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I Want to Improve the Experience Project

The REAL Reason EP is Closing Down: Death of an Orphan

There are multiple factors that have brought us to the point where EP is closing down. I think the most important factor is the declining traffic on and popularity of the website which, as I wrote about at <a href="" target="ep_blank">EP Link</a>#comment_21162084, is clearly attributable to four years of EP management dismantling the site's features piece by piece, turning it from the greatest website ever into an ugly, user-unfriendly shadow of its former self. Another factor pointed out by gentle153 (see thread at <a href="" target="ep_blank">EP Link</a>#comment_21141751)) is an idiotic, costly venture through which management "doubled their development costs and killed their income" by creating a mobile phone app which "does not have any ads or premium functions" therefore "leading users away from their two only limited sources of income...How could that NOT backfire?" Another factor is the failure to hire somebody who was a real pro at getting the advertising flow the website needed. As I said: "It seemed like the boss was determined to run EP as an insular, amateur operation, nobody over 35 allowed. Always 'a tiny team.'" (

I have come across a Huffington Post interview with the EP founder which I believe is very revealing about why EP closed down. "Going Against the Flow: Armen Berjikly, CEO of Kanj*ya"
02/14/2016 at Read this:

"Armen: Kanj*ya’s technology was originally ba<x>sed on the Experience Project, which we developed as a social website with hundreds of millions of users sharing anonymously and authentically about their life’s experiences, emotions, and ambitions. Experience Project has been quite successful, proving that you could use technology to provide understanding. But a website’s reach is limited to the people that come to it, and what we’re delivering has potential to affect everyone, everywhere. Could we instead take what we had learned about how people express their wants, needs, and intents, and bring it to where people already were spending time and missing out on their potential- for example, in their workplaces or in commerce.

It wasn’t an easy decision to make to shift the focus of our company to delivering enterprise software for people analytics, but it was the right one, and it both preserved our legacy while providing an enormous new opportunity. Now, as a company we’ve been able to extend our vision to the masses, ensuring people are not only heard, but changes can happen to empower them."

For those of you who don't know, the Kanj*ya corporation was built on top of EP as a data-mining operation. The EP website was utilized for research into emotion and the correct interpretation of written communication in order to create algorithms usable in selling profitable services to corporations only having 500 or more employees. I don't know how long the data-mining has been going on. If readers have information on that, please share it. It is even possible that early on when the decision was made to transform EP from a multiple sclerosis support website into a general-interest social networking website that it was done with the intention and purpose of providing a laboratory for research useful to the business world.

Note the statement that "Kanj*ya’s technology was ORIGINALLY ba<x>sed on the Experience Project". So Kanj*ya is no longer dependent on additional data-mining of EP. That is the most crucial piece of evidence I have seen as to why EP is closing. As SolarKing said: "Finally, one thing sums up the reason for pulling the plug: Kanj*ya now has all the behavioural and emotional data it requires from us lab-rats, so we will be terminated." (

The founder has (or professes to have) a virtually messianic vision that Kanj*ya will literally change the world as it creates harmony between businesses and their employees (and perhaps their customers). EP just isn't that important by comparison in his telling. Pardon my skepticism. Kanj*ya is on a roll now, but I would predict ten or fifteen years from now it will be forgotten and the big business world will have pretty much the same set of human problems it has now.

Another paragraph in the interview I find interesting:

"Armen: I’d tell myself to value experienced people, and involve them as early as possible rather than trying to do so much alone. I was a sole founder for nearly 3 years, and I had to become a de-facto expert at things ranging from insurance to corporate law to engineering and marketing. Looking back, while I enjoyed the challenge and felt I conserved resources, I also incurred enormous opportunity cost in doing things that would have had the most impact."

I believe this is a reference to his management of the Experience Project back in the days when that was his primary or only job rather than the the Kanj*ya business venture. What were the "resources" he conserved by hiring relatively few people? There was one resource: MONEY. This explains why whenever we have emailed EP Support we have always received back a robo-message begging our patience because they are "a tiny team." A story in this group in 2012, at the height of EP's success, admitted that the team running EP consisted of LESS THAN TEN PERSONS. ( I call that skinflint management.

This provides what I think is the correct answer to one of EP's great mysteries: why EP management spent the last four years dismantling this website piece by piece, apparently holding regular meetings on the topic of "What features can we take away from the members this month?" I owe this insight to goliathtree: I believe it was about "conserving resources", i.e., money, by reducing bandwidth for the Experience Project. I believe that for the last four years the "tiny team" has been under orders to "conserve resources" by systematically stripping feature after feature from EP.

Most people would not prefer to work two jobs. For years now the job preoccupying EP's founder has been leading the profitable Kanj*ya business venture. He hasn't had the time and perhaps as well the desire to put his heart and mind into the Experience Project. That and his penchant for "conserving resources" explain why he didn't care enough about EP to hire a serious advertising specialist to do what I believe was not mission impossible, making EP a financially successful operation. "Conserving resources" would also explain why he didn't hire a real pro to succeed him as the CEO of the Experience Project once he lost interest in it and why the website limped along essentially as an orphan for the last four years.

I can't resist quoting SolarKing: "I would not be at all surprised to hear that the site was only kept going as long as it has because they had paid up front for the servers, and as long as they were in credit the site remained up: albeit as an empty husk of how it used to be." (

As I said:" EP is not running out of money. EP is a division of a thriving corporation called Kanj*ya which was built upon data-mining EP to provide services for businesses. Kanj*ya's website is now soliciting new hires. Armen is not going broke. We don't what EP's bottom line is. We don't even know if it's red or black. All we know is that EP did not sustain the level of profitability needed for Armen to be motivated to keep it going."

Once Kanj*ya no longer was dependent on EP, EP's founder would only be motivated to keep it going as long as it sustained some level of profitability known to him but not to us. And the failure of EP to sustain that level of profitability is not to be laid at our feet, but at his.
JFinch · 41-45, F
I think it's completely dead now.
I have real hope that we will find a successor website that will deal with members in a much more constructive, honest, and upright fashion.
That interview is quite the interesting read. It leaves me with one question though: if they have enough data to understand human interaction, why is EPAllie doing such a horrible job at judging texts? That's not really a good ad for Kanj*ya's services.
Oh, they don't give a hoot; may not have ever even brought Perception (formerly Crane) to bear with EPAllie.

What do you think about my explanation for the ending and for the 4 years of dismantling?
That makes a lot of sense. There is no way to be certain about their real reasons, but this could very well be it.
Copy this entire post before it goes.

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