Kibin of 500 Startups Creates an Online Editing Community

Posted Aug 19, 2011

New startup service Kibin, born of the most recent class from 500 Startups, is an online editing community. It works on a credits-per-word basis, where you pay credits to have your work edited and gain credits when you edit for other people. As TechCrunch notes, those who don’t want to edit for others can buy credits for 50 cents apiece. According to founder Travis Biziorek, the credits equal about a cent per word, so you pay about $10 (or earn $10 of credits) to have a 1,000 word essay edited by the community. Kibin currently has a turnaround time of about 24 hours but hopes to speed up the editing process as more users join.

As someone who would like to make a living as an editor, I was skeptical about the service. But I changed my mind almost immediately?this is brilliant. Once you sign up you have options on your profile: what kinds of works you prefer to edit, whether you can accept paid editing requests and personal info that might convince people to pay you for your editing. Each of the reviews (what Kibin calls the edits) is checked by the Kibin team before it’s given to the writer, ensuring that you’re getting edits that are worth paying for.

The editing system is designed to teach users how to fix their work, rather than just sending back a new version. The in-file edits let the writer choose which suggestions to take and lets the editors explain why they made each change. I’d like to see Kibin add a stylebook preference option to users’ profiles, since decisions regarding Oxford commas can divide writers and editors into warring factions.

Kibin is in the middle of a 400K seed round, about 40K in, and already has more than 35,000 users.