John Tozzi's Business Week article was enlightening, to say the least. It's crazy to think "a personal obsession can turn into a popular favorite and maybe even a full-time job."
That's how the I Can Has Cheezburger meme and website started, anyway. However, it's maintained its success by allowing its readers to be involved. I suppose that's kind of how a lot of websites work- allowing readers to contribute or comment keeps them actively engaged in the website. At Ithaca College, a similar meme website (Facebook page) was set up, cleverly named Ithaca College Memes. Conveniently set up during midterms, the Facebook page's likes grew drastically, hundreds of contributions per day were being made and no studying was done. However, after a few weeks, the site died down, and hasn't been touched since 2012.
Since Eric Nakagawa was smart, he knew he had to "constantly tweak the site to see what draws readers and what leaves them cold." Nakagawa also knew they had to "try to time their new posts with when people are most likely to be reading: in the mornings, on their lunch breaks, or in the evenings."
The slideshow we viewed in class shows more websites that I never knew about and how they got their start, or how successful they are now. Websites like Boing Boing, Kottke, or Gothamist are a few to mention. Gothamist in particular is part of a larger website community that expands to cities as far as London. Gothamist is specifically about all things New York City- politics, culture, news, food and more. It had immediate success that allowed its expansion.
Many websites started from just personal obsessions or passions came out to be quite successful, and while some host many ads in order to maintain financial stability, others have just gained a following large enough to make them great on their own.