Great idea, good execution, reasonable traction, no future. That’s what it boils down to with the latest entry to the deadpool: Totlol, a video destination site that aggregates the best videos suitable for kids from YouTube with the help of a community of parents and toddlers, is closing down. When Erick reviewed the service back in November 2008, he deemed the service an impressive alternative to traditional Saturday morning TV cartoon watching and “children’s Web video for the children of the YouTube generation”.
Unfortunately, while the initiative clearly struck a chord with thousands of parents and their kids, one-man company / Totlol developer Ron Ilan sees no future for the website:
“My focus over the past year has been on making Totlol the best video web site for kids and parents out there. I think I succeeded. It got great reviews. It has been copied and borrowed from. It is packed with features. It has an iPhone web app. It has an active user community. It is growing. Last month Totlol was visited 150,000 times.
While building Totlol I was constantly looking for ways to make it sustainable. I failed. A “normal” website would just “fill up” with ads, but Totlol is not a “normal” site. There are two things that set harsh limits on what can be done – the target audience and the usage of the YouTube platform. With Totlol you just can’t do what other websites do.
It is now June 2009, more than a year has gone by, and I find myself running a website that is loved and growing but has no future. It needs a long term sponsor and I can’t find one. I just can’t support and develop it all by myself anymore.
So, it is now time to say goodbye.”
Vancouver-based Ilan is shutting the site down for good on Canada Day, July 1st.