Back in 2007 I did a column on TeeBeeDee, a social network aimed at baby boomers. I’d spent some time looking at the space, and thought TBD was the best designed site, avoiding Eons age restrictions and fascination with death and building something a bit broader than Gather. The site borrowed heavily from what worked on sites like Yelp and Facebook, the design was delightful and it gave you fun, addictive get-to-know-me activities. I was also incredibly impressed by its founder Robin Wolaner. (Pictured)
But there was still a central question: Would a social network aimed at baby boomers appeal to the demographic? As it turned out, no. The site is shutting down. Below is the letter to users from Wolaner.
A Message I Didn’t Want to SendJune 30, 2009
I regret to have to inform you that TeeBeeDee will be shutting down by July 13, 2009. We thought we had raised sufficient money to get us to a sustainable business, but many factors changed in the 2 years since our launch. As you have no doubt noticed in the past few months, we lacked the resources to continue developing the product to meet the needs of our community.
We will have much to say to you, and to each other, in these next two weeks. Just as we’ve shared the experiences of our lifetimes here at TeeBeeDee, we will be sharing this goodbye. For me, I can say that the people I have met at this site, and those with whom I’ve worked these past years, have been a revelation. I have learned so much from so many of you. We have thrilled to marriages, and romances, and lifelong friendships, and support to those in need. Anyone who says “virtual” friendships are less than real ones, didn’t spend time in this community.
As the founder, I’d like to close by saying that while our business opportunity proved disappointing, the contributions from our members rarely disappointed. I am proud to call so many of you my friends, and thank you for caring about TeeBeeDee.