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January 10, 2008

A new Direction

A_new_direction I have some fresh ideas about possible new directions that I can take the old 'Brain. This way, it continues to provide entertainment to you, while stimulating me to undertake a different challenge.

I'm not sure exactly how, but it will require some kind of a dialogue with you, the readers. Possibly have some of you co-discover the "next thing" with me. Maybe an experiment, maybe a business it will develop into. I want to explore together with some of you how to find this unique project.

Please help. I have lots of resources, both intellectual & material, also lots of excellent ideas & the ability to expose good concepts. What do you have that can be developed into another winner? Start throwing ideas at me. You can do it publicly in the comments, or privately in emails.

Executed correctly, it has to be profitable. If it needs financing, I can possibly help raise it. It has to be real, no scams. Also, not too technical, if I am to understand it.

I will start for it a new category, for the time being, to explore these possibilities. You may participate as much as you want. If you build websites, and you want to design some forum space for it, etc, let me know. Otherwise, surprise me! Be creative, crazy, bold. Let's go.

(Graphic above from Anderson Homes)

January 10, 2008 in A new Direction | Permalink


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wow! i think that's a great idea.
So.. is there a particular group / target of people that you are looking at?

Posted by: plasmadog at Jan 11, 2008 1:03:56 AM

Make a weakly voting system under the topics.Put it inbetween or by the comments ect..Everyone who posts has to pay to post.Whomevers posts win the most votes get a large percentage of the total amount minus the price to upkeep the GAB site.So your "work" will turn into paying for people to do yours.

Posted by: matthew at Jan 11, 2008 5:32:57 AM

I'm a little unclear on exactly what you mean... are you looking for proposals for some kind of internet-related endeavor? Or are you just interested in something/anything new that you can throw yourself into? I've had an obsession with your site ever since I found it some number of months ago, and it's always been very comforting to know that there are other people out there who lead fulfilling lives while still managing to spend a large chunk of time just looking at weird, interesting things online :) Never bothered commenting before, but now seems to be the time for all the quiet ones to come forward and profess their love of the site. I'm about to graduate from UChicago, very ambitious, and have been putting together the framework for a small business for a while now, but I don't want to bother you with a long-winded description or proposal if you're only looking for ideas related to internet commerce.

Posted by: Ariana at Jan 11, 2008 9:42:55 AM

I too have been a reader for a long long time now, and have never posted until now. I check the site several times a day, and bless you for including material on Bob Dylan and Orange County. I love the first and was born and raised in the second. I have to agree with the second post though in that I am a little unclear as to what you are looking for, but assume you are keeping it vague so as to have some fresh original ideas. I'd be very interested to see how this turns out, and keep up the excellent work!

Posted by: Laura at Jan 11, 2008 12:25:56 PM

I like your new idea, and I have a few suggestions. The main aspect of the old growabrain that attracts me, and presumably most other viewers, is the rapid access to the most bizarre and amusing links on the internet. I'm an admitted information junkie, and websites that allow for fast, mass consumption of diverse and interesting information have a strong appeal for me. Maybe you could model this new venture after community based metainformation websites like Digg, with user submitted content, voting, etc. Communal feedback would be a lot easier to gauge in such a format. Other influences to consider are websites like mefi, youtube, wikipedia, fark, flickr. These sites are successful because they provide users with a wide array of interesting subjects and they do so through a participatory community. I feel that community based sites are not only the way of the future of the internet; they will shape the future of the real world as well. You should check out the video "Prometeus- The Media Revolution" if you have not seen it already. It is a very interesting take on the future of the internet. Well that's my two cents, I wish you the best of luck in your future venture.

Long time lurker, first time poster.

Posted by: Ian at Jan 11, 2008 1:25:21 PM

For many years my chief internet activity always centered on a "home forum." I think it was because I required a safety net of sorts, a group of like-minded souls with whom I could share links with and discuss common interests (for the most part, what was then "alternative news," "alt. science," plus conspiracies, esoterica, metaphysics...). But more than anything I was seeking a place where I could "publish" my writings - various essays, rants, researched articles, etc. - to a ready-made audience. There simply was nowhere else before the blogosphere. Because I was so comfortable with the forum world, I made some half-hearted attempts at blogging but blogs soon became so ubiquitous that it almost seemed futile to try and make my mark in that arena.

