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eBay-backed community site Tokoni leaves beta

The adult-focused discussion hub was founded by a former eBay exec and Skype president, and backed by the auction site itself as well as founder Pierre Omidyar.

Tokoni, a community site for "sharing stories," has formally launched after nearly a year of public beta. It has taken investment backing from eBay as well as the auction giant's founder, Pierre Omidyar, and was founded by former eBay executive Mary Lou Song and Alex Kazim, former president of the eBay-owned Skype. Kazim serves as Tokoni's CEO.

"We created Tokoni to fill the distinct need for an online community where individual stories of life's experiences have a voice and are valued, and where the collective wisdom of the community is celebrated," Kazim said in a release. "The growth of social media has enabled people to control how they create, consume, and share content and personal experiences online; however, participation in the social Web is still daunting to the mainstream. Tokoni makes sharing your own story easy."

Indeed, as an adult-focused "community" site rather than a social network, Tokoni's target audience is one that hasn't caught on to the blogging and Twittering craze, and offers a more Luddite-friendly forum for conversation by encouraging the posting, reading, and discussing of personal stories and experiences. Another site with a similar slant is Gather.

With the U.S. presidential election approaching, Tokoni (which means "help" in Tongan) has partnered with to provide a forum for women to discuss political issues.