Web startup Personal News Network is another entrant in the social networking arena, founded by Lauren Elliott, co-creator of 'Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?'Mark Aronoff/ Press DemocratWeb startup Personal News Network is another entrant in the social networking arena, founded by Lauren Elliott(cq), co-creator of 'Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?' Jennifer Jacobson (cq)is marketing director.Mark Aronoff/ Press Democrat

Rohnert Park social networking site shutting down

Personal News Network, the Rohnert Park-based social networking site, will be shutting down on Jan. 31, its founder said Wednesday.

The website, which began in 2006, evolved into a women's social media site where users contributed personal stories from around the world.

But a lack of funding and marketing efforts, combined with users' migration to Facebook, is forcing the website to close, founder Lauren Elliott said.

"It was just breaking even," Elliott said. "I'm on to other projects."

After announcing the decision in a post this week on, Elliott said he received about 500 e-mails from users who were sad to see it go. He said he was approached by people who were interested in taking over the website, but they did not have funds to do so. He estimated running the website could cost about $200,000 a year.

The website receives about 100,000 page views per month, Elliot said. He estimated there are about 5,000 to 8,000 active users, which he defined as people who visit the website to read or post more than once a week.

Elliot is now working on a new product called SeePort, a portable video screen that people can use to communicate with friends and family who are far away.

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