1545 days ago stops spinning, says users did not listen

The Curse of Tnooz! Within days of being featured here the site’s backers have stunned their community of writers and users and suddenly announced operations are over.

In a short post on the blog, Otto Stricker blames the site’s users for his decision to pull out of the open travel guide system.

He says his involvement will end with “immediate effect” – dated January 28 – and thanks the team of virtual writers around the globe.

“We have ten thousands of users visiting the site every month and they have not done what we suggested them to do: Become engaged and contributing users on the open travel guide And spread the news to friends – the growth base for every website. This is the core of our decision – what else shall it be?”

An official says the the website was still “another 12 months” away from working smoothly and the founders admit they made the website “too complex”.

The domain is now up for sale, an official says, while the company is also

Stricker and brother Mathias – the other figure behind the scenes – have responded to a number of messages posted in the forum.

In one, Otto says:

“We have been working over years on this website – always with a 100% positive approach. We can either be 100% positive – or we do not work for This was always our thinking. We do not think there is a world in-between.”

Mathias adds:

“I’m afraid I’ll never work again in such a great environment and with such a great team as I did in the last years with you. I’m really sad that this is all over now, but in the end we had to take this decision.”

The main website gives very little away in a brief note at the top of the site:

“This is a demo version – and if you want to take it forward – please free to ask us for the code, which is open. Thank you for visiting.”


NB: Last week TripAdvisor removed a recruitment video from YouTube after it featured on Tnooz.

Weha have ten thousands of users visiting the site every month and they have not done what we suggested them to do: Become engaged and contributing users on the open travel guide And spread the news to friends – the growth base for every website. This is the core of our decision – what else shall it be?

Kevin May

About the Writer :: Kevin May

Kevin May is editor and a co-founder of Tnooz. He was previously editor of UK-based magazine Travolution for nearly four years and web editor of Media Week UK from 2003 to 2005.

He has also worked in regional newspapers (Essex Enquirer) and started his career in journalism at the Police Gazette at New Scotland Yard in London. He has a degree in criminology and a postgraduate diploma in magazine journalism.



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  1. uberVU - social comments

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by kevinlukemay: The Curse of Tnooz!!! stops spinning, says users did not listen

  2. enters the great Black Hole of the web | Tnooz

    [...] the site’s co-founders said they were pulling out of the project two weeks ago, somewhat controversially blaming users for not telling their friends about the site and naturally [...]

  3. cactusmitch

    To All interested in,,,, which is down for a long count. I wanted it to succeed. I applied for a job with them, strategist, sales planner or something. That was last December. So…

    is my answer. Purge the ineffective, invite the effective and as the elusive EARTHlings have suggested, go forward!
    Pertaining to the market value of the domain name, I have been doing some research. There are about 1000 domain names that used the word “earth.” excerpted information:
    contact ,site ,views ,est value

    domainadmin@exoticd… , ,20 ,$ 76.00 , ,138 ,$ 2,258.00
    Mathias? , ,21,152 ,$ 5,274.00 , ,0 ,$ 0.00
    or , , ,8,442 ,$ 2,263.00 , ,245 ,$ 110.00 , ,16 ,$ 16.00
    >>> ??? <<<< , ,316 ,$ 126.00 T-shirts , ,905 ,$ 290.00

    Lots of interest…probably diluted interest the best rewards go the the highest value service, IMHO Whois me, whois them.

  4. jon

    With that kind of view towards their users, it’s no wonder that this failed.

    If users weren’t contributing, there could be a few reasons. It could either be that the core idea was flawed from the start, or it could be that they did not put in the proper incentives or made it difficult for people to contribute. If it was a product problem (which I think it was) they could have tried to iterate and improve it, but instead they just give up and blame the users. Great job guys.

  5. Stuart

    Hi Martin,
    My post was perhaps a bit unclear as I neglected to precede it with an @cactusmitch. I was addressing that comment as it contained a suggested value of $5k for the domain. I think we’re in agreement that the domain is worth far far more than that — even taking into the consideration the unusual events of the past few days. Hence my point regarding an operator like Sedo.


    • cactusmitch

      $5k came from, a site of doubtful authority. I suspect they just inflate the traffic by some factor, perhaps taking into account whether the site has order forms.

