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A site devoted to cool guy stuff

Email|Print|Single Page| Text size + By Meredith Goldstein
Globe Staff / June 19, 2008

If you are a man interested in buying binoculars that can be filled with alcohol, consuming a burger that requires the use of five napkins, or finding a sexy prison inmate to be your new pen pal, you have friends at Thrillist.com, a website for men that launches locally today.

The site, which sends daily e-mails to subscribers (think Daily Candy, but for guys), adds Boston to its list of target cities, which already includes New York City, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Thrillist founders and University of Pennsylvania graduates Adam Rich and Ben Lerer started Thrillist in New York in 2005 and say they have already secured 300,000 national subscribers. They've tapped Kevin Alexander, a contributing editor at Boston Magazine, to be the voice of Thrillist's local dispatch.

Alexander represents the Thrillist demographic - straight, single, and 27. He promises his daily e-mail tips will be short ("Guys don't want to read a lot. They have to be tricked into it."), and only mildly metrosexual. That means more tips about gadgets and beer than about eyebrow tweezers and trendy sneakers.

"The way I sort of explained it to my friends is, I'm their slave who sort of figures out and sorts through all the [junk] and finds cool stuff they can get locally," Alexander said.

Rich says tone is key in earning the trust of readers.

"It's a very tricky thing, we've found. For young men, they don't want someone to treat them like they don't know anything."

Consider this recent entry from the Los Angeles Thrillist, under the headline "Summer Reading List": "It's Memorial Day, which means beach time, which means reading, which means not stealing your girlfriend's Glamour, even if it's only to troll for [cleavage]." The entry goes on to recommend F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button."

Rich says not to be fooled by the "dude next door" tone of Thrillist, which he says has the potential to rival Daily Candy and its 2.6 million readers. Thrillist already has a sponsor for its Boston launch (Beck's beer), and the expansion of the site has forced Rich and Lerer to add desks to their office in Soho.

"We had to get rid of our pool table which was like a dagger in our hearts."

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