Anyone remember the good old days, when the founder of a previous online travel business would try his or her hand at something new?
That would be the story of Simonseeks, plaything of Simon Nixon, he of TravelSupermarket fame who wanted to get into the travel content and destination guide business after successfully creating a metasearch business for flights and hotels (and financial services through MoneySupermarket).
The idea was relatively simple - create a revenue opportunity for travel writers to pen destination guides for the site, as well as enlisting the help of "celebrities" to give their tips on places to go, etc.
It was a primarily media model - ads and some search functionality with partners - but the relatively high profile interest in the business came simply because of Nixon's background.
Despite a TV ad campaign and plenty of press coverage in the mainstream media, Nixon's brother Chris left the business in mid-2010 and then, almost two years to the day from its launch, the site announced it was ceasing operations.
Now, perhaps rather surprisingly, Simonseeks is back.
It turns out three of its three staffers - Rick Madden, Paul Dickinson and Simon Dawson - have led a management buy-out of the company from Nixon and are planning on getting the business going again.
Nixon, the trio say in a statement, "will no longer have any involvement in the site".
It may take a while for things to return to normal, all three of the new leaders of the company actually have day jobs and say the site will be run on a "best endeavours" basis.
However, the trio continue:
"After nearly two years with no development or admin, the site still generates a good volume of traffic and writers continue to submit guides. Proof that people find it a useful source for planning trips and evidence of how enthusiastic the amateur/aspiring travel writing community is."
The new owners admit finding a balance between "quality and quantity" was a struggle in the past, including "attracting criticism for its stringent editorial hurdle and it’s refocus toward professional paid content in 2011".
"We want to go back to why the site was originally set up, people contributing because they are passionate about travel and sharing their experiences.
"And we need to look at ways to reduce the barriers to entry so that a wider number of people can get involved. Obviously the content must be legible, useful and above all inspiring. But we want it to be about passion, not payment."
Given the strong opinions many of the contributors had about Simonseeks when it was going through its first two years of operations, plenty will be needed if it wants to gain the trust of writers again.
Interesting to see (if and) how it develops...