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New social networking site based out of Woodbury

Dion Richardson launched Mr. Jockey in January after more than a year of research and developing the website. The site is located at (Riham Fehir/Woodbury Bulletin)

With growing social media outlets used all over the world, Dion Richardson wanted something a little more personal than what's already out there.

"It' a social networking site that's really based on video and audio," he said of the creation he named Mr. Jockey.

The new social networking site, based out of Richardson's Woodbury home, has nearly 6,000 users.

Starting a whole new career in website management and design, Richardson -- though not making as much money as he was in the medical device industry -- said he's now extremely happy running "Mr. Jockey."

What makes Mr. Jockey stand out is that people can get the "full emotion" from sending 60-second video and audio clips to their friends, family and business associates, Richardson said.

When brainstorming ideas for the "ultimate social networking site" he said he wanted to come up with the most ideal thing. He said it's Skype, Facebook and Twitter all in one.

Logging onto Mr. Jockey, users will get to their "JoXspot" page, which is basically a profile with a photo, messages and "socialites" or friends.

The primary focus of the interaction between users is communicating via video and audio messages as opposed to text, though they're able to do that too.

The "Tote Board" is where all the communication takes place. Then there are the "socialites" and the "extended network of friends," which separate professional relationships from social ones.

"It's about the way you and I communicate. Many people don't write letters anymore," Richardson said.

Because a lot of relatives and friends live far away from each other as they get older, the website makes it easy and convenient for people to hold video conferences and send short, audio clips to loved ones, he added.

Mr. Jockey allows users to chat live for one hour, but there is one more added feature that Richardson gets excited when talking about it.

"I'm about to show you, you're gonna love this," he told a reporter as he navigated the site. "I haven't seen a person who doesn't."

It's called a "Live Jock." Anyone can schedule a live jock and alert a number of people of its time and topic. It's used in classrooms, for conference calls, or even speed dating, where numerous people are located in different areas.

"You can isolate it or you can keep it broad," he said of the list of people to include in a live jock.

The way it works is sort of like a press conference, with one person on the spot and others watching. They request to ask the host a question and they get 60 seconds to ask it via video or audio. The questions are then broadcasted in the order the host selects them.

"There is no boundaries of who you can talk to or not talk to live," Richardson said.

Before launching Mr. Jockey in January, it took about a year and a half for Richardson to recruit the help of friends and family to finance the project, and business experts to help execute it. He was able to raise about $200,000 to get the website going.

Though he has an engineering background and knowledge of HTML and Photoshop, he said "it's virtually impossible for one to know everything."

So far there is no advertising revenue coming in, but Richardson said in the future, there is a place for it.

"I want to do it in such a way that it doesn't bother the user," he said, adding,

The name Mr. Jockey is defined as someone who guides people through a process, sort of like a disc jockey, Richardson explained.

Riham Feshir
Riham Feshir is a reporter and photographer for the Woodbury Bulletin. Her coverage includes Woodbury City Hall, Washington County Board of Commissioners and business news.  Follow Riham on Twitter @RihamFeshir for the latest updates.