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Social Media Portal profiled interview with Jonathan Ledger of TipDrop.com

Staff (Social Media Portal) - 31 July 2009

Profiled - TipDrop.com - The microblogging service that provides tips


An interview Jonathan Ledger - creator and owner of TipDrop.com



TipDrop.com talks to SMP about refining microblogging noise like breakfast updates, Spam and useless information



TipDrop.com logoSocial Media Portal (SMP): What is your full job title and role at TipDrop.com?

Jonathan Ledger (JL): Owner.

SMP: Tell us a little about TipDrop.com, what is it and what does it do?

JL: TipDrop.com is a place where people come to give and receive tips on just about anything. When you see a tip sheet you know something about, simply answer the question, "what do you know about that?"

Unlike other microblogging platforms, TipDrop.com creates focused sets of useful information on specific concepts. No wasting time reading what somebody had for breakfast here. (We also give you the option of keeping 75% of all ad-revenues generated from the tip sheets you create.)Photograph of Jonathan Ledger - creator and owner of TipDrop.com

TipDrop.com has a built-in credibility engine that helps keep the best tips on top and the junk out of the system. You build credibility by adding tips that other people like and vote for.

SMP: What made you start TipDrop.com?

JL: I was fed up with all of the spam and useless information at other microblogging sites.  I wanted to create a service that provided valuable, practical information on focused subjects so that people would benefit from it.  I also wanted other people to be able to add to that knowledge so that it continually grew and improved.

SMP: What was the most challenging part of building the service?

JL: Designing the credibility engine was the most difficult part.  I wanted it to be smart without downgrading users too fast if they make small mistakes.

SMP: Who are your target audience and why?

JL: Itís designed for pretty much anybody.  After all, everyone is good at something and has knowledge to share.  TipDrop.com is just a central repository for all of that knowledge.

SMP: How did you initially attract users to your site and service and how do you do it now?

JL: I emailed my customer list first and got feedback on how the system works and ways it could be improved.  Once it was improved and running smoothly, I contracted with a press release company to do a media blitz for me.  I then created a referral program so that users could earn advertising revenue by promoting the site.

SMP: What are the low moments of what you have been doing so far?

JL: I havenít had any low moments with this site yet.  Things have really been running smoothly and clicking right along.  That may change in the future, but for now itís all been good.

SMP: What are the high moments of what you have been doing so far?

JL: Watching the page load counter soar to 1.5 million page views in the first 10 days of the siteís existence.  I didnít expect that!

SMP: Now that you are established, what do you see as your biggest challenges and opportunities?

JL: Keeping the database that supports the system running efficiently enough to handle the growth and load of the system, as well as continuing to fine-tune the credibility engine to keep the spam out.

SMP: Your press release infers that TipDrop.com rivals Twitter and Facebook, how is this so?

JL: It rivals them in that itís a better way of focusing the microblogging revolution in a way that allows for practical application.  Nobodyís really interested in what other people had for breakfast or when they walked their dog.  Thatís just not useful information.

SMP: What are the next moves for TipDrop.com?

JL: Growing the user base is certainly a priority.  Keeping the momentum going and helping people to see the usefulness of the site is important since the site is so new.

SMP: Whatís the next big step for social media and networks?

JL: Social networks need to be more focused on practical value, and need to work harder to prevent the current flood of spam they are experiencing, otherwise they will simply become a trash-dump of useless text and spam.

SMP: Why do you think that microblogging has become popular over the last couple of years?

JL: Because itís fast and easy.  Have something to say?  Hammer it out in a few seconds on a microblog.  The web-capability of many cell phones has really launched the growth of the platform as well.

SMP: Where do you think it is heading?

JL: I think weíll see a lot more information being presented in smaller and smaller chunks as mobile technology takes on more importance and commands more advertising dollars in the coming years.

SMP: Whatís going to be the most interesting aspect regarding social media / technology throughout 2009?


JL: The adoption of social media by the older generation is a very interesting trend.  Social media isnít just for the teenagers and tech-savvy twenty-somethings anymore.  As the technology is adopted by an audience with more stable and disposable income, youíll find advertisersí interest in keeping social networks floating begin to rise.

SMP: What impact is the global recession having and what do you think the best way is to manage it for businesses such as yours?


JL: The global recession just makes me work harder to make sure that my services are better than the competition.  The best are still doing very well, and running a service like TipDrop.com doesnít require a lot of working capital, so I can float it while it grows in popularity.

SMP: How does this fit into plans at TipDrop.com?

JL: Since TipDrop.com is currently an ad-revenue site, exposure and traffic growth is whatís most important to the siteís long-term success.  That means working hard to keep the service a cut above the rest in order to be a leader in a difficult economy.


Now some questions for fun

SMP: What did you have for breakfast / lunch?

JL: Not that anybody cares, but I had breakfast quesadillas for breakfast and a plate of grilled chicken, mashed potatoes, corn and salad for lunch.

SMP: Whatís the last good thing that you did for someone?

JL: I held the door for a lady who was in a hurry to get inside a building.

SMP: How many hours to you work a week?


JL: 20-25.

SMP: If you werenít running TipDrop.com what would you be doing?

JL: When Iím not working I take part in a volunteer ministry work and spend time with my family.

SMP: When and where did you go on your last holiday?

JL: My wife and I took a cruise to Hawaii for our nine year anniversary.  Of course, our son and daughter came as well.  We had a fantastic time and got to see the lava flow from the ship.

SMP: Whatís the first thing you do when you get into the office of a morning?

JL: Check the web stats for TipDrop.com.

SMP: If you had a superpower what would it be and why?

JL: Iíd love to be able to fly.  Iíd love to fly over the Grand Canyon.  Iíd take an ultra-light, but theyíre not allowed anymore and besides my wife says I have to stay alive to help raise our kids!

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