Minti – Niche Web 2.0 Stuff is Coming

Minti is a collaborative advice site for parenting. Members write articles on parenting-type stuff (example) and other members rate the content, and add comments and tags. While search is not entirely driven through tags, you can browse by clicking on them and they do a good job showing related tags for a given article.

There are good reasons not to mention Minti and push traffic to it – it’s actually not doing anything feature wise that’s new and it’s another walled garden of content.

But I am going to mention it because it is well designed and built and has good features. It also may be useful to people who have or are planning to have children. Also, I like to see niche content sites spring up that use web 2.0 ideas – these services will help the masses start to use and understand things like tagging, ajax, etc.

And writing about Minti also gives me an opportunity to talk about user generated data and who exactly owns it.

This is another “walled-garden” solution – meaning the founders did all of the easy web 2.0 stuff – ajax, tagging, comments, etc. – but couldn’t make the hard choices when it came to site architecture and fell back on old web 1.0 ways of doing things. In this case, the easy decision was forcing people to write the content at the Minti site instead of aggregating it from the many blogs and other websties with content on parenting already out there on the web.

And you have to read the content on the Minti, too. No RSS feeds.

Visitors can also read all of the reviews written by a particular user. This is a good start because they’ve effectively set up a blog-like area for each user where all of their articles on parenting are aggregated (and have the nice Minti search engine attached to the blog). But again, without an RSS feed and the ability to syndicate out the content, Minti is telling its users that Minti owns the content that they write, not them.

Bottom line – this isn’t revolutionary and if you aren’t a parent you won’t find anything useful there to inspire you. But Minti could be a good resource for parents and maybe they’ll add the better ways to get data into and out of the service over time. Minti, if you are listening, I’d be happy to enter into a discussion with you on how I think you could accomplish that.

Minti is based in Australia and launched on March 8, 2006. They have raised A$1.6 million in seed financing.