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Anyone here ever sell an online community, or know someone who has?
Posted by: M A V I C
Date: January 07, 2010 12:18AM
For the past year or so I've been helping an online community grow. I've taken over their web development, implemented a new design & features, wrote their forum rules, defined their admin/mod policies, installed and manage an ad server to better serve them and their advertisers, as well as setup some basic AdSense and CJ ads.

I just found out a company wants to purchase the community. Although it is setup as a business, has a bank account... it's not really run as a business. I have no clue as far as valuation goes. Anyone here ever sell or have been involved in the sale of an online community?

Thanks




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Re: Anyone here ever sell an online community, or know someone who has?
Posted by: Wailer
Date: January 07, 2010 09:26AM
First question is "do you want to sell?" I mean, some people love what they build so much that no amount of money is worth it to them. They really just love doing it.

If you are interested in selling, you need to look at your community as a business. How much revenue? How much profit? How much growth? Does it need key people to continue to function? to grow?

As a very, very, very, very, very rough estimate, you could probably get between 2x and 10x this year's profit for something that is a no-brainer to run and grow. It doesn't sound like much, but there is so much uncertainty for the buyer. Like, are your #s accurate? are you going to just open a competing community? will you sue?

I look at business to buy all the time. PM me if you want me to talk.
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Re: Anyone here ever sell an online community, or know someone who has?
Posted by: threeprong
Date: January 07, 2010 09:47AM
It's not called Twitter is it?
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Re: Anyone here ever sell an online community, or know someone who has?
Posted by: onthedownlow
Date: January 07, 2010 09:59AM
If you do sell, sell it with the rights that you won't completely lose your intellectual property, in that you can use your own 'template', or a blank/cloned version to use for another venture you may have in the future - which won't necessarily be a competitor to anything they bought.



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Re: Anyone here ever sell an online community, or know someone who has?
Posted by: M A V I C
Date: January 07, 2010 11:20AM
After some discussion with other forum admins, it seems like they just want our traffic. We get a fair amount of traffic, probably more than this forum.

No one wants to sell, except one guy who brings up a good point. When the community started, it was much busier than it is now. When I first joined, they were having some problems with mods and contributors getting along. The first thing I did was fix that, then they made me an admin. Since then the community has grown a little bit, but hasn't returned to what it once was years ago. So one admin suggested either we find a way to put some passion back into it and make it really big again, or we go ahead and sell.

Thanks Wailer for the info, that's pretty much what I was thinking but I'll probably contact you if this goes any further.




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