Home Print 2.0 Experiment Brijit Goes Belly Up

Print 2.0 Experiment Brijit Goes Belly Up

In a tragic and surprising turn of events, Brijit, one of the most interesting startups on the web, has announced that the company has run out of money and will cease operations until more funding is found. Brijit offered 100 word summaries of the best long-form content in print, on television and most recently on sites like Digg, Techmeme and YouTube. Review writers were paid $5 per approved review and the angel funded company planned to sell ads targeting high-end periodical readers.

I loved that site and am very sad to see it go. The service was a lot of fun to use. Given how recently the company has received substantial media attention and how loyal its small group of users was, this was a real surprise. Can high-end websites for thinking people ramp up and monetize quickly? This news makes you wonder.

Visitors to the site tonight were greeted with the following message:

You’ve reached this page because, at the moment, Brijit is out of money and can no longer afford to bring you the world in 100 words. We’re working hard to find a way forward for our service and hope to relaunch in the not-too-distant future. Thanks to all our loyal readers and writers. And to our Brijit writers: payments in full for all abstracts published through May 15 will be made next week.

As you can see from the Compete graph below, traffic was trending up at Brijit after an initial media spike. The company has a really compelling system of “assignments” for review writers and the end result is a great crib-sheet for anyone headed to the periodicals section of a local bookstore on the weekend.

Brijit content is still available on the website here. You can read our previous coverage here. A great article about Brijit in the Washington Post is here. The Post reported in October that the company had raised $1 million in funding. Did it already burn through that, $5 at a time, or has something else happened?

I really hope that this isn’t another signal that only lowest-common denominator content is able to monetize and scale online these days. It’s hard not to think that Brijit’s management must have drastically miscalculated somewhere. A million dollars aint what it used to be, though. Either way, the web will be a less wonderful place if Brijit goes belly up for good.

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