Category Archive

offbeat bride tribe

Bootstrapping, Tribesmaids, and earning back a $10,000 investment

For those who aren’t familiar with internet start-up talk, “bootstrapping” refers to a business that doesn’t take on any investment capital. As Wikipedia explains, “Such startups fund the development of their company through internal cash flow and are cautious with their expenses.”

The Offbeat Empire is a bootstrapped company. I started it with money out of my own pocket, and have never taken on any investment dollars or venture capital. This means that by necessity, the Empire always has to function in the black — simply put, the company has to be profitable, because there is no other money other than the money coming in.

For the most part, I love bootstrapping…but sometimes it’s hard, and the Offbeat Bride Tribe’s migration earlier this year was one of those times.

Contagious content: the challenges of memes you don’t want

Content is highly contagious. In my online communities, I’ve learned this over and over and over again — both for good and bad. We all know that content’s contagiousness is what drives funny things going viral on the web. It drives the memes that I eat for breakfast each morning. Contagious content makes corners of the internet feel like one big hilarious inside joke. We’re all infected with the awesome!

The challenges with contagious content is when the infection doesn’t line up with the brand or editorial goals of a given website. LOLcats being contagious is AWESOME for the Cheezeburger folks — less awesome for someone trying to run a community dedicated to, say, ailurophobics.

Here are a few examples of contagious content challenges we deal with on the Empire, and how we deal with ’em:

The biggest business mistake I ever made

I started the Offbeat Bride Tribe on a whim as a way to test out a platform I was curious about, and I have regretted it ever since because A) community platforms suck and B) community management is emotionally difficult for me.

Co-rumination: why you can’t let commiseration drag down your community

It wasn’t until I read a New York Times article about a psychology concept called “co-rumination” that I finally had a word to attach to spiral of negativity that can drag down online communities like the Offbeat Bride Tribe