Saturday, May 17, 2008

Menza - The Students Supersite

A long time ago, in the early days of the internet (And in the very early days of the internet in Israel), I created a site designed for students called "Menza - The Students Supersite".

It was in 1998, and I was a student at the Technion (Israel Institute of Technology) back then, and there was nothing interesting for Israeli students on the web. So I came up with the idea of a site that would be a search engine for student-related stuff, have a discussion boards system, a used-stuff board, some articles and so on.

It was more of an idea, but right around the time I was thinking about it the big student strike of 1998 broke, so I accelerated the site's development and added a lot of content about the strike, including pictures and stories (Most of which I took and wrote...). The site gained momentum and by early 1999 it the leading site for students and had a lot of activity in its boards, especially comparing to the internet activity back then. I even got some advertisers to put some money on it (A task which was much more difficult then... nobody heard of internet marketing...)

It was a one man show - I wrote the site's technology infrastructure (Back then I wrote several CGI scripts in Pascal...), I designed most of it and produced the content... Wasn't easy, but was real fun to see it work and attracting users.

Students recognized the brand "Menza", and it was very natural brand for them, the site got some press coverage in leading papers and everything was going great. I even got 2 purchase offers of the site, but declined thinking it has great potential, and it did, but then two things happened: The internet bubble started exploding (One of the sites that offer to purchase Menza was closed...) and I joined the army (Mandatory service in Israel..).

So, nothing happened for a while other than me paying the hosting bills... And then after a year or so I decided to close it. However, the domain remained in my possesion, without even having to pay for its renewal (Israeli domains that were bought before 1999 belong forever to the domain's owner without yearly payments... I guess that was the contract back then...).

This is a great domain name for the Israeli market, and I still hope one day to revive Menza, but time goes by and I have other stuff to do... So, if you have any plans for this domain in the meantime, let me know and maybe we can do business...