Redroom.com, which premiered Dec. 21, is one of the more ambitious online communities for writers to date and perhaps the most timely, aiming to capitalize on the current potential for profitability of social-networking sites. It features 150 authors (with 400 more to come), ranging from Amy Tan and Salman Rushdie to Edinburgh Castle Pub owner Alan Black; Graham Leggatt, executive director of the San Francisco Film Society, who moonlights as a sci-fi writer; and local mystery writer Cara Black.
Here's my page (with more content to come), and I have to say that Redroom is one of the most stylish startups I've ever seen; it's beautiful and informative, with videos and podcasts in addition to print essays and interviews, and I imagine the site will fill up with even more content in no time.
There's a philanthropic component as well.
Authors can designate their favorite charities or nonprofits, and a portion
of the revenue generated from page and ad views goes to good causes.
My choice is Make It Right NOLA, Brad Pitt's audacious attempt to help rebuild New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward...because it's a good cause, and because everyone I know who's run into the Pitt-Jolie family in New Orleans says they're about the most down-to-earth neighbors imaginable given their circumstances. And Red Room founder Ivory Madison established a chapter of the National Organization for Women in New Orleans, so I hope she has a soft spot for the recovery effort as well.