There may be more to MIVA (Nasdaq: MIVA) than just a second-tier search provider after all. The company's website -- launched last year as a Web 2.0 site for movie buffs -- is padded with personality. Apparently, it's also padded by traffic.

MIVA issued a press release last night, patting itself on the back for Spill breaking into the top 100 websites under market watcher Hitwise's Entertainment/Movie category. The site generated a million page views last month with 270,000 unique visitors, more than twice the traffic it received back in November.

It's easy to see why Spill is catching on. The "If it's crap ... we'll tell you" credo spares no punches. The site features community-generated movie reviews, including submitted flick reviews on video. An editorial team generates audio podcast reviews as well as funny film reviews provided by animated characters. That last feature is a viral hit, with Spill's channel on Google's (Nasdaq: GOOG) YouTube amassing 1,150 subscribers.

Film-based community sites are all the rage these days. (Nasdaq: AMZN) may have been fashionably early with its purchase of IMDB several years ago, but it has since been followed by News Corp.'s (NYSE: NWS) buy of Rotten Tomatoes and rumored acquisition of Flickster by IAC/InterActiveCorp (Nasdaq: IACI).

Spill's quick ascent is exciting. Showing a 211% surge in unique visitors from one month to the next is either a seasonal blip or the start of something special. With MIVA's market cap down to a mere $50 million -- and half of that spoken for by $25 million in cash on the company's clean balance sheet -- a Web 2.0 star in the making can really spice things up if the website's popularity continues to grow.

Even though MIVA isn't projected to return to profitability until next year at the earliest, finding a star in a portfolio that also includes, weather portal, and toolbar distributor could be huge.

As someone who suffered though MIVA as an investment several years ago -- back when it traded as -- maybe it's time I give the company a second chance. Then again, if what they say on is true, sequels rarely live up to the originals.

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