Brilliant site from the highly buzzed Seth Godin‘s empire that make you spent the day arguing on stupid (or passionate) debates.
Just like Squidlit (you’re getting paid to do book reviews), The Ever Project (aggregations of topics around “what’s the worst”, “the biggest ever” etc.), Squidwho (mashups and aggregations around fan pages), Hey Monkey Brain uses the Squidoo engine to power the site.
Squidoo is a content aggregation engine that lets user create “lenses” i.e. ways to look at a specific subject (let’s say, you’re a huge fan of laptops bags, you’re going to create a page around these bags and, obviously link to the pages where you can buy these bags). Heavily viral and engaging, the site launched less than 2 years ago is already close to 10m UVs worlwide and close to 5m UVs in ComScore. This growth has been achieved with very little SEM investment (if you check Spyfu, you get to an investment under 100 grands a year – check here).
The whole team is under 10 peoples, mostly technical and including Seth himself.
You can find an pure ecommerce application of the concept in France through Zlio which lets its users create personnalized shopping pages. So let say you’re a huge fan of Saint Therese of Lisieux, you’ll create a page that will aggregate all of the products available on this well-known catholic saint (see the page here). The more targeted is the subject, the biggest conversion rate you’re going to achieve and the more money you’ll make (Zlio users get a rev share on the affiliation revenue).
Seth’s model enables users to choose between keeping the money or giving it to a charity.
Knowing how much transformation rates are affected by the contextual relevance of the pages, Stylefeeder (a recommendation engine, mostly focused on fashion) applied these teachings by letting the user drives the type of products that he might be interested in. Stylehive has the same goal but emphasize the social aspect of shopping to get there. And Like.com is approaching it through a visual recognition application.
For now, there’s still no clear winner on the social shopping space but that could evolve very quickly knowing the pressure that all of these companies have from their investors (to the exception of Squidoo).
Here’s ComScore’s chart showing Squidoo constant growth over the course of the last 14 months: