In 2006, Bruno Bornsztein and fellow web developer Ben Moore started Curbly as a web community “for people who love where they live and see their living space as an expression of who they are.” Over time, Curbly has grown into a popular content-driven and socially interactive niche destination, generating some 500,000 pageviews/month.
The growth and success of Curbly is largely attributed to the integration of a Ruby on Rails plugin Mr. Bornsztein created called Community Engine. This plugin allows for greater levels of interactivity when compared to the traditional blog, adds community-oriented features to a given website and ultimately serves as a platform for visitors to become engaged contributors
Community Engine is a free (MIT licensed), out of the box social networking plugin designed to be deployed specifically within the Ruby on Rails programming environment. Given the ease of deployment and customization, the plugin is used by innumerable websites around the world (translated into multiple languages) to create fast, flexible and scalable community driven websites. One interesting application is how ‘The Doctors‘ (CBS) uses Community Engine to maintain its online network of some 70,000 registered users.
While Curbly has become Mr. Bornsztein’s primary focus (and money maker), his passion and curiosity haven’t stopped him from venturing out into other spaces that resonate with him. In fact, all of the websites which appear on Curbly.net are built upon the community engine platform and operate under the umbrella of Curbly, LLC:
Tennis Metro is an online community that helps connect local tennis players. Launched in August of 2008, the site has 4,000 registered members.
Uncooped is “an outdoor adventure network” for people who love outdoor sports, recreation and adventure. At Uncooped, members share pictures of adventures, get advice from experts, and find inspiration to get out and be active.
Man Made DIY is focused on the exploration of “creativity and the handmade life.” Man Made DIY explores the emerging independent craft movement amongst the postmodern male. Growing quickly, this niche content site is experiencing 50,000 page views/month.
Wee Baby Stuff is a place for parents to get all the information they need on the products, supplies and purchases they’ll need to get ready for baby.
Teacherly is the best place for educators to share ideas, post lesson plans, and get inspired to do one of the hardest, most important jobs out there.
With all the various projects Mr. Bornsztein has created, we’re left wondering what Curbly, LLC ultimately is?
“I think of Curbly as a publishing company and I think of myself as a publisher; to me it implies that I have responsibility over the broad operation of these various sites. Curbly is about publishing online and print content for people who are passionate about things.” – Bruno Bornsztein