Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

MessageParty’s Amanda Peyton on Ditching Chat for Something More Substantial (Video)

Amanda Peyton has ample enthusiasm and determination to make her mark on the social Web: now she just needs to find her own big idea. So the first-time tech entrepreneur and her MessageParty team last month released a major revision to their iPhone app that focuses on local blogging.

MessageParty, which has raised about $300,000 from angel investors, is based in the Brooklyn, NY neighborhood of Williamsburg. I braved an extended episode of my own municipal transportational ineptitude to pay Peyton a visit there on Thursday.

A pretty and easy mobile blogging tool is actually MessageParty’s third big vision: initially, during the Y Combinator program, Peyton and co-founder Jason Gavris had focused on social recruiting, she said; then they tried location-based chat “parties”–that’s where the company’s name comes from.

But neither idea seemed like the right combination of personal passion and user utility, Peyton said.

Peyton described the new MessageParty as particularly useful in places of note like New York’s Ground Zero, where she and others have left thoughts, pictures and information for later visitors to find (see image above).¬†MessageParty has registered a few thousand downloads of its app, and transitioned users of the old location-based chat tool to the new version.

Prior to MessageParty, Peyton graduated from MIT Sloan and ran a leading prom dress e-tailer.

A video interview with Peyton is embedded here. (Hint: stay tuned for the special bonus footage from my New York travels. I tried to upload it to MessageParty but they only accept photos at the moment, so as punishment I’m making Amanda share her screentime.)

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus