Eyal Rivlin, Shvoong : Summaries & Reviews about everything

8th Mar 2011
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Shvoong is a multilingual knowledge sharing platform that provides readers with free bite size capsules of information about virtually everything (Books, Movies, Websites, Products, Lifestyle, Travel, Gadgets, Academic Topics, and much more). Eyal Rivlin, Cofounder and CEO answers a few questions about Shvoong.How did the idea of Shvoong come about?

We believe at Shvoong that people who seek for information need the essence first, in order to make further decisions. It is quite hard to navigate these days among the surplus of information, without having the “first station”, i.e. the short summary first, and then getting a better sense to which long information should one go for.

Visitors can read for free and learn something new in a matter of minutes, as well as join Shvoong, share their knowledge and earn commissions!

Shvoong is available in 34 languages and attracts millions of visitors and writers from over 160 countries.

We believe that our generation is exposed to a surplus of information, which we cannot absorb, hence the natural solution for those who feel frustration, is getting some navigation tool in the format of a summarized piece. 6 years ago, we decided to let the public influence what is important, to write about it, to rate it and influence its popularity, and also to earn money from sharing that knowledge with the world. This is what we are aiming for, or in a one line, To make the long story short!

Revenue model

As above mentioned, Shvoong attracts Millions of Global Visitors. On Shvoong anyone can Write about almost anything, our Most Popular Topics are: Websites, Books, Products, Make Money Online, Travel, Entertainment, Lifestyle , and ‘How to’.

Our revenue stream mainly generated by advertising and affiliation. This month, Shvoong for its first time, passed the 30 Million monthly page views target and we are seeing a great growth rate in certain markets such as Brazil, Spanish Latin Americas, Poland, Italy, Indonesia and also India

Shvoong is a content driven internet venture Any pointers for other startups entering this space?

Shvoong is a UGC site, meaning our Users Generate the Content on Shvoong, while we Moderate it through our influencer readers and few various Content Editors.

The important thing to keep in mind is that the Users create the Content, and utilize our well established platform and enjoy our promotional knowledge.

My general tips to other startup ventures in the User Generated Content sphere are:

First, think if you bring a real value for the users (there are many UGC websites out there, so just adding another one will probably encounter a huge competition).

Think how users should reach that information (Mobile, search engines, social networks – they are all growing tremendously these days..).

Actively Moderate the Content Published

Interact with & listen to your Users, because after all they are the force driving your site

Think Globally & act Locally, especially content wise you have to tailor fit the content to the region.

Try new things all the time, you never know what will stick

Most importantly, Enjoy the way you do it!

How do you plan to diversify?

There are 3 main directions that I‘m considering these days:

Worlds of contents diversification:

As below mentioned, these days we focus on summaries and Reviews, which both represent the short format vision, for published/existing content. This is our uniqueness, while there are many open platforms for blogs and articles marketing out there. Nevertheless, I am considering to broaden our topics gradually, and get into few more worlds of contents, such as receipts, Travel experience, and a few others that our community keeps asking to write about. I would describe it as a more “social experience” direction, which as we all know, this is where the world moves into these days.

B2B:

We see more and more syndication requests from businesses who look for content. This is a B2B direction that I’m looking into for the last few months. As the known statement says “Content is the king”, I see the need for good content growing. People are hungry for good content for their websites, blogs, etc, and Shvoong seems to be one of the top resources for that purpose.

In addition still under the B2B section, I intend to launch a unique free auto summarizing tool, which helps students, bloggers, general readers, who read long text. It is something we are working on these days and hope to go live within 2 months.

Mobile platform:

This is where everyone will be within 2 years, hence it is something I intend to leverage significantly.

How do you plan to use social media and social web to enhance your reach?

Our social activity is growing naturally and it goes hand in hand with Mobile, as the place where everyone will be or already are.

As a UGC platform, one of our most important missions is enhancing the social presence among readers, writers, web influencers, and anyone who surf the web. We should admit that the word SOCIAL became vital at any business or even for anything we do on our day to day activities.

We invest a lot of effort in order to monitor our social presence and to leverage our pages and support at all different social networks (FB, Twitter, Orkut, different articles websites, forums and more).

In addition we intend to launch few applications that should sow broader seeds, and become within a year or so, a new strategic growth engine for Shvoong.Com.

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