  6. Martin Rusteberg

    oddly enough, i’m now stumbling across adsense ads :D

    @Stuart, would’ve expected a more thoughtful reply from you – stricker’s own 1000′s of high-value domains, i’m sure they are aware of their internet real estate…

  7. Stuart

    Regarding flogging the domain name, this is easily a six-figure sale. Both the content and existing traffic are irrelevant. They should go sell it to Nike or some cashed up Silicon Valley loon — it is a very premium name, and if they want to sell the name and they’re not already talking to Sedo and that ilk they’re fools.

    • cactusmitch


      Main Entry: loon
      Part of Speech: noun
      Definition: crackpot
      crazy*, deranged person, eccentric, lunatic, maniac, nut case, nut*, psychopath, sociopath

      I graduated from Cubberley High in the heart of Silicone Valley, but am not a “loon.” I am glad that you noticed my post and my attempt to grab the potential value that will in all likelihood go the way you suggest. Hence my low ball play. I’ve invested up words of $150 so far.

      I appreciate your comment and vocabulary. I thought a loon is the state bird of Minnesota, the kind that hoots all night.
      (T he)

      • Stuart

        I wasn’t suggesting you were a loon! lol My apologies if you took it that way.

        Anyway, while this whole series of events strikes me as being quite bizarre, I think I’ve contributed more than my fair share to the comments here so I’ll shut up now!

  8. cactusmitch

    Success rides close behind utility. was a light on utility. The “remote workplace” is a possibly sustainable tactic, but far from a organizational strategy.
    The lack of warning portends organizational secrecy. had a bit north of 21K visits and $5k value. I offered $10 to start the bidding on the name, which may have value if the ill will generated by recent events is surmountable.
    Were I to spend serious money on the domain name I would look at the traffic numbers to various parts of the site. My suspicion is that most of the traffic was like me looking to earn money rather than spend money.

  9. Tweets that mention stops spinning, says users did not listen | Tnooz --

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Dennis Schaal, Stuart McDonald, Karen Bryan, Karen Bryan, Lee W. Nelson and others. Lee W. Nelson said: RT @travelfish RT @tnooznooz stops spinning, says users did not listen | bizarro indeed [...]

  10. Kevin May

    Kevin May

    I’ve had quite a few people suggest that the whole thing might be an elaborate stunt to get attention and/or investment.

    Seems a very bizarre way of doing it.

  11. Helen

    Sounds a bit “Fawlty Towers” to me!

  12. In Travel We Trust: A Relaunch « Voyageek

    [...] Six months ago, I launched a Digg-like for travel videos called “In Travel We Trust”.  The site has never picked up , in my opinion  because travel video is too small a niche and probably because I didn’t work enough on the site and failed at building a community. And let’s not forget the  main reason: the damn users didn’t listen. [...]

  13. Stuart

    Just rereading this and taking a closer look through the site, it could be that the press they’ve had has brought them to spammers attention. A problem Otto alludes to in his blog post.

    Much of their Vietnam content is either blatant spam or sneaky spam — if you’ve doing a site on a worldwide basis, spam would be a major time sucker …

    Still doesn’t excuse the tone towards the site members — perhaps a post made at the end of a bad hair day.

  14. Ian C

    Unbelievable comment to make about your users, that’s all I can say!

  15. Stuart

    What a totally bizarre way to start the day. Stunt looking for funds? If so even more bizarre. Love the headline.

  16. name withheld

    i’ve been following their development closely and am sure many of the contributors who worked 1000′s of man hours free of charge will feel used.

    i had applied to one of their paid positions and was told that i would be able to start out working as a volunteer at first, surely not the way to operate if you are looking for dedicated staff. if you are looking for interns, there are enough out there looking for an opportunity.

    nevertheless, mathias and otto are creative guys that deserve a lot of credit for having started such an innovative approach. the idea itself will probably not cease operations and could develop in some way or the other.
    i wish everyone involved all the best in the future!

  17. Kevin May

    Kevin May


    Certainly a bizarre tactic, I agree.

  18. Miramon

    > We have ten thousands of users visiting the
    > site every month and they have not done what
    > we suggested them to do

    Tens of thousands of users. You’d think they could do something for them or with them instead of accusing them of letting the site down. How arrogant. It’s not like the users owe anything whatsoever.



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