Mix Twitter and Digg, add jokes, get Popjam

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Popjam is a new ‘social humour’ site which has launched using the Twitter ‘friend/follow’ model of social networking. In fact – but for the images of LOLcats and videos – it is so similar to Twitter in appearance and operation that it could be mistaken for a pure Twitter clone. But what we have here is a kind of Twitter-meets-Digg-meets-b3ta. And the more you think about it, the more it makes sense.

The key is that it is aiming to be universal in appeal and not niche or focussed around one demographic, which sites like College Humour and eBaumsworld effectively are. The thing is, you might hit YouTube or get an email from a friend about a niche-humour site like Icanhascheezburger. But how often do you really think to visit? Usually when some viral is being passed around. It’s PopJam’s aim to effectively ‘sit above’ all of these sources and provide an easy way for people to share and enjoy the best of the web’s funny content through one centralised channel. In aiming to be sit above all these funny links, PopJam aims to ape YouTube’s platform for video model, with ‘a platform for funny’, if that’s conceivable.

PopJam users can post images, videos and links to their profile. Registration is not required to view the content. Is this “rich-media micro-blogging”? Perhaps let’s not get into that thorny issue…

It’s not a huge suprise that they are using the Twitter mechanic. Registered users ‘follow’ other people and are themselves ‘followed’. Already Twitter is growing like a weed because of this opt-out model, as opposed to Facebook’s opt-in. Since the people you follow are generally the best arbiters of the humour that will appeal to you, Popjam has hit on a good model. Meanwhile, expect many more site to start copying Twitter’s follow model…

Popjam users can comment; click the ‘LOL’ button (akin to Digging or ‘Liking’ stuff on FriendFeed); and ‘re-post’ content. It would seem the re-tweeting concept is here to stay. The most re-posted and LOL’d stuff will get put into the PopJam ‘Funny Stuff’ section of the site. Every piece of funny content on PopJam has a permalink page and related content, so virality is in-built.

Since users earn points for posting funny stuff, the site also has a gaming element to it, along the lines of the Karate belt system, ending in ‘PopJam Ninja’ status. There is a leaderboard for this:

As for the Twitter aspect, the site doesn’t yet integrate with Twitter, though that’s ‘in the plan’.

In their favour is a master of the populist hit, co-founder and CEO, Alex Tew, formely the wunder-kid behind The Million Dollar Home page and most recently the Sockandawe smash hit viral game.

The startup is backed by an undisclosed amount of angel funding from lead investor Paul Birch (a co-founder of Bebo with Brother Michael), while Michael Smith (of Mind Candy, Firebox) and Tom Boardman (also Firebox) also participated. In closed, stealth-mode alpha version since August last year, Tew is joined by co-founder and CTO Michael Halls-Moore and lead developer Matt Bennett.

  • http://twittercism.com Sheamus

    Great, just what the Internet needed – another collator of humour, and encourager of the term ‘LOL’.

    • Trips

      LOL > YOU

  • Kaeo

    I’m all for original humor. Thats why CollegeHumor and The Onion have become so popular. But when you build a site that allows people to just regurgitate saved images, we all just end up wading through the vomit of the internet.
    I agree with Sheamus….Great, just what the internet needed…

  • http://tech.cipper.com Cipper Tech

    as long as it’s fun, that’s good enough :)

  • HDizzle

    This is simply a Tweetable 4Chan.

  • http://joshrussell.com Josh Russell


    mike didn’t you say it… people tend not to visit these sites, they just end up there from links from friends etc..

    oh and we have http://www.fark.com/ already, which is great.

    here’s a great video by some founders who have done things we’ve all heard of, most of which are either fringe or niche, but also awesome..


    • http://uk.techcrunch.com Mike Butcher

      I take your point Josh, though I think those sites you mention are highly impersonal, and Popjam ties funny links into the person who posts them, so it’s more intimate that way. You can also subscribe to the people who come up with the best stuff. It feels more about relationships than just being a big site with re-directs.

  • http://joshrussell.com Josh Russell

    @Kaeo – yes, you need things to float to the top of that vomit :) this won’t allow that.

    @HDizzle – ah 4Chan, the internet’s arse, pooing out pure genius.

  • Martin

    Seems more like pownce than twitter, could become popular especially if the front page content is consistently good.

  • http://www.designerstalk.com/forums/web-2-0/44828-popjam-lame-o.html#post454571 Popjam Lame-O - DesignersTalk

    […] ? New site by milliondollar boy – PopJam – Home Its just another site for sharing funny pics etc. Mix Twitter and Digg, add jokes, get Popjam __________________ Linked In :: Last.fm :: Twitter me Twitter To-Do App : […]

  • shakra

    fuck ebaumsworld

  • PS

    Line 3 should be , In fact .

  • PS

    Please proofread before publishing.

  • http://iamrajendra.wordpress.com/2009/02/20/mix-twitter-and-digg-add-jokes-get-popjam/ Mix Twitter and Digg, add jokes, get Popjam « I Am Rajendra - It’s My World…

    […] Source: techcrunch […]

  • http://www.redtube.com brian

    Quick scan through the site just shows a load of people re-posting Digg and Fark pics and articles.

    Nice idea, but like Pounce, this will never take off anywhere near enough.

