplosion allows parents, the neighborhood social activity enthusiast and school teachers, etc. to share their reviews about places to go, activities to experience, and events to see. Clearly, a UGC component is an effective way to create content about hard to compile, long-tail events/activities in local areas. The focus on local is a good one. 

- The trick is organizing the content in a meaningful. So, far Famplosion has a nice UI and appears to be on the right track. While review places like Yelp are a valuable resource, Famplosion digs deeper and provides a more granular way of discovering. For instance, you can drill down into a taxonomy of about 24 things to do - plays, parks, etc. - and the ages those events are appropriate for - 0-3, 3-6, etc. This is something more specialized than other sites, like Yelp, or even Diddit (which also seeks to aggregate user-generated reviews around activities). See our analysis of Diddit on Vator Box. 

- Famplosion should focus on creating profiles for families. This way, families can say what they're interested in. It should also add collaborative filtering and make recommendations based on similar family profiles and behavior.

- Famplosion might want to partner with Daily Candy or Instructables as a way to distribute or as a way to provide coupons and offerings. Famplosion might also seek to distribute on Conde Nast or Meredith, places that don't have local event information for families. The company should probably stay away from local newspapers, which are barely surviving today.

- Famplosion should stay away from local advertising as the model. The local businesses can barely understand advertising, let alone online advertising. It will be a long sales process to get them in. But if Famplosion can create profiles around the kids - though that might be tricky - it'd be a gold mine for companies, such as Procter & Gamble.

- Famplosion should have email newsletters, recommending what places to go and events to see each week.

- Other niche sites exist today - GoCityKids and Weekend Sherpa. Famplosion might want to partner with them.

- On the fundraising side, raise as little as the company can get away with. Build the audience, focus on a few geographies and find key influencers  - active moms, field-trip organizers - who can help create the content.

(Note: We'd love to get your feedback)

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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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Diddit (Ludic Labs)


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Diddit -- you are what you do -- is a site for people to discover, connect and get credit fortheir life experiences.  Diddit, aproperty of Ludic Labs, combines a comprehensive experience guide with apowerful social platform empowering people with compelling content andadvertisers with highly targeted audiences.  Headquartered in San Mateo, California,Ludic Labs was started by the founding team of search engine company Inktomiand is funded by Accel Partners (,KPG Ventures (, its founders and private individuals. For more, visit



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Famplosion is a service for parents.  We are aggregating and organizing local stuff to do and places to go with the kids so parents have a single source for finding the fun and important things to do locally.  We are currently in alpha with content for the Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Nashville, Chicago, New York City and Atlanta markets.  We expect to launch the beta version of our consumer facing site in mid November.  We are also currently building the tools require to start executing on our business development and revenue plans.  We are a team of two supported by consultants for various functions in the product development phase.  We have been financing our development with an Angel round and expect to be searching for Round A financing in the New Year as the product/platform will be ready to start scaling.

David Gehring

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