Everyone in the office is abuzz with talk of fmylife.com. Fmylife has skyrocketed to the top of traffic statistics in a very short period of time.
Fmylife is a remarkably simple application. There are only three things you can do on the site:
- Read stories
- Vote that the person deserved or did not deserve the terrible thing that happened to them
- Submit a one paragraph story that starts with “Today, ” and ends with “FML”
The design has two images: a “new” icon next to new FMLs and a “share this” icon.
So this is not popular because it has a sleek web 2.0 design or some amazing functionality. Almost any Rails developer could probably code the entire site in a couple of days. This was simply good execution of an idea and effective development of the concept as a marketing meme. Amazingly, when you look at technorati, there haven’t been a lot of major blog posts about fmylife to date and not even a substantial amount of long-tail blog posts.
What made for great execution? The barrier to participation is remarkably low. Voting is a simple click with no login. Submitting a story involves giving yourself a nickname, picking a category, and writing a sentence. With barriers this low, it is easy for even casual readers to get involved – and many do!
We can also look at the ranks relative to other web sites:
Wow, FML is as big a hit as MSNBC. I bet it costs a lot less to build and run. It grew faster than Hulu and Hulu had the best content licenses in the history of the Internet.
A great example of the power of a great idea.