by Brian Solis

That headline is intended to be a sincere compliment. Playboy could only wish to have created such an elegant and stylish pay-for social network that connects everyday people, photographers, and the “girls next door.”

Founded by Scott and Cyan Banister and Jeffrey Wescott, Zivity promotes the refreshing art and beauty of everyday women. Perhaps the most compelling aspect of the site is that it spotlights an often overlooked aspect of nudity, the ability to tastefully tease through glamor and romance. It kindles the lost-art of an alluring and sophisticated duo of photography and seductive, yet innocent modeling. It humanizes individual women and elevates the entire experience.

Zivity model, Adelle

Cyan is also a Zivity model

The network is currently in beta, but is on quite the roll lately. Zivity initially raised $1 million from former PayPal executives, courtesy of Scott’s previous connections. In March , the company announced an impressive $7 million round of financing led by BlueRun Ventures and Founders Fund. John Malloy of BlueRun and Luke Nosek of Founders Fund join Zivity’s board of directors.

The company also appointed Jordan Ritter as CTO on May 5th. Ritter co-founded music-sharing service Napster, developing the original Napster technology alongside Shawn Fanning.

I spoke with Cyan at the recent TechCrunch PopSugar party in Los Angeles (see post here). Good friend Lisa Brewster, aka Adora, introduced me to Cyan, and we actually explored the possibility of having me shoot behind-the-scenes and also a model set or two. Stay tuned!

Lisa Brewster and Cyan Banister

For now, Zivity’s initial focus is a community-powered showcase of professional-quality photography promoting female beauty and expression. About 1/2 of the photo-sets are non-nude.

Zivity is uncensored, advertising-free, and allows you, the viewer, to actually interact with the real models and photographers you’re voting for. A monthly subscription gives members access to all of Zivity’s social and creative features, including its web-based photo set publishing and voting processes.

Subscribers can cast their votes for their favorite photo sets, they start with five votes per month and can purchase more if they’d like. The votes are worth $1 each and 80-cents is split between the model and the photographer.

All-in-all, Zivity is doing things the right way and will quickly hit profitability and most likely, an acquisition before too long.

Perhaps Cyan will reach out and share a few invites with the community.

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About the Author:

Brian Solis

Brian Solis is principal at Altimeter Group, a research-based advisory firm. Solis is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders and published authors in new media. A digital analyst, sociologist, and futurist, Solis has studied and influenced the effects of emerging media on business, marketing, publishing, and culture. His current book, Engage, is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to build and measure success in the social web.

Visit Brian's page at


    no imageAndrew Mager (Who am I?)30 May 2008 7:59 am

    Very impressed with Zivity. I love Cyan and everybody involved.

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    no imageAaron (Who am I?)16 July 2008 6:19 pm

    Zivity may be uncensored and ad-free, but isn’t a large part of Web 2.0 about FREE content? Google and Youtube, two of the biggest 2.0 drivers, are so popular and useful precisely because they are free. Likewise the biggest Porn 2.0 sites are also free, right?,, – all about free storage, user interactivity, and rich metadata.

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    no imageAndre M - photography (Who am I?)15 August 2008 12:41 am

    I’m convinced the Zivity licensing model, based on member’s votes, will attract some amazing models and photographers.


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