Fanpop is a web site devoted to making the web a happier place for passionate fans by creating a spot for them to connect, discover and share. Fanpop launched in August 2006, and has been making the rounds in the Silicon Valley area to showcase the product.
I recently attended a demo by founder
David Dave Lu at a SF NewTech Meetup at AOL HQ and was pleasantly surprised with this new startup.
Guy Kawasaki explained the Fanpop feature set nicely by saying:
"The site combines a little bit of everything: polls, social bookmarking, social network, news, and forums."
Fanpop organizes a fan community by calling each a "spot." Each "spot" is moderated to help eliminate duplicate spots. Once a fan spot is created and approved users can add content in the form of links, videos, game and other comments via forums or the soapbox feature. The soapbox feature allows users to express their feeling by writing an article - it is like a group blog feature. Fanpop has social aspects as fans can find, connect and share with other fans. There are already a number of spots created but if you don't find what you are looking for you could create your own today.
Fanpop is extremely topical and therefore a perfect billboard for contextual advertising. Though it may not be a huge cash cow immediately, with time and traffic increases Fanpop could prove profitable.
There are a number of ways to discover new spots on Fanpop. For example, Fanpop lists the top 100 most popular links across all spots on the homepage. You can also search to find just about about any kind of fan spot. As a Family Guy fan, I searched and found the Fanpop Family Guy Spot. I browsed the links, shopping options and videos thought this Family Guy video was pretty hilarious! On a more serious note, I found a web 2.0 fan spot filled with blogs, links and web sites. I also noticed that with Fanpop, similar to MyBlogLog, you can create a community around a blog like the TechCrunch spot and the Mashable! spot. Of course, you can join the Somewhat Frank fan spot!
Bottom-line: Fanpop leverages the long tail by enabling users to create a fan spot for just about anything that comes to mind. It offers a number of features web 2.0 features to help connect passionate fans online.