Most Interesting People in the Room Relaunch

 

Backburners and Pivots

Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while may remember a little project I started up last year called Most Interesting People in the Room.

From the get-go, this was a project destined to be very niche, and that was part of the point: to build a small community of people who are interested in the highest quality conversations and debates possible, without the normal streamlining, posturing and marketing that takes place around the rest of the web.

No dumbing anything down for common consumption. No nickel words instead of quarter words. No shameless self-promotion or one-sentence comments.

The tagline was ‘Unapologetically Intellectual Discourse,’ and that’s what we aimed for. We wanted to create an online environment that would allow and encourage people to learn, teach, improve themselves, and enjoy a potentially life-changing conversation with other intelligent, interesting people. No hurt feelings, emotional comebacks, spammers or trolls, just mutually-respectful intellectual intercourse.

Unfortunately, due to a frustrating series of setbacks with the software we were using that didn’t allow us to hack apart the conversation process the way we wanted, and a sudden lack of free time for myself (Ebookling got big faster than I thought it would) and Andrew, the development wizard behind the site (he ended up getting promotion after promotion, which left him with little time for side-projects), we ended up putting MIPitR on the backburner, waiting for the right software and the right time to bring it back.

Round Two

That time came not long ago, when during a conversation with Andrew, we decided to get it going again using different software and a slightly different approach to the monetization and guidelines for participation. Aspects of the system were tweaked, and we’re hoping it will streamline what used to be fairly-complex and confusing.

Here’s how it works now:

  1. MIPitR.com has a blog that features content on all of subjects, each as interesting as possible, and intended to inspire conversation and/or debate.
  2. If you click on ‘Forum,’ you’ll find that there are a few different rooms to check out, including a Duel Room, where members can challenge each other to debates or put out word for new opponents on a certain topic.
  3. Anyone can view the blog, and if you sign up for an account (for free), you’ll be able to create a profile and view the forum. If you want to participate in the forum, membership costs $10/month.
  4. The major benefit of membership (other than being able to participate in the forum) is that every week we’ll tally up ‘Likes’ that are given to posts and comments. We’ll then ask the author of one of the top scorers to write us an essay or article for the blog, and this author will be paid 10% of what we made from subscriptions the previous month (so if we have 10 members, the pay will be $10, if we have 100 members, the pay will be $100, etc).

Simple as that.

You can read the blog without any commitment.

You can read the conversations in the forum and create a profile with a small commitment (sign up for a free account…no spamming or anything shady, promise).

You can participate in the conversations and have the opportunity to get paid for writing articles on topics you’re interested in by paying $10/month. The money helps us pay out the authors we hire from the forum to write blog posts, and also allows us to create a small barrier to entry, which will help keep the membership limited to people who really want to participate.

Join the Conversation?

Commenting systems simply don’t provide the best conversations, especially these days, and I want more. I want to learn. I want to interact. I want more useful and interesting dialogue. It’s fun for me to talk at you here, but I would love to get into some in-depth conversations – to talk with you – over at the MIPitR Forum.

The new version of the site launches TODAY, so if you want to get in on the ground-floor of this, head over to MIPitR.com and take a look around. If you like what you see (or like what it can become), sign up! If not, no worries, I’ll still be writing over here, as well :)

Also: please report any bugs or problems to me! Thanks!

Also also: you can totally follow MIPitR on Twitter, or our Notebook blog for random interesting stuff from around the web.

6 comments

  1. Awesome! Already been checking some of the posts! I found the one on “expostmodernism” to be VERY interesting. Hope the site takes off!

    I’ll be checking out the discussions and if i start to feel like i could add anything to them, i’ll get a membership ASAP.

    PS: love the simplistic layout of the page!

  2. You never cease to amaze me with all your internet projects and I really respect how you’ve handled monetization/leveraging the internet and kept it mostly outside of this blog. If you do monetize here, you’ve managed to keep it classy, not flashy. I get pretty disillusioned in this niche/blogosphere. :) Love what you do and realizing more and more that I’d like to join the ranks.. I love design, but I’d much rather work on ‘personal projects’ that end up taking care of me! Right now, I know that designing for other people/hustling, is only a stepping stone.. 

  3. Sounds a lot like something I just started, but without money involved. I wanted to create a place for thinkers to discuss and dialog in a safe place. So I created a forum for thinkers and invited the top thinkers I know (and they are free to invite their friends as it grows). I always like your ideas and projects, but I’m lost a bit on this one.

    I’m trying to understand why you’ve monetized something that can be so pure. ‘Unapologetically Intellectual Discussion’ sounds awesome, but not worth paying a fee, however minimal. Charging seems to go against the spirit of the idea of open discourse. It’s not like charging will stop people from posting one sentence responses or being emotional in their discourse (or even self-promotion). Those things are natural. You can create the space you desire with good moderators and set guidelines.

    If it’s about money, then charge. If it’s about dialog, then you’re missing the boat. Or maybe I’ve missed the boat and you can clear up my ignorance. Cheers and best of luck!

  4. Just finished reading your article “How To Be ExPoMod”. I worked in retail for 35 years and saw a lot of change during that time but nothing like what we are going through now. As you stated there are many “shifts” taking place today. Those who can grasp the changes will do fine and those that can’t are in for a really rough time. I don’t think the masses are adapting very well and when all the gov. cuts start taking effect we will see even more “shifts”. Enjoyed your article!

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