Monday, November 19, 2007

Piczo Offers Russian Teens Social Network for Self-Expression

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Piczo (, the online
social networking site for safer teen self-expression, today announced
its global expansion into Russia, one of the fastest growing social
networking regions globally, with the launch of Piczo Russia.

Piczo will offer Russian teens a safer, more private social network
where they can express themselves by downloading, creating and sharing
cool digital content.

The launch into the Russian market is part of Piczos
international growth strategy which has already seen exponential growth
in Germany to over 2 million unique users today, up six-fold since
September 2006. Recent launches into new markets have enabled Piczo to
build on its position as the top destination for 13-18 year-olds with
over 28 million registered users globally.

Piczo is already well established across Eastern Europe, where it now
has over 850,000 unique users accessing the site with more than 65
million page views a month.

Piczos focus on privacy and control has been
an important product differentiator since the sites
creation. As Piczo users cannot search for others through the network,
groups are formed more like a private party, with growth happening
virally and through word of mouth.

Piczos launch in
Russia will offer a blank canvas where teens can express themselves the
way they want to. We know what matters to Piczo users the most is a
social network thats relevant to their lives,
innovative, safe and fun, said Jeremy Verba,
CEO of Piczo. Our user base has grown so
rapidly across Europe for precisely these reasons and our Russian site
will continue in the same success.

We are truly excited to be the first major
social media platform to launch in Russian, and with our current user
growth in the region, we are confident we are serving a market need that
will help us take Piczos worldwide growth to
the next level, said Chris Seth, European
Managing Director of Piczo.

Piczo facts
More than 28 million registered user accounts

  • Over 12 million Monthly Unique Visitors generating one billion monthly
    page views

  • Piczo is the 3rd most popular teenage social networking site worldwide

  • Created for teenagers worldwide, Piczo users are typically 13-to-16
    years old
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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Brijit: A Digg For Dead-Tree Media

Can’t keep up with all those magazines piling up in your mailbox,
especially the high-brow ones you thought would make you smarter but
never have time to read? Well, cancel those subscriptions and head on
over to Brijit, a self-styled “Thinking Man’s Digg.”

There you will find 100-word abstracts on the latest articles from magazines such as The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, The Economist, Fortune, Harper’s, Vanity Fair, and Wired, with links to most of them. The site also covers video from 60 Minutes, Charlie Rose, The Colbert Report, and The Daily Show.
Readers vote the best stories up or down, so you can keep up on the
ones most likely to come up during a dinner party. You can even get
paid to write abstracts, $5 apiece if your submissions are accepted.

Brijit is designed to be a filter for the smart set. But it oddly
defines smart only as what’s in print. Where are the blogs? Other than Salon and Slate,
very little online-only media is represented. Perhaps that is because
Brijit is focussed on long-form narrative, and there is not much of
that online. But it makes you wonder whether sifting through the
dead-tree titles will be enough to keep readers coming back to this
site, or whether they will prefer a broader view of the world.

Brijit has raised $1 million from angel investors, including former Time Inc. editor-in-chief Norman Pearlstine.

(Disclosure: I worked at Time Inc. when Pearlstine was the editorial boss there).


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