If you haven’t heard of San Francisco-based PopSugar yet, prepare yourself. You are going to start hearing about them a lot in the mainstream press. They are a blog network, and more recently a social network, targeting young, hip women (as well as a few guys that want to hang out with young, hip women).
PopSugar was founded by husband-and-wife team Lisa and Brian Sugar. Lisa began blogging PopSugar for fun last fall. By February page views were growing so rapidly that they abandoned WordPress and set up a custom Drupal infrastructure, and in April they officially launched the network. The company is self-funded to date.
Today PopSugar is actually four distinct network sites. PopSugar itself, the largest site, is a blog about celebrity news and gossip. DearSugar is an “advice site dedicated to helping readers solve issues revolving around guys, job, money, sex, friends, and family”. FabSugar is a blog discussing “all must-have-now fashion and beauty products”. TeamSugar is what ties everything together – it’s a Myspace-type social network where readers can join, add their profile and interact with eachother. There are a lot more sites in the works – Brian told me about twelve of them that are in the planning stage when we spoke earlier this week.
The group of sites is serving over 13 million monthly page views and 1.5 million unique visitors. To get an idea of how rabid PopSugar readers are, check out this page that shows new comments being submitted in real time. This is an incredibly active community.
Networks like PopSugar, which grow rapidly from a core base of loyal readers and begin to offer related services, are very difficult to compete with. Content is produced at far lower costs and far more quickly than old-style media companies can muster (and by old-style, I’m talking about the pioneers of the early Internet days like CNET, Wired, etc.). In the old days, starting a media company was hard. There was no way to compete with the big guys. Today, it’s the big guys that are left scratching their heads.
The Popsugar team is below.