Thursday, December 25, 2014

P-W grad is Web birthday king

The Blue Bell native runs FamousBirthdays.com, successor to SiteLaunch, Sency, ResourceWebs

P-W grad is Web birthday king

Plymouth-Whitemarsh grad Evan Britton, serial Website founder whose past efforts (SiteLaunch.com, Sency.com, ResourceWebs.com) have labored to capture and monetize the digital developments of the past several years from his current Santa Monica, Calif., base, says he's ringing 40,000 hits a day, and 100,000 searches a month, at his current leading site, http://www.famousbirthdays.com (try Googling 'birthdays' or 'celebrity birthdays' and it pops right up.)

The site posts 14,000 profiles of famous people, in a five-item list format, which Britton's busy staff of 15 writers - English-major grads as well as student interns making minimum wage, he says - have been cranking out and posting at a rate of several per writer per hour.

Isn't that what Wikipedia is for? Britton says his site, in its list form, makes key data easier to digest. There's a fact about the famous person's origin -- something members of the public might relate to. Career high points are laid out in the first person. Think user-friendly, quick-reference, tweet-worthy.

Since the events lie in the past -- and many subjects are dead (think Elvis, Marilyn, but also "philosophers and poets"), they're "evergreen" and don't have to be updated once entered into the system. Under Google's April guidelines, the site is also "mobile responsive" and combines smartphone and computer searches.

Britton plans boost total profiles to 50,000 by summer, 100,000 by year's end. The site attracts enough Google ads (now split 68% for Britton as publisher, the balance for he search giant) to pay his costs. He's put his other sites (including Railroad.net) on "autopilot," with volunteer forum managers updating discussions but no other ongoing investment. He sold a real estate site for "mid six figures," and hopes to do a lot better than that when FamousBrithdays is big enough to attract serious offers. "Nobody else has 100,000 profiles," Britton boasted. To keep it growing, the newly-married Web mogul keeps "a laser-like focus. I'm up til 2 a.m."

His brother, Matt Britton, headed the "Generation Y"-focused ad agency Mr. Youth, sold to LBi in 2011 for $40 million.

Joseph N. DiStefano
About this blog

PhillyDeals posts raw drafts and updates of Joseph N. DiStefano's columns and stories about Philly-area finance, investment, commercial real estate, tech, hiring and public spending, which he's been writing since 1989, mostly for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn, taught writing at St. Joe's, and has written the book Comcasted, more than a thousand columns, and thousands of articles, and raised six children with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at JoeD@phillynews.com or 215 854 5194.

Joseph N. DiStefano
Business Videos:
Also on Philly.com:
Stay Connected