Ladies and 'Gentlemint': The online battle for bros

WASHINGTON, May 25, 2012 — Pinterest was the breakout star of 2011. It changed the way many thought about social media and online behavior. Mashable listed Pinterest’s gender breakdown as 68% female in February. 

As more users join Pinterest that number will likely close. Still, it leaves an obvious opportunity for a number of “man-ups” like Gentlemint, DudePins, Manteresting and Dartitup. Also, theCHIVE mentioned in a previous interview that they will introduce a “game-changer” called Tapiture to their established network. 

An old question comes to mind when introducing a product or service to the market. Is it better to be first or best? In this case, it’s the latter. There’s enough competition. Now it will come down to two things.

First, will be who can create distinction. Who can be the best at branding and being top of mind. Second, will be who can grow the largest network. 

The “gentlebro” is a complicated creature. Schmidt from New Girl is my favorite example. Guys have a lot of varied interests but they do like to share funny things and show off with their friends. Expect this concept to grow.

Yes, I made up the term “gentlebro”. Yes, I made it look fancy with quotation marks. No, it’s not in Urban Dictionary. I checked. For those that enjoy a laugh, I have included more Schmidt at the end of this article. 

For this piece, I interviewed Gentlemint’s Brian McKinney and Kamil from DudePins. They gave great insight in to why they founded their respective projects and their intent moving forward. 

1. What was the inspiration behind Gentlemint?

Glen Stansberry (Gentlemint co-founder) and I had been working on a different project for about a year and a half which was an interesting idea, but very difficult and complex to build. We were kind of burned out on working on something for so long that still had yet to be realized.

Glen suggested doing a “hack day”—essentially a day to just forget about everything else and focus on building something for fun, then releasing it at the end of that day. So, we tossed around a couple of ideas and we decided on doing Gentlemint.

The idea behind Gentlemint was to create a simple social bookmarking site that focused on “manly” content. It was just intended to be a fun project. A site where Glen, myself, and our friends could share interesting or funny links, but somehow it gained a lot of traction and here we are.

2. Who is Gentlemint’s target market?

We don’t really have a target market, that is to say, we’ve been surprised about the wide variety of people that use and enjoy the site. I think our target market is anyone who enjoys the type of content they see on the site, and that could be just about anyone. 

It’s interesting because a lot of sites start out by trying to be everything to all people, but we just want to have really great content with a more narrow focus. I think that aspect really attracts people to the site and they appreciate not having to wade through a lot of setup or discovery to get at content that they enjoy.

3. What can we expect from Gentlemint in the next 12 months?

It’s tough to say what Gentlemint will look like 12 months from now. In the next few weeks we’re going to be releasing some interesting ways to collect your content and customize your experience on the site.

All of the features that we are working on are a direct result of feedback from our community or our own personal interaction with the site. We want to move new features out, but we’re not just going to release a feature for the sake of releasing a new feature.

Too many sites out there just end up copying functionality that they’ve seen on similar sites without thinking about how it will actually benefit their community. We are really trying to build Gentlemint from the ground up a little differently, and specifically for the users of Gentlemint.

4. What was the inspiration behind DudePins?

Both my business partner and I have been in the tech space for some time now, we actively engage with the online community, almost habitually, so spotting opportunity just sort of, happened.

Honestly though, we saw what Pinterest was doing and how innovative their approach to social sharing was but felt that we could, and should, fill a gap that wasn’t really being addressed, i.e. Men.

Once we realized that and had a really good think about it over cigars and scotch, we just decided to strap down and create a social sharing platform for men. Hence, Dudepins.

5. Who is Dudepin’s target market?

This seems to be a popular question, even at this stage of the game. Despite being called “Dudepins”, with an obvious call out to “Dudes,” we are actually all about catering to all individuals seeking to share male oriented content.

Although Dudepins is about discovering and sharing the coolest stuff for Dudes, we by no means are looking to exclude women from sharing male content, we actually welcome it and feel it will add great content value! As our tag line states, we at Dudepins don’t discriminate between dudes, sirs, dukes, bros, gentlemen and other men of honor.

6. What can we expect from Dudepins in the next 12 months?

We have a few major milestones which we are focused on at this point:

One, is to launch our website, then two, will be to refine it based on the preferences of our users, after all we are doing this all for them so building it around their wants, needs and desires seems natural.

Third, is to begin implementing some of the innovations we have conjured up; we really feel that we have some incredible features planned and are excited to just get going. We feel that like any tech industry, the social sharing space will eventually be built around innovation, creativity and ux, so that’s where our heads are at!

7. Anything else?

If you didn’t already know, we have a pretty awesome blog that we are trying to update on a regular basis, so bookmark it and read up on everything interesting. 

Aside from the blatant self promotion of our blog…, we really want to emphasize that this is all about our users, so we need their input, questions, comments, etc to make this right.

That said, we also need our fans, and your readers, to help spread the message that Dudepins, a social sharing platform for men, is on it’s way. We have made completing this task quite easy, it’s just a few social media clicks away.

Finally, more Schmidt I like.  

 

Jeff Barrett is a recognized leader in public relations, experiential marketing and social media. Co-Founder of Status Creative, 2011 PRNewswire Award Winner for “Best Use of Video In Social Media” and record holder for Most Strikeouts in Tee-Ball.  


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Jeff Barrett

Jeff Barrett is an experienced columnist and business leader. He has been named Business Insider’s #1 Ad Executive on Twitter, a Forbes Top 50 Influencer In Social Media and has previously written for Mashable and The Detroit Free Press. 

 

 

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