Anyone who's ever chatted with Nate about BricaBox often has the same response: confusion.
Nate's a good friend, but he's a typical visionary founder in that he's hesitant to succumb to others' bastardized Web 2.0 analogies of what the product actually does. Many entrepreneurs cringe at being called the "Wikipedia for this" or "Flickr for that" or "del.icio.us but with blogging". It goes against the vision--the bigger picture. They seem to think it cheapens their accomplishment, but I disagree. People need to compare new things to things they already understand. It helps them process new ideas.
So, since Nate doesn't have an elevator pitch, I've decided to create one for him. BricaBox is pretty simple actually. It is...
"A wiki with depth."
Wikis are pretty flat. You find a webpage, you click into it and add text. You can add links, but links just enable you to travel sideways in a flat world.
BricaBox enables outsiders to add structured content to a page--content that has all sorts of other attributions, like restaurants that not only have locations, but menu items as well.
So... who cares?
Well, any publisher who cares about interactivity, engagement, and pageviews should care.
There are some brilliant sites out there on the web that are what I call "rotating cubes". Most sites are essentially databases, but these sites, through their structure, expose all the various data elements to users as separate pages. Some of my favorites are IMDB, Last.fm, and Baseball Reference. Every element in their database is a new page, semantically connected to all of the other various datapoints associated with it. On IMDB, actors are in movies and movies have directors who've done other movies. You can click sideways and up and down this side forever--and these types of sites often gets lots of pageviews. IMDB gets 8 pageviews a visit. Last.fm gets 6. Baseball Reference gets almost 5. By contrast, the NY Times gets 3 and Citysearch gets 2.5. Those are pretty flat sites.
What structured, open content like a BricaBox does is bring your database out into the open, making it crawlable, clickable, and easily navigated. It's something that any publisher with a structured database should think about implementing, lest all their good data stay below the surface of their web, never to be discovered by users, crawlers, or anything else that floats by.