The term Voxiversary combines Vox.com from Six Apart, and anniversary. I didn’t invent the term; a Google search shows that several people have already noted their first Voxiversary, as in “I’ve been on Vox for a year now.”
The Voxiversary I want to focus on here is the first anniversary of Vox itself. To be more specific, it’s the first anniversary of the official Happy Vox Launch Day! post on Oct 25, 2006. The launch followed a closed beta of a few months, which is why there are many Vox blogs older than one year.
Let’s backtrack, and remind ourselves about Vox, who built it, why, and at what cost. Over and back to Chaddus Bruce, writing in Wired just after the launch.
Vox is the latest personal publishing destination to emerge from the halls of Six Apart, the San Francisco company that operates some of the world’s most popular blogging platforms: TypePad, Movable Type and LiveJournal.
The social networking and blogging site is a major investment for Six Apart. The company raised $12 million in venture capital to develop Vox. By emphasizing blogging and by including features like advanced privacy settings, cutting-edge page-template designs and storage limits friendly to large video and audio files, the company wants to provide social networking that’s superior to MySpace, Bebo or Six Apart’s own LiveJournal.
So how is Vox doing? My own impression is “not too well.” Let’s take a look at an Alexa-based graph comparing Vox, WordPress.com, and Facebook over the last year. I chose those other services because Vox is a blog/social net hybrid, WordPress.com is a blog site, and Facebook a social network. (And by the way, the reason I’m not embedding the graph in this post is that WordPress.com won’t let me.)
For the year ending today, the Vox graph is by far the lowest and flattest of the three, with something of a jump up following the launch. WordPress.com and Facebook each rise steadily until a few months ago, when Facebook took off.
What makes this more disturbing for Six Apart is the question, raised by Pete Cashmore, that the firm needed Vox because its other products were stagnating. But Pete’s post is more than a year old, and his stagnation implication did not go unchallenged.
There’s lots more that can be said about Vox as its first anniversary approaches, but right now I’ll stop saying it, and hope that others will chip in, either here or on their own blogs.