Startup #107 – More Smarter


I gotta say, I really like this one.  🙂 

Today’s idea is a site featuring a daily posting of “Dummies”-style instructional articles focused on a variety of miscellaneous topics.  The articles would be short (less than 5 minutes to read each article) and would be written to be both informational and fun.  The site would include irreverent topics such as “Monet vs. Manet”, “How To Avoid Making 6 Common Grammatical Errors”, “The 15 Countries That Make Up The Former USSR”, etc..  Users could subscribe to a feed of the stories or request to get the day’s articles sent via a daily (or weekly) Email. 

In addition to just reading articles, the site could have a bit of a “pub quiz” competitive element to it.  After reading each article, users could take a short, timed quiz on the material to earn points.  As users earn more points, they eventually make their way to higher levels – eventually earning the coveted title of “Most Smartest”

Users could also write their own articles and submit them to the site.  Editors would review the articles and the top ones could be published on the live site.  And of course, there could be a corresponding Facebook app that would display a user’s level and the articles they have read recently.  In addition, the site could create podcasts of the articles that users could subscribe to via iTunes, Zune, etc.. 


7 responses to “Startup #107 – More Smarter

  1. What a refreshing blog – one that makes me laugh and think at the same time – even my dog laughed – must add your bit of sanity to my blogroll. Bravo!
    linda @

  2. Thanks Linda!

  3. This is an excellent idea, and could likely be put together pretty easily by calling on a variety of news/info sites (Wikipedia, About, whatever…) and community contributions (submission of relevant links, video, etc.) I like this one.

  4. Hey Colin, good to hear from you. What I like about this one is that you’d be building more than a website, you’re building a brand, which is way more valuable. Drop me a line sometime, let me know what you’re up to.

  5. Another thought on this one – it’s very similar to the “fact of the day” calendars that are so popular but are a lot less interactive. As such, not everyone would want to learn the same things. Categories would be a must (Tech, Sports, Business, World, U.S., Religion, Art/Culture, History, Misc.) and RSS would help a ton for keeping people coming back for more.

    While I like the quiz angle, that really would be creating a lot more work for yourself, in my opinion.

    For revenue, I’d probably go with a mix of ads (although I normally say “puke” to such a strategy, LOL) and affiliate links. For example, if the “World History” category one day was “The French Revolution in 500 words and 5 minutes”, then you could have Amazon links to books about the French Revolution and an iTunes link to the movie “Marie Antoinette” or something.

    Also, if you could ever leverage enough material, you could have viewers “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” a particular day’s More Smarter presentation, helping you serve more interesting stuff in the future. For example, in sports, if a person “thumbs down”s the first three hockey tidbits that come through, then the system can learn not to send them anything about hockey.

    You could also eventually set up “channels”, which might be popular with specific groups. For examples, an English professor could set up a “channel” for his English 101 class and suggest the students subscribe. He could then approve a variety of More Smarter bits (“Shakespeare’s Life”, “The difference between Byron and Shelley”, “Synonyms for the word ‘Exotic'” whatever) that would go to his class via email/RSS each day.

    Of your many good ideas, I think this one could leverage a ton of page views very quickly. The trick is finding an efficient way to seed material that is accurate, entertaining, and interesting. I’m not sure there is any way to do that in an automated fashion.

  6. Hey. iGoogle actually does something like this through a partnership with wikihow.

  7. Pingback: I’m Boring - Check Out BitLesson « A Startup A Day

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