What’s a niche to you? Poetry? Poetry about one-eyed, albino, left-handed Frenchmen? Well there’s probably a website for you.
For most of the past decade, the basic strategy for building a successful Web site was encapsulated in the phrase “Get big, get niche, or get out.” You could appeal to a broad constituency, with all the blandness and generality that implies (think Yahoo), or you could target a tightly focused group that was far smaller but easier to reach and more loyal than a mass audience (think Slashdot). Getting big would yield high volume and low margins, while getting niche would bring the inverse. Getting out was what you were forced to do if you ended up stuck somewhere between the other two approaches.
That was when 36 million people were online. Now that more than a billion people have access to the Web, there is no longer a trade-off between size and specificity. The basic math is simple: A tiny piece of an immense pie is huge.
I’m pretty happy with our niche of 3,000+ users. You guys are like family to me. Well, like someone else’s family. If you were like my family, we’d all be throwing bread at each other at dinner and someone would be passed out drunk with a cigarette dangling from their lips, ready to set the polyester sofa on fire.