Personality Profile -
** This post went up in the summer of 2006. The Liquid Muse does not endorse the group, or the people involved with it. When I spoke with Reed, LNS had just gotten off the ground and sounded like an interesting social network. Any subsequent reports on what LNS has become in the year since its inception have nothing to do with my interview. I stand behind this report of my pleasant conversation with Reed at the time it happened. If any unsavory people / actions / consequences have since come about with regard to LNS, it is not a reflection of my political or social opinions or The Liquid Muse. ~ Natalie**
I am pleased to highlight yet another young, smart-as-a-whip (and yes, good looking) Washingtonian with a super idea. After graduating from UVA, Reed Landry (a native of McClean, VA) toiled at a government contracting firm. In 2004, this enterprising fellow started his own Internet ad agency, Sugar Media Group, with his sister-in-law.
In February 2006, they launched Late Night Shots, an invitation-only social networking website which has enjoyed fast success. Reed comments, “We had no idea what to expect, and were surprised how quickly it grew.” He explains that social networking is hot on the Internet, and describes LNS as similar to myspace and facebook but fills the gap for a post-college crowd.
Prospective members of LNS have to be 21 to join. Many are in their 30’s, a few in their 40’s. Landry notes, “Sites like facebook and myspace get a bad rap because they have objectionable content. LNS is a closed network so we don’t have a problem with that. There are photos of people at bars but nothing offensive. I think that’s what drives away older people from other networks.”
According to Reed, most sites buy their users so there is no connection between the people visiting them. The invite-only model alleviates that problem. He explains, “The sites I go back to are the ones I know people on. LNS isn’t meant for random people. It’s for meeting with friends at happy hours, bars, etc. Most people on our site have already seen each other out. It’s unique in the social networking field.”
The other key to LNS is that it keeps a local focus. Once someone receives an invitation and joins, the next step is to list his / her regular watering holes, making note of the type of bar and neighborhood they frequent. They can also see which members go to which bars.
Members can also post articles of interest for others to read. And, bar owners can log in and edit the content on their pages, listing happy hours and drink specials. LNS newsletters go out once a week. 83% of those who receive it click on at least one of the articles which Landry says is unheard of for an email newsletter.
What does Reed say to those who criticize his site’s invitation system as exclusionary? “Too bad.” He clarifies, “The invite-only value in this system makes things more connected and spreads it without us doing anything. We’re going for a targeted demographic.”
With plans to expand into NY, LA and Atlanta, this could become the next hot list to be on…