My Little Corner of the Net

The Super Bowl and

I watched the Super Bowl this year.  But I didn’t really care who won, in fact I’m not much of a fan of either team.  This year I watched for the commercials.

Now unlike every other blogger that watched for the commercials, I am not going to start discussing what I thought of the commercials this year.  Yeah, there were some impressive ones, but by 10:00 tomorrow morning everyone will be sick of hearing about them anyway, so why bother.

Instead I am writing about  OK, now before you go out and try loading to see what it is, let me say the site doesn’t exist.  At least not anymore.

Several years ago while I was in college (1998 or 1999, I believe), right at the top of the dot-com boom, the big deal was that many of the Super Bowl advertisers were Internet startups.  I seem to remember that being the year E-Trade started their Super Bowl ads, and I believe, MySimon, and Yahoo! had a presence that year as well.  And of course there was LifeMinders.

LifeMinders was a site where you simply built a profile about yourself and then you’d receive email alerts–reminders about birthdays and anniversaries, notes about pet care, gardening tips–all personalized to your interests and sent free of charge.  The company added advertisements to the email messages they sent so to keep the service free.

The commercials weren’t all that memorable.  If I remember correctly, they looked like a pad of paper with pencil writing and were narrated by a male voice.  I don’t remember how they pitched the service exactly.

I never used LifeMinders, but I remember my roommate at the time signing up
with them the day after the Super Bowl where the ads debuted.  I don’t recall him actually using the service–if he did, he never shared any info about it with me.

I would have forgotten about LifeMinders a long time ago.  Like so many dot-coms, LifeMinders was unable to turn a profit, finding that relying on ad revenue as its only source of funding just didn’t cut it.  A couple years ago I was watching a TV special on Super Bowl advertising and a couple seconds of a LifeMinders ad was shown.  At that time I checked the site and found it still running.  Watching the game tonight once again jogged my memory, so I checked it out, finding no site at that address.  In fact, the domain is now registered to an individual person, but she doesn’t seem to be using it for anything right now.

Although no site funded solely on ad revenue seems to work, LifeMinders was perhaps a bit ahead of its time.  These days the web is all about personalization.  Since like 30 Boxes let anyone set up and share calendars and others, like Yahoo!’s make it easy to find community events around you.  And now we aren’t limited to email notifications either–sites now send reminders and alerts to our cell phones with SMS and to our desktops with RSS.  If LifeMinders were created today it would be interesting to see who would by it–Google, Yahoo!, or Microsoft?

1 Comment to The Super Bowl and

  1. 05/28/2007 at 2:16 am | Permalink

    Excellent Observations. The original CTO of Lifminders is re-launching the service this summer using Lifeminders.TV and Lifeminders.MOBI.

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