Zivity.com: A Sexy Spin on Social Networking?

14 03 2008

A website has been launched by Silicon Valley’s own Scott Banister. His vision is a social network, one that connects people via the web. Oh great, just what we need, another Facebook/MySpace/Friendster/Linked In. But wait! Scott has added his own unique twist to the site, zivity.com. The site, which requires a $10 monthly subscription fee, allows nudity No, not only allows it, that is what the site is devoted to. His goal is to drive a competitive profit against those deemed “raunchy porn sites” that host pictures that make the ones on zivity.com tame in comparison. By its own admission, zivity.com is a “community-powered showcase promoting female beauty.” Pornography sites on the web rake in huge profits every month, so why is this site going to be¬†any different? In an interview for ABC News.com, co-founder Scott Banister said “It’s a social network built around who took the photographs. We look at that and we see a huge opportunity to enter that same market, but with a subscription-only model.” The site, which is currently invite only, is similar to Facebook and MySpace in the fact that once you are a member, you meet and become friends with fellow users online. However, the also gain access to the nude photos, and are afforded 5 votes a month to decide award to their favorites. The photographers (because this is all for the photographers…) are paid based on the number of votes they receive. All of the models are paid as well.
Why charge a subscription fee? Well, in order to avoid advertisers, of course! But is that really what subscribers think they are paying for? The website has a waiting list of 30,000 people, according to this article, which is pretty impressive.
What can we learn from this, other than the fact that porn is becoming more sophisticated? Well, that the world of social networking is moving to private communities. That’s right, just like we have gated communities, those big communities that have a guard at the gate, and their own lake, and a private park, social networking communities are starting to move to these “gated communities.” Facebook is cool, but open to everyone (and I am not knocking Facebook, I love Facebook), and pretty soon, invite-only communities are going to become the “place to be.” Could this signify the beginning of the end for my beloved Facebook? Well, I don’t know if this site will survive, but it’s got a pretty good shot-plus, they have just secured funding from BlueRun Ventures and Founder’s Fund, which has bankrolled PayPal and Pogo.com. Read the entire ABC News article here.


Life in the Big City

17 02 2008

And when I say the Big City, I mean The Big Apple. New York City. I know a few people who live there, and I myself travel to NYC on occasion, both for work and pleasure. Last time I traveled to NYC, I had a business meeting on Friday, and my best friend (who got engaged on Thursday, congrats!) came along for the ride. She and I decided that since I had to go for work, we’d stay the weekend, see some shows, do some shopping, the whole shebang. Little did we know that this was the weekend that the stagehands were going on strike. Oh well, we had a good time anyway. In our travels through the city, we walked past the Plaza, and thought we would stop in for a drink. We were both unaware that the well-known New York hotel was closed, and had been since 2005. Well, when we came back to DC, it quickly left my mind, until I came across an article in the NYT style section. The article, which you can find here, is about the changes being made at The Plaza. Since 2005, The Plaza Hotel has been being renovated. They’ve added residences, upscale condos and apartments that are now available for purchase. Not only do these luxurious apartments have all the hotel amenities available to them, but they also have a private lobby, and a flat panel screened direct line to the concierge and security services. Now, hold off on your plan to run off and purchase one of these beautifully-decorated apartments with the spectacular views. Most of the people who have bought these apartments are high-powered executive jet setters such as the top executives from Viacom, Esprit, Jet Blue, and Staples, past and present. That’s right, a one-bedroom apartment at The Plaza Hotel costs a whopping $5.4 million dollars (and that’s only on the 15th floor, not even the penthouse floor, number 19). According to the Times article, only a handful of people use this residence as their full time home. The others split their time between here and at their second (third, fourth, fifth, tenth?) homes. This once-lively 181-unti building can become a ghost town when only six apartments are being lived in. You know what they need? A healthy dose of celebrity. One or two celebs, a good sex scandal, and a few drunken parties hosted by an underage celeb, and the place is going to be crawling with paparazzi. Until then…Eloise is going to be one lonely little girl.

“Savage Love”

15 02 2008

So, who has read the sex advice column Savage Love? Well, this nationally syndicated article is published in the Washington City Paper locally, but if my research serves me correctly, the author works and writes for The Stranger, a Seattle paper. It’s written by columnist, editor, (insert many more talent-associated words here), and author Dan Savage. I personally had never read the article until today, when a friend (Mindz, you are being credited RIGHT HERE) brought me an ad that she had cut out of the Washington City Paper. The ad, which was purchased by Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, had a large picture of a banana on it, and read “Savage Love says…’Get your winkies checked’.” And because I wanted to discuss this ad here on Randomized Fodder, I fished around to see if there was an electronic version. And what should I come across but Savage Love. Now this week’s column was titled “Babes In Toyland,” and meant all that that implies in a sex advice column. Nothing is going to be repeated here, but I have linked to it, should you decide to…check it out. My point is this: if you can get past the…vulgarities and once your face has stopped beating red, he’s hilarious. And informational: I didn’t know that it was illegal to sell sex toys in the state of Mississippi. Cross that potential profession off the list. 8) Oh, just a little fun. So, the ad in the paper has seemingly taken a back seat to all the fodder about the article, hasn’t it? Well, aside from catching my attention, it’s made me a loyal reader of Seattle’s The Stranger.