David Krug, had a chance to sit down with Matt Jones, the founder of Random Shapes, a blog network written exclusively by teens. I personally haven’t talked to Matt however I think he’s pretty savvy and brave to set off on starting a blog network at such a young age with all the responsiblities of teen age life. After reading the interview. He sounds pretty smart in general. The network is really growing and has impressed me a lot lately.
David: What do you think of blog networks?
Matt: For a member, I think blog networks are a great way to boost your number of visitors. For the visitor, I think of blog networks as an updating bookmarks folder. It’s convenient and only holds the stuff that’s interesting.
David: So what is your vision for Random Shapes?
Matt:I see Random Shapes becoming a network that will encourage teens to write good blogs and change the way adults view teens on the web.
David: Let’s talk briefly about the “Myspace Generation” with roughly who knows how many myspacers how do you guys fit in? Is this Myspace Indie?
Matt:It isn’t really a Myspace Indie because we don’t think that Myspace is all bad, just mostly bad. I hope the network will spark interest in teens and make them want to change the way they act and blog on the web. Teens can suprise you especially if they are motivated to be better.
David: How do you see Random Shapes is it business or is it a community?
Matt:Definitely a community. I didn’t even realize all the business opportunities until it was already launched. It’s great to talk and share ideas with all the teens in the network.
David: Let’s talk about you for a minute. Tell me about yourself.
Matt:Well I’m a 17 year old senior in high school living in Arizona. I started doing web design in 2001 but I didn’t get very serious about it until this past summer. I finally decided to start a blog because of all the obvious benefits and everything has taken off from there. Right now I do freelance web design work for a few local companies and keep myself busy with school, sports, and my own side projects.
David: So who thought of this blog network was that you or was a team partnership idea? Tell us about the beginnings
Matt:I was reading up on blogging and started visiting sites that I noticed were part of blog networks. I found a few good teen blogs and I wanted to get to know them better. It’s hard to find a good teen blog so I thought it would be a good idea to create some kind of community for us to chat and share ideas with each other. A blog network would allow teens to talk with each other while gaining readership so it was perfect. I came up with the idea early January and I really wanted to make it work.
David: What happens when you all grow up and become 20
Matt:Well it just wouldn’t make sense to let people stay in the network once they’re no longer a teen but it’s also kinda messed up to just kick them out. What I plan on doing is adding a hall of fame to the Random Shapes site for past members. They won’t be a member anymore but by then they will have met so many new people even if they aren’t part of the network they will have lots of new friends and more recognition then when they started. This way no adults will be part of the network and everyone can leave happy.
David: If you RS could do one thing for you personally what would it be. I mean is it about the money or about the community and opportunities?
Matt:I hope to get more web design work out of this. That’s what I really like to do and I think the network can help me with that. It’s not easy getting this kind of a job as a teen but I’m trying.
David: Where do you see yourself and the network in a year?
Matt:Bigger and better. The network is slowly growing and the content gets better everyday. We aren’t professionals or even college graduates but we’ll compete with anyone. Teens have a lot to offer if you just listen.
For more information about Random Shapes visit www.randomshapes.com