Sunday, November 04, 2007

Outing shutters his venture, looking for new gig

Steve Outing explains on his blog why he and his partners are shutting down the Enthusiast Group, an attempt to build social media groups and user-generated content around sites aimed at various outdoors activities (biking, horse riding, climbing, etc.).

The bottom line was the bottom line: Couldn't grow the sites fast enough to make them sustainable as a business with the money available.

There's a lesson here for media companies looking to get into social media: It's not a quick fix. It takes time, patience and constant nurturing to even begin to build an online community that shows some cohesion and, perhaps, loyalty. And you can't just put it on auto pilot once you see the first signs.

We've just begun to see it at Hartsville Today in the past six months, and it's a fragile thing, with some of our best contributors cutting back some and several posts complaining the site itself is not progressing (we have turned basic management over to our newspaper partner).

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