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ANALYSIS: iSPY - www.londontribe.com

LondonTribe is like a drug-addled rockstar's rambling country mansion - huge, easy to get lost in and bulging with intriguing items, some useless, some valuable.

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LondonTribe is like a drug-addled rockstar's rambling country mansion - huge, easy to get lost in and bulging with intriguing items, some useless, some valuable.

The site describes itself as 'the ultimate online resource for London lifestyle and entertainment' and is aimed at the capital's large population of 'up-for-it' 16- to 30-year-olds. It comprises five searchable channels - music, movies, news, clubs and the ambiguously named pleasure.

After exploring the site's corridors and secret passages - it is claimed the average visitor browses for 16 minutes - it becomes clear that LondonTribe's editorial staff are almost certainly insane. The busy home page flags up new articles - when I looked there was a feature on Brazilian dance music - and contains masses of links, many of which give you very little idea of where they will take you. This is great if you've got time to kill and fancy finding out what pulpitations and jocks 'n' sox sports actually are, but not so good if you're looking for something specific.

The new site index doesn't help either - not only is it huge, it is also confusing.

Nevertheless, the off-the-wall nature of the site is almost addictive and, as long as you don't mind losing yourself in a somewhat disturbing maze of bizarre features, you will rarely be bored.

LondonTribe is owned by Tribe, an international media and entertainment company that was set up in 1998. Tribe also produces sites for other cities - including LA, Sydney and Melbourne - and has recently secured second-round funding worth pounds 12 million.

The London site employs 15 editorial staff and two salesmen - ex-Maiden commercial manager Jonathan Ratner and sales executive Laurent Sancier. They have recently pulled off ad deals with Hovis, Carphone Warehouse and GiftsForBirds.com, among others.

LondonTribe is launching its own campaign in January through Target Media. The push will focus on radio, ambient and online.

This site is original and fun. With a bit more method behind the madness, it could be a winner.



This article was first published on mediaweek.co.uk

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