where for art thou, ryze?


The meteoric rise and fall of internet companies is something almost all of us have witnessed. Names that just a few years ago were household names have evaporated.

Netscape? That browser doesn’t even get updated anymore.

Pets.com? Remember the doggie hand puppet. Turns out that sock was the most valuable asset the company had.

Go.com? Disney bought it and it, uh, went.



As in $790 million write off.

Well, what got me thinking about all all the social networking sites that are out there now. As you can see in the column on the right, you’re welcome to friend me up on any number of them. –>

But only 2-3 years ago, social networking sites that seemed hottest then have either faded or become geographically biased (which is a term I just made up and will explain as I go.)

The first social networking site I ever joined was called e-cademy. It was then and I’m guessing still is now very euro-centric in its membership and popularity. There was a weird vibe I got off the site (which I guess goes to their branding and the attitude of their on-line presence). I decided it wasn’t for me and I stopped paying. It wasn’t a bad site, it just didn’t seem to fit me.

The second social networking site I joined was RYZE. This had a different vibe which I preferred and was pretty active in it. What made this especially attractive to me was that they had semi regular meet-ups of RYZE members in Toronto.

Well I love Toronto and the idea of making new contacts up there thrilled me to no end so off I drove for 90 minutes each way for months. I met so many wonderful people in a great setting, like Leesa Barnes, Faith Seekings and others that it was a blast. And oh yes, I closed deals and made money.

But these groups are delicate (if that’s the right term) and when some of the member leaders changed, the meetings became infrequent. Word came down that RYZE wanted the Toronto group (the largest of all the RYZE meet-up groups) to stop meeting. My interest in the group lagged, the voice-over community on the site increasing consisted of Indonesian voice talents who spoke of a market I knew nothing about and felt ill-equipped to break into and I dropped my paid membership.

Well I have gone back to Ryze in the past couple of days as people have indicated they wanted to network with me. With my unpaid membership, such access had been limited. But when I signed in this week and last, I noticed I’d been given a “free week” (or “weeks” based on the time frame).

I updated a few things on my pages and added a friend. I also looked at the network pages where I had belonged in Ryze. Last posts in these networking groups ranged from 2006-2007. Not a good sign. Maybe THAT’S why I was getting the free week.

Have you or are you an active Ryze member? What have been your observations? Don’t you think that for Social Networks to really have value they need to have regular meet-ups?

3 Responses to “where for art thou, ryze?”

  1. I don’t get it.
    WHY would the higher ups @ RYZE want the largest group to STOP meeting? That makes no sense.

    I think it’s GREAT that people who form friendships online, actually make the effort to meet in real life! (The Bob Souer National Tour comes to mind! 😉

    So to answer your questions:
    – No, I have never been a member of RYZE
    – Yes, I think that for Social Networks to really have value they need to have meet-ups….not sure about the “regular” part, but if that happens organically, I see that as an asset to the community, not a detriment!



  2. Liz,

    That’s what I thought! Goofy!

    I’ve been on the Souer Tour and its a great ride but the que line is very long.

    I tried starting my own tour but the avoid-at-all-costs-Peter-O’Connell tour hasn’t been selling as well 🙂

    I think once on-line communities meet, using their relative familiarity as their guide, there seems to be a better chance for relationships to build, professional, personal whatever the mutual goals are.

    Anyway, increasing friendships and building relationships virtually or in real time isn’t a bad thing.

    Score one for the internet.

    Best always,
    – Peter

  3. I was reading Bryan Person’s blog (http://bryanperson.com/2008/03/25/tweetups-social-media-breakfasts-and-dinner-with-grandma/) this morning and he quoted new media czar (my made up title) Jeff Pulver (http://pulverblog.pulver.com/) who Bryan quotes as saying “the more virtual we become, the more we need to have face-to-face meetings.”


    Just more food for thought on this topic.

    Continue your great day….

    – Peter