    Plus, having a ‘gaming’ element would never work, just like Digg had to remove their top users list due to people gaming Digg just to be on the list. Good content is what matters, i, as a user, dont care who posts it.

  • Jonathan Morris

    Innovation is about seeing a new possibility, connection, or relationship as much as anything else. And an innovation doesn’t have to be premised on a uniquely radical or groundbreaking idea to be a good one.

    Popjam is a good one. It mixes social intimacy with humour – a potent mix, given that the most enjoyable aspect of socialising *is* the humour. It allows each individual to “customise” the site to what suits them best by deftly picking their relationships with one another. It prevents reposts of existing jokes and encourages originality by the scoring and leaderboard system. This also adds an exciting competitive dynamic to the site which draws you back time and time again.

    Its beauty is its mainstream appeal and simplicity: competitive comedic camaraderie – on a layout which anyone can understand.

    In short; it is extremely good fun. I love it.

    Remember the quote from Richard Feynman: “Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody has thought.” – Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, Nobel Prize winner 1937

    I’d encourage everyone not to be too cynical, or let their preconceptions dictate their opinions. There is far too much of that in this world.

    Please: try Popjam first before expressing a view. You won’t be disappointed.

    • http://www.redtube.com brian

      says an investor

      we tried Popjam, it sucks, wont be re-visting.

      dunno how it even made it as far as techcrunch or angel investment tbh.

    • http://www.redtube.com brian

      oh and;

      “prevents reposts of existing jokes”

      the site has a re-post function that is activily encouraged – the same old jokes get posted time and time again. If you followed more than 10 people on that site you would get the same joke 10 times…pointless.

      it just doesnt work, deadpool within 12 months with less than 50,000 users signed up generating next to zero ad revenue.

  • mikael

    bets on deadpool.I say 3 – 4 months and it will end up in deadpool

  • http://thenextweb.com/2009/02/20/popjam-digg-funny/ Popjam. Digg up the Funny. - The Next Web

    […] Techcrunch UK, PopJam FAQ’S I hope you like that post! The Next Web Blog covers start-up news from all over the world (not just the Valley), exciting new technologies and inspiring entrepreneurs. If you’re new here, you may want to read our ‘About’ page and subscribe to our RSS feed. Do you have a start-up that we should write about? Contact us! Thanks for visiting and hope you come back again! funny, popjam, site, uk digg_url = ‘http://thenextweb.com/2009/02/20/popjam-digg-funny/’; digg_bgcolor = ‘#ffffff’; digg_skin = ‘compact’;  Tweet This About the author: Co-founder of London based marketing agency WeDoCreative, specializing in the design, launch and marketing of online products & services. He is also a professional Tech Writer for Read Write Web & The Next Web, Design Connoisseur, Social Media Junkie & Web Application devotee. You can find him at Zee.me, WeDoCreative, Twitter & Friendfeed. Related posts: The story of a former dark side Digg addict”There is a degree of relief. I had become a slave to the Digg machine. I was sitting on my big fat butt gaining weight with every Digg. My goldfish died. My dog and cat…Google in negotiations to acquire Digg, good!Google’s negotiations with Digg have become serious, and Techcrunch heard whispers at Google that the companies have signed a letter of intent and are expected to close the deal within a couple of weeks. With…Digg.com: 2.7 Million PimplefacesDigg.com doesn’t talk much about the number of registered Digg users. The last time they announced something was in March 2007 when they reached 1 million registered users. But it turns out that if you… […]

  • Rahul Bose

    I don’t understand how such ideas get funding ..
    and here I am implementing yet another social networking idea, trying to build it with $10/year expenses.

    Someone tell me where to find such investors???

  • Rahul Bose

    And Techcrunch … your comment timing are supper off … by around 7hours …. another bug …

  • http://blogg.kimebn.com/2009/02/20/wwwpopjamcom/ www.popjam.com | Kim EBN

    […] Les mer om Alex Tew og hans prosjekter her. […]

  • http://localadvertisingjournal.com Nick Stamoulis

    This is actually the first time I laughed today. These are some great photos on here. This site is going in my bookmarks.

  • Thomas Whitney

    Thanks for the article.

    This social media site is a riot!

    Let’s just hope that they are able to keep up with their digital security issues as well as Twitter and Facebook. I understand it’s a full time job!

    Well, we can always point them in the direction of http://www.justaskgemalto.com. That’s where everyone else goes….

    …too funny.

  • Jesse

    Very similar to http://imgfave.com, except just focused on funny images.

    I think these types simple media sites, modeled somewhat after twitter, definitely have promise. PopJam should hook into friendfeed and twitter like imgfave does. Could be a good way to get some viral traffic.

  • http://yahoo.com kapil

    hi if any one else there who wants any indian so i m ready for this please cont me on this

  • http://www.sassyqarla.com qarla

    I wonder if who is the inventor of the acronym, LOL! :)

  • http://www.stephenbray.com/increase-on-line-traffic-would-carl-jung-use-tweetdeck Increase On-Line Traffic: Would Carl Jung Use TweetDeck?

    […] Mix Twitter and Digg, add jokes, get Popjam Popjam is a new ’social humour’ site which has launched using the Twitter ‘friend/follow’ model of social networking. In fact – but for … […]

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