Experience Project was started by Armen Berjikly in late 2004. After a close friend’s diagnosis with multiple sclerosis Berjikly created This is MS, an online community for MS patients and caregivers focused on inspiring hope in patients through knowledge of current research. As This is MS grew, Berjikly identified that the key benefit to patients was not the editorialized content, but the relationships that formed between people who understood each other through the shared experience of being afflicted with multiple sclerosis. Experience Project extended the ability to connect with people who understood each other to all experiences, and thus, all people.
Experience Project is a free social networking website of online communities premised on connecting people through shared life experiences. With an interactive, user-submitted network of personal stories, confessions, blogs, groups, photos, and videos, the company has collected almost 7 million real-life experiences as of January 2011. Users can join communities organized around experiences and interests, and view shared experiences organized by city and region to connect and interact with people.
The nodes of the network are life experiences, such as battling depression or surviving a divorce. Members who list experiences in common are connected, paralleling the ‘friends’ concept of traditional social networks. The site emphasizes anonymity to promote conversations unhindered by fear of recognition or embarrassment.Introduced publicly in October 2006, the site features members sharing stories about their life experiences, within the context of groups. As members share experiences, they are linked with others who have those experiences in common. Themes of the site include the concepts of ‘You are not Alone’ and ‘Discover New People Like You’. The site is characterized by frank discussions of a genuine nature, which in the extreme case has members claiming that the site saved their life. Submitted content is also ‘policed’ by its own users with little monitoring or interference, which, however, often results in heavy censorship.
Other features of the site include blogs, trivia games for helping animals, confessions, surveys, mood and wellness journaling, and a search engine that matches a mood to a particular song.You can also add friends and chat with them. Members have the ability to “purchase” items like images or gestures, cards, etc. and send them to other members.
According to the homepage, as of April 2012, Experience Project hosts more than 13,000,000 experiences.