The entrepreneur who helped revolutionize advertising on the Internet is now taking his talents to the world of social networking and online therapy, giving people a much-needed place to go when they are in need.
When Eytan Elbaz was working at Applied Semantics, he conceived of and managed AdSense, which puts targeted ads on websites. The company was later acquired by Google, and now AdSense ads are on virtually every site on the web.
Yet that giant web of commerce just can't measure up to helping those who need access to therapy.
"While ad networks may be a great profit center on the Internet, it doesn’t have the power to affect the world," Elbaz said in an interview with Smart Planet. "I wanted to work on something that I knew could directly make a positive impact on people’s lives."
In looking for such a project, Elbaz said he and his business partner Vic Belonogoff noticed there was no social networking site that dealt with such issues as addiction, depression and medical problems.
"I was driven by a personal experience," Elbaz said. "Somebody close to me was dealing with a serious issue, and I felt like I didn’t know anybody with which I could appropriately talk to. I sort of built this site both for me and for the person with the issue, in the hopes that it would help my friend seek treatment, and give me an opportunity to speak to others in a similar situation."
So Elbaz developed SupportGroups.com, a site where people can go to connect with others who may be suffering from similar problems. People might be able to find such help on traditional social networking sites, but Support Groups offers something different.