In early 2008 the Recovery Media Network was going strong but you can never have enough traffic so I came up with this idea to increase the traffic to the sites. The recovery community is obsessed with time and rightly so because many people go without using for decades a task that non-alcoholics and non-addicts find astounding. So why not present this fact to the web.
While working on The Recovery Podcast I came across a few Youtube videos that where very unhappy with the fellowships and went on and on about the fact that there ware no results or clean time/sobriety in the community. I thought the best way to convince them they where wrong was not to tell them but to show them.
This was to be a flash based website for a few reasons. One was that the base of the site was a flash api that people could place on social networking sites. This application would not only keep track of their time but would show an aggregation of all the time added into the site. I had done something similar using Php that had thousands of years of time in the database and I wanted something that people could show off on their page.
The point of good user marketing is to let your users market for you. With this in mind I knew that the site would be successful because it had a marketing loop built into the concept. As people added their time to the site and pasted the api on their pages more people would see it and want to add to the database. As the number of years grew so would the number of links on peoples webpages. Also the api would have adjustable banners and videos built into the application so they could be easily switched out.
The beauty of the site was in its simplicity. It really only did one thing and was easy to use for almost any user. Many sites have discovered that offering sites that do everything for everyone means that people get confused and nothing gets used. So I had begun to move to sites that offered a simple solution to a known issue. Sure the site could have offered more but that would have just lead to confusion and we wanted this site to simply do this one thing and do it well. This is the basic concept for sites like Twitter.
Find a simple problem and offer a simple solution for it and people will use it.