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Summary:

With the virtual worlds breaking out, social networks gaining in popularity, just like blogs and IM, Sean Ryan, a former Real Networks executive, is convinced that there is a money making opportunity when it comes to 3D avatars. Perhaps that explains why he just launched Meez, […]

With the virtual worlds breaking out, social networks gaining in popularity, just like blogs and IM, Sean Ryan, a former Real Networks executive, is convinced that there is a money making opportunity when it comes to 3D avatars.

Perhaps that explains why he just launched Meez, the first offering from his San Francisco-based start-up, Donnerwood Media. “Meez allow users to personalize their communications in a completely new way,” says Ryan.

Meez.com“Our ever-growing selection of clothing and accessories gives consumers millions of possible ways to turn their Meez I.D. into a personal statement that can be shared on their favorite online services.” Donnerwood has raised about $4.3 million in venture funding, from Battery Ventures, Transcosmos Partners, Allen & Co. and other individuals.

It is an interesting idea, and I have spent a lot of time trying to make a virtual avatar for myself. But it is quite fun and addictive. You can pick clothing, hairstyles, piercings, accessories, backgrounds and fun animations. In places like South Korea, this has become a mega million dollar business. Okay, we can laugh at it, but then we laughed at ringtones as well.

  1. $4.3 million to catch up with CrazyTalk, will be interesting to watch this unfold.

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  2. i am betting they are doing more stuff with this money, and not just venture. lets see what happens with these guys.

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  3. How do these guys make money? Whats the model? Its free to make the meez and use it. It doesnt seem the site is that sticky that they would make money on advertising while a person is logged in. One could make the meez and not log back in again.

    I am sure I am missing something here. Would someone care to explain?

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  4. How does meez make money? Its free to create and use the Meez. it doesnt seem like they are running ads on the site itself . Could someone explain ?

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  5. Remember that we just beta launched this week, so the service will evolve a lot in the coming months, but we make money through the sale of virtual items. Although the majority of the service is free, a select group of items such as NHL and MLB merchandise, is available for a fee, anywhere between $.50 annd $2.50.

    Over time, you’ll see us introduce additional revenue-producing elements such as advertising, but the core service will always be free. And our users are already coming back multiple times to change their Meez, so the repeat visit issue shouldnt’ be a problem, especially as we add content every week.

    Thx, Sean Ryan
    CEO, Meez

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  6. Thanks Sean. You have very neat user interface. I checked it out. You should consider adding shades/specs to the Meez :-)

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  7. Forbes reported about another service, http://www.image-me.com
    that animates faces from photos:
    http://www.forbes.com/businesswire/feeds/businesswire/2006/04/10/businesswire20060410005805r1.html
    The avatars are animated gifs and video clips, not interactive, but you can’t customize avatars any further than with your own face, can you?

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  8. They get money from things called coinz you have to buy coinz in order for you to get a more special thing

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  9. why cant u just get that rad stuff that everbody is rockin on vip

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  10. hey if u want a free meez account contact me email: meezri@aol.com

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