Then somewhat recently, sites began to spring up like "TIBU" that solicited writings from anyone who cared to contribute and even offered a share of the revenues. I began writing like a madwoman and although most of my contributions were quite well-received, I became disheartened when time and again the top-rated articles were sexually explicit and/or confessions of someone's most horrible secret. Not that I'm a prude, after all, I did contribute an article about oral sex myself, LOL.

I guess what I've been imagining lately is a place that encourages contributions by its readers/members in a big way. Not just comments or article suggestions, mind you but complete works. You could formulate a questionnaire or survey and figure out the top twenty topics people are most interested in, e.g., health, science, the "singularity," 2012, cosmology, physics, space exploration, the noosphere, crime and forensics, cryptozoology, vampires (you know, cool ones like Angel or Mick St. John, LOL), cinema, television, music, lifestyle issues...I think you get the idea.

Anyway, that's my first thoughts on the subject...basically, "if I had the resources and audience to do what I wanted to do with a website."

feel free to e-me.

Freya Borealis

Posted by: Freya_B at Jan 11, 2008 3:09:34 PM

There are lots of sites that offer offbeat internet links. What sets GAB apart is your style of grouping things together (often very loosely) into a theme. It's fun.

Why not just add some advertising? I check your site once a day, but I wouldn't pay to do it.

I will miss you if you go... or change... anything.

Posted by: Whiskey at Jan 11, 2008 4:39:04 PM

You are welcome to try and set up my crazy reverse ebay system. Basically you post what you want and people offer it you for less and less and you then have the choice to buy it when the listing ends. It's a totally different venture from this but one i thought could work when i came up with it about 4 years ago. However since then things have moved on and there may be a site doing this now.

Posted by: Barry Barcrest at Jan 11, 2008 7:02:25 PM

The way I see it, why not set it up so that you have one site free, where you post one or two links every/every other day, and a pay site where you post much more? As much as I visit and read on the site now, I'd be willing to shell out either a small monthly fee or a larger yearly one, as long as the yearly total didn't go over, say, $50?

Speaking just for myself, of course. I just hope you shy away from the adult site idea...that whole XXX thing just seems so out of place.

Posted by: Quasimike at Jan 11, 2008 10:49:59 PM

I don't have any ideas yet, but I will think about it. I love Growabrain, and I agree with the person who said it's the way you group them together. I also think of it as having a soul, because I know it's just you doing this, and your soul comes through. But, I know that this must be very hard work, and why should you work so hard just because I want to read your stuff for free? Most sites that have succeeded that started like yours have used google adsense, and NO MATTER WHAT, you should put adsense up here. It doesn't bother me to see the ads and apparently they can make this site profitable, even as you move to some new idea.

Also, on metafilter, you pay like $5 to join, and you register. The advantage of doing that is, if you pay and register, you get an ad free metafilter. It was worth it to me, but that was a one time payment.

But, I'll put my mind to it. You certainly deserve to make money, you work hard and the site is awesome.

Posted by: Cheryl at Jan 12, 2008 6:32:59 PM

I have no clear suggestion at the moment.
But i agree with the general idea.I mean, I do have a nagging thought that a gap exists.Developments on a group basis can be creative.
Maybe, to start with, a seperate space is needed (a new blog?) where people can Brainstorm ideas until one or two are firmed-up......Whatever! Count me in!

Posted by: Tony at Jan 13, 2008 3:34:11 AM

I would think just a little site redesign and Google Ads (or something similar) will do it. People come here for the liks, I dont' think anything other should change. But you can't really expect lots of interactivity, like comments etc... This is not Digg. etc, and that's actually good...

Posted by: g at Jan 13, 2008 7:11:48 AM