Who knows what MetroProper is really going to be, but Phil Tadros at least might have a fighting chance. In an interview on The Where Blog, MetroProper is explained as a site which:
“takes a number of components from different Community 2.0 sites and combines and organizes them into a more locally-focused format that takes a lot of cues from the many third place-type businesses Phil has run over the past few years.”
While I have no idea if Phil will be successful in this, I applaud him in approaching it from the right angle.
MetroProper is an extension of my coffee shop background. Like, in a way, my whole business history has been leading up to this one, really big coffee shop
He is right to take cues from successful physical community spaces and apply them to the web. Success is ultimately based on recognizing the truth that you’re dealing with the same target market: people.
An example that I’ve mentioned before is the astonishment of investors and the general public in the success of MySpace and Facebook. Everyone seems blind-sided that people would want to personalize profiles, message semi-privately, listen to music and hang out on the web. The web is for MSN and pr0n, isn’t it?
The source in the astonishment lies in believing that the web is something different and therefore humans will interact with it differently, or do new things. Of course, they will do the new things that the web allows them to do, but they will also do everything they did before including both constructive and destructive activities. In reality, MySpace is really the reincarnation of a place for kids to “hang out”. In the past these same needs to hang out have been met in ice cream parlors, the arcade, or simply “down by the river”.
Human needs are no different on the web than they are in “real life”. Because the web is real life. The skill lies in finding what you’ve taken for granted everyday and how you can translate that onto the web.